Misunderstandings About Snakes
Religious Fables, Folklore, Legends, and Stories
From All Creatures Articles Archive

Submitted by: Yuri Klitsenko

[Ed. Note: The following account is an example of how human fears and superstitions lead to violence, and how occasionally God intervenes.]

Jerome of Prague who worked among the Lithuanians in the final decade of the fourteenth century issued a decree that all snakes should be killed and burnt in the public market place.

Among the snakes there was one which was much larger that all the others and despite repeated efforts, they were unable to put an end to his life.

[Ed. Note: Most of these kinds of fears and superstitions arise from a misunderstanding of the Bible.  No where in the Bible does it say that snakes are evil.  All we are told in Genesis 3, is that a particular snake led Eve to eat the forbidden fruit.  The snake was not the devil, even thought he listened to his evil enticements.  Humans lead other humans astray, but that doesn't make all humans evil, any more than it makes all snakes evil.]

Yuri Klitsenko is a Russian living in Moscow.  He works for the Russian Orthodox Church.

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