Persecution and censorship of Solzhenitsyn and the NT authors
- Today I read a short obituary of Alexander Solzhenitsyn on the BBC:
It describes the censorship and self-censorship of Solzhenitsyn, who was
heavily persecuted and constrained by the Soviet authorities.
My question for the list is: What can Solzhenitsyn's experience tell us
about the forces that shaped the NT? Here, below, are some quotations from
Solzhenitsyn's obituary, with some related questions on the NT for your
"Solzhenitsyn served as an artillery officer and was decorated for his
courage, but in 1945 was denounced for criticising Stalin in a letter."
To what extent did Paul have to censor his own letters to protect himself
and his friends from persecution? Did he refrain from writing about Jesus
and the kingdom of God to avoid getting his readers into trouble? Was there
a process of natural selection whereby the most politically sensitive
letters were lost, while the more innocuous could be more freely copied and
"On his return to European Russia, he was allowed, following Khrushchev's
denunciation of Stalin, to publish his largely autobiographical One Day in
the Life of Ivan Denisovich, in 1962."
Was the writing of the gospels delayed until such a time when it was safe to
"His novels The First Circle and Cancer Ward were further damning allegories
of the Soviet system."
Were certain genres safer to publish than others (e.g. Revelation)?
"In 1973, the first of the three volumes of The Gulag Archipelago was
published in the West. He had been hiding the novel from the authorities,
fearful that people mentioned in it would suffer reprisals."
What precautions did the NT authors take to protect themselves and the
people that they wrote about from reprisals?
"In 1970, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. But he refused to
attend the award ceremony in Stockholm for fear of not being allowed back
home." ..... "the Soviet authorities stripped him of his citizenship and
expelled him from the country."
How often were NT church leaders exiled? (John of Patmos, Peter, Prisca and
"Prussian Nights, a long narrative poem about the Red Army's vengeful
advance into East Prussia in 1945, was published in 1977. He was said to
have composed the poem and committed it to memory 25 years before, during
his years in prison."
Before the gospels were written, were the stories memorized because it was
too dangerous to write them down?
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