Was O’Connor Wrong?

Ralph Wood suggests in the Comedy of Redemption that Flannery O’Connor misinterpreted  Matthew 11:12 which she used as the title of her second novel: “From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent bear it away.” From her letters we know that Flannery understood “the violent” as the true believers, who seize the kingdom and wrench it away from the grip of modern apostasy. She was wrong, Woods says. “The violent” Matthew refers to are not followers of Christ, but of Satan, men bent on destroying, not building up the kingdom. He marshals confirmation from Werner Georg Kummel, successor to Rudolph Bultmann at Marburg. Did Flannery get it wrong?


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