Drunk-Driving and the Old Testament

According to the Daily Mail, a judge gave an unusual sentence to a woman arrested for drunk-driving: She must read the Old Testament and write a book report.

The following is an excerpt taken from the article reporting this interesting story:

A young mother who pleaded guilty to drunk-driving has been given an unusual punishment; as well as eight years in jail she has been ordered to write a book report on the Bible.

The judge included in the sentence that Cassandra Tolley, 28, read the Old Testament and write him a summary on the book of Job.

The book of Job is a great book in the Bible, a book that has provided much comfort to people who are suffering. Will the book of Job also help cure alcoholism?

Claude Mariottini
Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary

This entry was posted in Old Testament and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Drunk-Driving and the Old Testament

  1. Jerry Jacques says:

    Although I’m not a scholar on Job, I seriously doubt that there is a heavy emphasis (if any at all) on alcohol in Job. A history of being wrong has prep me for the possibility of being wrong :).

    Overall, the book report penalty is ridiculous. I think this judge’s ability to judge effectively should be re-evaluated.


    • Claude Mariottini says:


      Thank you for your comment. I apologize for the delay in answering your comment. I have been away from blogging for several week now, but I am back.

      I agree with you. Job has nothing to do with alcohol. Maybe the judge was just trying to teach a lesson about what happens to people who live without God. Since many people come to faith by reading the Bible, let us hope that this person will come to know God better by reading the Bible. Judges have the discretion of being creative in sentencing people. We have to agree that this was a very creative sentence. I have never heard anything like this.

      Claude Mariottini


  2. Daniel says:

    This story sounds like a hoax.

    And I’m with Jerry in that I don’t know what Job has to do with drinking. A reading of Proverbs might offer better didactic instruction. But if one were to assign a portion of the OT to read, presumably to teach of the evils of drunkenness, the historical narratives like we find in the Pentateuch or even Judges might be more useful. Whatever problems Job faced they were not caused by a drinking problem.

    This story sounds like some of the silly stuff one might find at Reddit.


    • Claude Mariottini says:


      The story is true. I agree that Job has nothing to do with alcohol, but sine the book of Job has a lot to say about the destiny of the wicked, maybe the judge used the book of Job to show that doing wrong things may result in bigger problems later. There are many lessons to be learned from the book of Job; let us hope that this person learned some thing good from reading Job.

      Claude Mariottini


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