Friday Five: The Bible

12 October 2007

1. What is your earliest memory of encountering a biblical text?
I guess it might be the parable of the shepherd leaving behind the 99 to find the one lost sheep.  Although  I think I remember a sermon about three trees (one was the wood for Jesus’ cross, the other for a boat he preached from, and . . . .)  Okay, so I sort of remember that sermon.

2. What is your favorite biblical translation, and why? (You might have a few for different purposes).
NRSV: inclusive, clear, widely available.

3. What is your favorite book of the Bible? Your favorite verse/passage?
Toss up: Luke, Psalms, Ecclesiastes, Jonah.  Hard to settle on one.  Favorite passage: Jonah 4:6 (7 is pretty good, too).

6 The Lord God appointed a bush,<a href=”javascript:void(0);” onmouseover=”return overlib(‘Heb qiqayon, possibly the castor bean plant‘);” onmouseout=”return nd();”>* and made it come up over Jonah, to give shade over his head, to save him from his discomfort; so Jonah was very happy about the bush.

4. Which book of the Bible do you consider, in Luther’s famous words about James, to be “an epistle of straw?”

Any passages that can be interpreted as limiting women’s roles or which are outright misogynist.

5. Inclusive language in biblical translation and liturgical proclamation: for, against, or neutral?

For. My parish uses an inclusive language translation which also dumbs down the language of the Bible, especially in the Gospel.  Sometimes it sounds like your either hearing a high school student come up with a half-baked analogy to justify his position or a children’s book.  No poetry left in it.

Bonus: Back to the Psalms–which one best speaks the prayer of your heart?

Ps. 139.  No doubt:

For it was you who formed my inward parts;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
that I know very well.
15   My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16Your eyes beheld my unformed substance.
In your book were written
all the days that were formed for me,
when none of them as yet existed.
17How weighty to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18I try to count them—they are more than the sand;
I come to the end<a href=”javascript:void(0);” onmouseover=”return overlib(‘Or I awake‘);” onmouseout=”return nd();”>*—I am still with you.

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7 Responses to “Friday Five: The Bible”

  1. jill Says:

    Me too-Psalm 139! Great play.

  2. Songbird Says:

    That parable is so potent!
    It doesn’t seem like there should have to be a trade-off between poetry and inclusivity, does it?

  3. revhipchick Says:

    great play!

    i’m with Songbird–why can’t it be inclusive, intelligent, and beautiful?

    a wonderful Psalm.


  4. t doesn’t seem like there should have to be a trade-off between poetry and inclusivity, does it?
    . . .

    why can’t it be inclusive, intelligent, and beautiful?

    I wish I knew which translation it was and why the translators made it so bad; I should ask. But I agree, inclusive does not have to be ugly and dumb. Hell, it shouldn’t be.

  5. Leah Says:

    your #5…heard that (sadly) all too often. great play, thanks!

  6. Kievas Fargo Says:

    I will have to go read Jonah…thanks for the reminder.

  7. sallysjourney Says:

    Interesting how we loose so much by trying to render the text politically correct…I do have an inclusive language version of the psalms where every effort has been made to keep the poetic beauty.
    Great play thanks

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