Does everyone remember the old Sunday School song?
Oh, that’s the book for me.
I take my stand on the Word of God,
I have been working on an expansive language version of the Psalms and the Liturgy of the Hours/Divine Office/Breviary. (For you non-liturgical gals and pals, that’s a set of prayers for morning, noon, evening, etc., mostly consisting of Psalms and other biblical texts).
So I have been thinking a lot about the Bible recently, and how we encounter it as God’s Word–or don’t–in our lives, prayer, and ministry. (Great minds think somewhat alike this week, as yesterday’s Ask The Matriarch post dealt with ways to help as many people in a community as possible engage with a scriptural text in preparation for Sunday worship).
So, in that spirit, I offer my first Friday Five. I’m looking forward to hearing everyone’s experience and reflection on these B-I-B-L-E questions:
1. What is your earliest memory of encountering a biblical text?
I think it probably was Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
2. What is your favorite biblical translation, and why? (You might have a few for different purposes).
I use NRSV all the time. I like NIV except for the places where male language is used “generically.” I also like the NASB and The Message.
3. What is your favorite book of the Bible? Your favorite verse/passage?
My favorite is probably John because of the rich imagery. However, it drives me nuts when people choose to understand the literary devices in literal ways. Favorite verses/passages: Micah 6:8, Matthew 25, Gen 21:6.
4. Which book of the Bible do you consider, in Luther’s famous words about James, to be “an epistle of straw?” Which verse(s) make you want to scream?
The books that are “questionable” Paul with all kinds of rules and restrictions that are probably culturally based. If new converts to Christianity do not have to become Jewish first, then the household shouldn’t have to live by the culturally based household codes found in the writings of Greek philosophers in order live as a Christian household.
5. Inclusive language in biblical translation and liturgical proclamation: for, against, or neutral?
For inclusive language regarding humans without reservation. For language that is not limited to gender specific pronouns for God.
Bonus: Back to the Psalms–which one best speaks the prayer of your heart? More than once Psalm 139 has spoken to me in significant ways.