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Friday, October 12, 2007

Friday Fivin' With My GalPals

Here is the RevGalBlogPal Friday Five!

My responses are in Red

From Mother Laura:

Does everyone remember the old Sunday School song?

The B-I-B-L-E,
Oh, that's the book for me.
I take my stand on the Word of God,
The B-I-B-L-E
.

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?

My earliest memory is a song about the Bible that my Sunday School teacher wrote in my First Bible:

Dare to be a Daniel.
Dare to stand alone.
Dare to have a purpose firm.
Dare to make it known.

Other early memories are Bible stories and songs sung with my mother as we fed cows. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were my favorites.

2. What is your favorite biblical translation, and why? (You might have a few for different purposes).

The Scholars' Version by the Fellows of the Jesus Seminar. Excellent scholarship translated into contemporary idiom when appropriate. Ie. Instead of "Woe to you, Pharisees!" Jesus tells it like it is: "Damn you Pharisees!"

3. What is your favorite book of the Bible? Your favorite verse/passage?

A tie: Philippians and James. Paul in Philippians is one cool, peaceful cucumber. I live. I die. Que sera sera. James is probably closer to the historical Jesus than any other work. Following the way is about living it.

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?

Luther was wrong about James. See above. The pastorals are by far the worst. I & II Timothy, and Titus were created by small, power-hungry minds. Earth would be better off without Revelation. Actually, the Bible is what it is. Some good. Some bad. The harm comes when people try to make it more than what it is. Then verses we would naturally dismiss as those coming from a less enlightened time, become the Word of God and are used to bludgeon others (ie. texts used to bash gays).

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

For, of course.

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

Psalm 133. Can't we all just get along?


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