Mother Laura of RevGalBlogPals writes:
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?
Probably Sunday School – and I don’t know how old I was, or what the text was.
2. What is your favorite biblical translation, and why? (You might have a few for different purposes).
For study (as in analysis): New American Standard or New Revised Standard
For devotional times: New Living Translation or The Message
For teaching and preaching: It depends on how it is phrased, but either NIV, NLT Contemporary English, or The Message. Sometimes The Message is so “down-home” as to seem rude… and other times, it cuts to the chase.
3. What is your favorite book of the Bible? Your favorite verse/passage?
That is a very hard one… I love the Psalms. I even have begun to love the Post-Exilic Prophets after my (tough) seminary class on them last year. As a book, probably Hosea (though I have not ever wanted to name a child Gomer!!) My “life verses” are Psalm 40:1-3
and he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the pit of despair,
out of the mud and the mire.
He set my feet on solid ground
and steadied me as I walked along.
He has given me a new song to sing,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see what he has done and be amazed.
They will put their trust in the Lord.
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?
I’m still in seminary. I plead the fifth.
5. Inclusive language in biblical translation and liturgical proclamation: for, against, or neutral?
In the words of a former President of the United States, it depends on your definition… “inclusive” where the words “man” or “he” are obviously intended for humanity vs. male gender, OK. If you are going to extend it to ridiculous limits then no. (…Such as one translation or liturgy that I read which named Mary as “the parent of Jesus” — and no I don’t remember where I read it…)
Bonus: Back to the Psalms–which one best speaks the prayer of your heart?
Psalm 62 [CEV]
Only God can save me, and I calmly wait for him.
God alone is the mighty rock that keeps me safe
and the fortress where I am secure.
I feel like a shaky fence or a sagging wall.
How long will all of you attack and assault me?
You want to bring me down from my place of honor.
You love to tell lies, and when your words are kind,
hatred hides in your heart.
Only God gives inward peace, and I depend on him.
God alone is the mighty rock that keeps me safe,
and he is the fortress where I feel secure.
God saves me and honors me.
He is that mighty rock where I find safety.
Trust God, my friends, and always tell him
each one of your concerns.
God is our place of safety.
We humans are only a breath;
none of us are truly great.
All of us together weigh less than a puff of air.
Don’t trust in violence or depend on dishonesty
or rely on great wealth.
I heard God say two things:
“I am powerful,
and I am very kind.”
The Lord rewards each of us according to what we do.