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 everyones experience and reflection on these B-I-B-L-E questions:
1. What is your earliest memory of encountering a biblical text?
I remember seeing a movie when I was a teenager and I absolutely cannot remember the name of it. (Keep in mind my family are atheists) And at the very end, It says “Blessed are those who believe without seeing”. As I struggled with accepting Jesus Christ, that line would pop into my mind.
2. What is your favorite biblical translation, and why? (You might have a few for different purposes).
For study purposes the NRSV. For reading and devotional purposes, NIV. And for telling stories out of “The Message”.
3. What is your favorite book of the Bible? Your favorite verse/passage?
My favorite Book of the Bible is the Gospel of Mark and Acts. My favorite verses are Philippians 4:13 and Matthew 19:26. I pray a lot for strength and for courage to overcome the odds.
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?
Anything that Biblical Fundamentalists use to oppress women. It makes me especially mad for them to use Paul to justify their oppression of women when it is clear that Paul thought highly of women in ministry. I learned not to publicly express my dislike of those books, however, because I was forced to do my Commissioning Bible Study over one of them last year. So to all you Commissioning fairies, "I Love Them ALL".
5. Inclusive language in biblical translation and liturgical proclamation: for, against, or neutral?
For and neutral. I will pray to the God the Father at times but I will also pray to God the Mother, God the Creator. I don’t want my language or the language of the Bible to be a stumbling block to someone else’s faith.
Bonus: Back to the Psalms--which one best speaks the prayer of your heart?
To many to choose from but I especially like ones that reveal the depths of the author’s pain or anger and their willingness to share it with God. For some people it is taboo to get mad at God and I love to lift up the Psalms that show that God accepts honest emotion from God’s people.