From Mother Laura at RevGalBlogPals:
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?
Since I've been in Sunday School all my life, I don't really remember. I do remember when my Grandmother told me about her Sunday School Lesson on the book of Ruth. I was in Elementary School and it was cool for an adult to be talking to me about the Bible like I might get it!
2. What is your favorite biblical translation, and why? (You might have a few for different purposes).
NRSV for study. I just picked up The Message. For some reason I resisted, but the Bishop read from it at a recent retreat, so I thought I would check it out with some bookstore gift cards I had. So far, I like it. I haven't read The Psalms in it though.
3. What is your favorite book of the Bible? Your favorite verse/passage?
Hmm. Hadn't really thought about a favorite book. I would have to say The Psalms. There is so much emotion and truth there. Favorite Passage(s): Romans 8:28 (NRSV), Nehemiah 8:8 (This is my call verse.), Psalm 51:10, Psalm 139:114 (It took a long time for me to believe this one.)
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 Revelation of John - misused, misunderstood...
5. Inclusive language in biblical translation and liturgical proclamation: for, against, or neutral?
For - especially when referring to humans. Mixed when referring to God. Not all God language should be masculine, but it doesn't need to be wiped out completely. My friend who speaks Chinese tells me there is a separate gender for God in her language.
Bonus: Back to the Psalms--which one best speaks the prayer of your heart?
It varies from day to day but I can really identify with Psalm 77:2 In the day of my trouble I seek the Lord; in the night my hand is stretched out without wearying; my soul refuses to be comforted. Sometimes I'm not ready to be comforted, too hurt, too stubborn, too human.