When I was a kid and going to Vacation Bible School, we all sang this little song about The Bible. "That's the book for me; I stand alone on the Word of God, the B-I-B-L-E". Thankfully my personal theology has evolved (some) since I was in preschool. However, this cuts both ways. While I have become more open and spiritual and hopefully more loving and tolerant, I've also become very emotionally disconnected with the Old Testiment. I've had a difficult time reading the Bible as a spiritual discipline, because it is so full of accounts of redemptive voilence and a God that people obeyed and feared to avoid being punished instead of a God that asks for and receives love and kindness.
Yesterday I was reading the preface to my New Revised Standard Version of the New Oxford Annotated Bible as I began a journey on a new Bible study at Progressive Christain Church with Liberalpastor and others. I'm encouraged as I begin this journey by both the comments of liberalpastor as well as these words from the representative from the committee of Biblical translators which was commissioned by the National Council of Churches to make the revisions. Bruce M. Metzger in the preface of this version of the Bible writes this for the committee of translators:
"The Bible carries its full message, not to those who regard it simply as a noble literary heritage of the past or who wish to use it to enhance political purposes and advance otherwise desirable goals, but to all persons and communities who read it so that they may discern and understand what God is saying to them. That message must not be disguised in phrases that are no longer presented in launguage that is dircet and plain and meaningful to people today. It is to hold a large place in congregational life and to speak to all readers, young and old alike, helping them to understand and believe and respond to its message."
I'm grateful to be going on this new journey with my Bible and my friends.