So, just a few days into the Bible Challenge, I came across something interesting.
I bought two Bibles for this, one of which is The Message, a translation that I have long wanted to read. Seriously, years ago, (decades ago!), I came across a pamphlet that had just one of the gospels in this translation and it was totally intriguiging. That was the start I guess (apparently it took over ten years to write). Now I have the whole beautiful hard cover thing, numbered verses and all. I decided to make this my primary text for the year to give the challenge as much a chance as possible to be interesting, and thought that reading without footnotes will make it easier to stay on task.
Anyway, a verse in Psalm 3 reads:
Up, God! My God, help me!
Slap their faces,
First this cheek, then the other,
Your first hard in their teeth!
I was taken aback by the surprising violence, but then I had a vision of Gladiator, how I loved the vivid recreation of life in those days and generally tolerated the overlong movie
but was appalled and sickened by the more violent scenes. Because, duh, that was life back then. Back when the psalms were written (sung?) for sure, scratching out a living in the desert — most peoples lives were nasty, brutish, and short. Of course that God is a bad ass God!
Maybe he is a little something like this guy:
Not to be disrespectful.
So intrigued was I by this that I went to The New Oxford Annotated Bible, New Revised Standard Version (the highly recommended text for the challenge) to see how they wrote the same verse:
Rise up, O Lord!
Deliver me, O my God!
For you strike all my enemies on the cheek;
you break the teeth of the wicked.
“Break the teeth of the wicked!” I’m impressed. My first happy surprise in the Bible. What this all means to me in a more spiritual sense I really couldn’t say.
In other news, I attended a birth today and not to be to HIPPA-ish about it, it was lovely for many reasons — a second-time client, close by, quick labor, nice staff (except for the recovery nurse), beautiful healthy baby and a happy extended family. Makes you want to do it all the time! Took about four hours of my time, two hours actively. Well done! It was a delight to be there and experience the miracle again.