So today in my daily Bible reading I began the book of Matthew. It's been almost a year since I've read in the New Testament. Since our God Story readings on Transit ended I've been filling in all the places that we didn't read. I think I've said before how much I enjoy reading from The Message version of the Bible, how much I get out of it. That is still true, but I do want to say that I did not enjoy the poetry books (Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes) in The Message very much, for those books, especially the Psalms, I definitely prefer more traditionally worded translations. This was one quote from Ecclesiastes that I liked:
" A person who fears God deals responsibly with all of reality, not just a piece of it."
I also loved this from the Introduction to the New Testament:
"A striking feature in all this writing is that it was done in the street language of the day, the idiom of the playground and marketplace. In the Greek-speaking world of that day, there were two levels of language: formal and informal. ...If the writing was routine - shopping lists, family letters, bills, and receipts - it was written in the common, informal idiom of everyday speech, street language.
And this is the language used throughout the New Testament. Some people are taken aback by this, supposing that language dealing with a holy God and holy things should be elevated - stately and ceremonial. But one good look at Jesus - his preference for down-to-earth stories and easy association with common people - gets rid of that supposition. For Jesus is the descent of God to our lives, just as they are, not the ascent of our lives to God, hoping he might approve when he sees how hard we try.
And that is why the followers of Jesus in their witness and preaching, translating and teaching, have always done their best to get the Message - the "good news" - into the language of whatever streets they happen to be living on. In order understand the Message right, the language must be right - not a refined language that appeals to our aspirations after the best but a rough and earthy language that reveals God's presence and action where we least expect it, catching us when we are up to our elbows in the soiled ordinariness of our lives and God is the furthest thing from our mind." ~Eugene Peterson
The other thing I read recently that I wanted to share was this quote from Eleanor Roosevelt: "I know that we will be the sufferers if we let great wrongs occur without exerting ourselves to correct them."