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A Bible in one hand, a smartphone in the other

A poem about, among other things, the importance of biblical literacy.


            You warned me to keep quiet.
            Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic,
            You explained.
            My soul depended on it.

            Don’t be so hysterical, you said.
            There were no actual cages,
            And the youngest were already crawling.
            Romans 13.

            Violence on many sides,
            For all have sinned, you emphasised;
            And God so loved the world...
            It’s there in black and white.

            You urged forgiveness –
            Who are we to judge?
            The faults and tumults of the past
            Are no-one’s business.

            Exodus, in chapter 22
            Affirms the right to keep and bear,
            You exegeted,
            As the students laid their tributes.

            Peace within; security, prosperity –
            You raised the walls
            Of biblical antiquity,
            And mixed the concrete ready.

            What a time to be alive!
            A second Cyrus on the throne;
            A sound return,
            And justice, like you promised.

            When your warnings come for me
            I think upon these things.

            And I keep learning
            Quietly, in full submission
            To the Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic,
            As though everything depended on it.

            Carolyn Whitnall, 2018.

"For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account." Hebrews 4:12-13.

For those who missed the headlines, here's a few:

Meanwhile, some helpful (to me, at least) thoughts on that bit in 1 Timothy can be found in the latter part of this paper by N.T. Wright.

[Thumbnail image labelled for re-use from Mike Moore, Journal Gazette via AP.]