SBL Books & FAIL book

So, for those of you that read my twitter and facebook statuses, you know I recently got into the Society of Biblical Literature's annual event in Boston by playing the "local clergy" card....which was fun.  Yes, I might have roped in Blake into the escapade, but I'm not saying either way.

Anywho, I got $200 worth of books for a bit over $100 (40-50% discount), which makes my continuing education fund happy as well.

Here's what I got:

To complement my recent bible spree (The Green Bible and the Bible Illuminated), I was looking at two bibles.  The first was The Peoples' Bible, which offered ethnic American perspectives as part of an NRSV study bible.  Let's do the John 3:16 test on both these bibles (I check out how commentaries treat John 3:16 to see if I can stand it).

The Peoples' Bible has the following note written by Miguel A. De La Torre, a professor at Iliff:
John 3:16 - God so loved the world--God's desire is that neither the earth nor its inhabitants should perish but rather they they may have life.  salvation means that humans have sufficient food and the earth is safeguarded from those who would commodify it for gain.  When the few monopolize the earth's resources so that the many cannot be sustained, the gift of salvation is nullified. 
Christians from industrialized Western nations have interpreted this verse as a call to evangelize the world; but impoverished peoples have responded by pointing out that the capitalist ethos has brought not life but death, as those nations have enriched themselves through extraction and exploitation.
Cool.  Great perspective, and I'm better from reading it from a less insular viewpoint.

On the other hand is what looked like an equally good contender is The Inclusive Bible.  I'm all about inclusive versions of Scripture.  Let's do the John 3:16 test. In this translation, it said something along the lines of "God send the Divine One" instead of "The Father sent his only Son."  A bit dodgy, but worked for me.

But alas, the shine was soon to fade from the latter and leave the former looking better.  While thumbing through the Inclusive Version, I remembered a scripture I was attempting to make inclusive, so I turned to the Beautiful Bridegroom section of Revelation (to the guy at the Sheed & Ward bookstore who didn't know his Scripture, it's Revelation 21...tsk tsk).
  • What would they choose?  Partners?  Beloved? 
  • Nope..."bride and groom."  
Apparently, gender inclusive does not "relationship inclusive" and that means they will make it unreadable to all kinds of couples, Massachusetts or otherwise.


So, I got the People's Bible instead.

I think I made the right choice, as the commentary is worth more than an inclusive bible that falls short.

What books are you reading lately, or are excited to read?
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blake November 24, 2008 at 7:23 AM  

i can't wait to have the jedi power of having the elusive r-e-v before my name!

it's a shame about the so-called "inclusive bible." i would be interested to see what "the people's bible" has to say about john 14:6 though. that's always an interesting one.

Rev. Jeremy Smith November 24, 2008 at 9:15 AM  

Someday, young grasshopper.

Unfortunately, no commentary on 14:6. The commentary boxes are about one every three pages, so it's sparse but great when you hit on a scripture they comment on.

Anonymous,  November 25, 2008 at 6:00 PM  

I wrote my university thesis using Wink's books as a basis.

an excellent read, and I look forward to reading your commentary about it!


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