I have never been a Bible guy, there was always a Bible in the house, somewhere. I knew the big things, as chosen by modern media, Hollywood epics on Easter weekends. 10 Commandments, Jesus, the Lords Prayer. I guess you could call it the highlight reel but I have recently been seduced by a distant relative into reading more, and I confess she has shown me a new insight into The Bible, and The Anglican Church for that matter.
Some time ago, I had started reading the King James Version of the Bible, as a novel, from Genesis on. I soon wearied of the exercise, to many begats and bio’s. The whole thing could be much tightened up. I had been reading in an App on my phone, where I also have the Koran, but as I understand it, the fact that my version is in English makes it blasphemous so should probably spare myself any Wrath of God kind of thing and get rid of that.
so, fast forward…We needed to swear on a Bible with an attorney at the house to witness signatures, documents, etc..
Both volumes have a presentation book plate,
The Bible, King James Version, was published for The Society For Promoting Christian Knowledge and presented to Martha Allott, then a student at The Ripon Diocesan Training College in 1880, for achievements unrecorded. Martha received The Book Of Common Prayer in 1881, published for the same Society, from the same school, for the same or similar forgotten achievements. Martha Allott was my wife’s Great Grandmother, a resident of Yorkshire England.
Within the Book of Common Prayer I found The Calendar, with texts defined for Morning and Evening prayers, First and Second Lessons. These were meant to be delivered from the pulpit, and I assume acted as a guide for the clergy.
Now please remember that this may all be old news to you but for me it has been something of a revelation, These guys knew what they were doing with the selective stream of biblical texts, day after day, telling a story. I am beginning to view the Bible no longer as a novel, more of an anthology, or perhaps better, a collection of poetic fragments.
Before I drift off into Deep Space, Here is today’s Morning Prayer, First Lesson Proverbs III Verse 27 to Proverbs IV to Verse 20. Perhaps the first of an occasional series. We shall see.
Proverbs 3 King James Version
27 Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it.
28 Say not unto thy neighbour, Go, and come again, and to morrow I will give; when thou hast it by thee.
29 Devise not evil against thy neighbour, seeing he dwelleth securely by thee.
30 Strive not with a man without cause, if he have done thee no harm.
31 Envy thou not the oppressor, and choose none of his ways.
32 For the froward is abomination to the Lord: but his secret is with the righteous.
33 The curse of the Lord is in the house of the wicked: but he blesseth the habitation of the just.
34 Surely he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the lowly.
35 The wise shall inherit glory: but shame shall be the promotion of fools.
1 Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding.
2 For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law.
3 For I was my father’s son, tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother.
4 He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live.
5 Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth.
6 Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee.
7 Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.
8 Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her.
9 She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee.
10 Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings; and the years of thy life shall be many.
11 I have taught thee in the way of wisdom; I have led thee in right paths.
12 When thou goest, thy steps shall not be straitened; and when thou runnest, thou shalt not stumble.
13 Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go: keep her; for she is thy life.
14 Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men.
15 Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away.
16 For they eep not, except they have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away, unless they cause some to fall.
17 For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence.
18 But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.
19 The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.
20 My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings.