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The Holy Bible: New Living Translation (NLT)

de Tyndale

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The Personal Gift and Reference Edition and Reference Edition are great-value gift Bibles in the New Living Translation-perfect for anyone who wants to grow in God's Word.The Personal Gift and Reference Edition has extensive features that make it perfect for church presentations and award programs. The Reference Edition beautifully presents the New Living Translation and includes the same features, plus full-color maps.Special Features: New Living Translation text 300 In-Text Application notes Dictionary/concordance Book introductions Cross-references Personality profiles In-text maps Words of Christ in red letter Presentation page Index of 52 favorite Bible stories 25 topical Bible studies Full color maps (Reference Edition only)… (més)
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This is a simple NLT Bible, no notes. I’m not a style critic, anymore than I’m a music or visual arts critic, but I have nothing against the New Living Translation. This was maybe the first translation I started to read in 2016 when I de-Wiccified (Yes That Is A Real Word, because I say so!). I don’t think words like evangelical really signified much at the time, but it is an evangelical translation. It’s relatively informal modern English, not formal modern English like the (evangelical) NIV or the (non-evangelical) NRSV, or the throwback NKJV, or the almost slang The Message Bible (both evangelical). But…. Whatever.

One thing I learned—first from Brian, who had some quote from his mom I forgot, and then from one of the technical histories of the Bible, which called it “over-interpretation”, is that you don’t have to agonize over the fact that you don’t know much about Jared, son of Mahalalel; you can read the legend about Jared in the OT apocrypha stories, and there must be musings of some church father somewhere based on the meaning of his name—neither really an evangelical route, if that matters to you, the evangelicals just turn him into a point on a graph, all science-like, about antediluvian longevity—but none of that is terribly important…. I do think some things you can’t prove are interesting, like ‘my’ idea that Abram lied about his sister partly because there was no formal law against lying yet, but I know that for the crabby conservative suggesting that there was something good about the law—it was just a trick God played on us to lower our self-esteem; obey the law, mortal! You can’t! Obey the law! (Fetch!)—well.


Eve cursed to become codependent: “…. And you will desire to control your husband/But he will rule over you.” Genesis 3:16b

And Noah was defs an alcoholic parent. (Comfort! Lols!) (“But he cursed out the right kid”)

Hopefully at some point I stop writing so much, or you guys are gonna be cursing Me out lol.

…. But if there’s no quorum, no meeting? —No quorum, no community.

…. And now, said the bard, I will tell you the story of Hairy-like-a-Goat, the hairy Goy, and his brother, who was the frontman of a klezmer band called Deceiver.

…. They are kinda all metaphors, Abraham Isaac and Jacob, re Jacob vs Laban: Mr Spaniard said…. But Mr Portuguese said…. “We are all pagans, because Moses is not yet come”, each in the language he invented.

…. I guess Joseph was more Aristotelian than Platonic, because he really wanted to see his full brother, his mother’s son.

…. Only the men may go and worship the LORD, said Pharaoh; he offered a ‘compromise’—abandon the vulnerable. But there is no nation without the vulnerable.

…. I don’t think that there’s anything inherently wrong with reading Christ symbolism into the Mosaic law; obviously as Christians we are reading symbolism and principles (eg don’t just rest in ignorance of the fact that you’re sinning, like a happy pig who doesn’t care—Because I am not a r—), into the law, and not prescribed actions or even the beginning of a specifically legal tradition. But if we take principles out of the law, surely one is that behavior matters, and sometimes all you can do is to perform the correct action, even if you could not possibly understand all of the symbols in and reasons for that action.

…. But Numbers, in general, is very tribal, very legalistic, and not of the quality of the rest of the Pentateuch. It’s like The Bible For Men. —What’s wrong with the rest of the Bible, men-wise? —Well, some guys want to sit in the very center of the circle.

…. Deuteronomy is strikingly conversational; it’s pretty…. Even some of the strict ancient prohibitions are okay, since usually when you give something away, you get it back, purified. Cf Kierkegaard, Christianity has brought sensuality into the world (by destroying it).

…. Joshua is kinda a pagan narrative. Eg Rahab the prostitute, (or the manager of a sleazy hotel), who works with the invaders because they represent a greater power. The whole thing is kinda a pagan monotheism—The One God as Power, and nothing else.

…. (Judges) Maybe acting “like the pagan neighbors” means attacking people and using them as slaves and mistreating them, not remembering “that you were slaves in Egypt”. After all, the other nations did believe in conquest and slavery. (I mean, it could have been Odysseus with the whole, Death to you, fat man! thing going on.)

…. There’s a lot in the Story of David the Rebel. David the Rebel, vs The Lawful Man, Nabal the Fool…. The king, Saul, was ill and resisted help; everything good seemed bad, and everything bad seemed good…. David spared his enemy (because he was Not A Christian, lol, or British/American), and Jonathan willingly placed friendship before power, which somehow made Saul angrier at him, anger at virtue. Women also loved David, although arguably he was closer with men. Women took risks for him, but always between men and women there was that veil of, “he wanted to kill me”…. It’s surprising, given what Christians are like, how routinely da Good Guys use divination. They don’t practice philosophy when they have a problem; they ask God a concrete question in a specific way and get an answer back; there’s a hint that they had to respect God’s agency, and good people have to do the right thing for the right reasons, but basically ‘mediums’ are persecuted because mediums are Bad/Foreign (TM), so…. Kill ‘em! Kill the foreigners in the name o’ Jesus—and anybody who gets in your way! And when we’re done, Jesus will meet everybody at the bar—drinks on Him!

…. David mistreated Michal because he thought he was the big gringo, you know. —So this is what I got dragged away from my husband I’d already been married to for? —Hey ditch: I’m the big hombre around here; don’t think I need you anymore! —So. That’s that. —Well, I’ve got other girls, you know!

…. In those days also the people shunned the Lord and his mumblecore movies, which would only gross $5,000 at the box office, and instead went to the pagan blockbusters that are marketed equally to crackers and foreigners who can’t understand English. This shit pisses God off, people. Sex sex sex, power and spectacle. Un-friggin’-real.

…. And Elijah had life-dealing from God, (the widow at Zarephath), and not just death-dealing. And a lot of guys think they’re Elijah if they can get a vote of 450-1 that the ‘to 1’ needs to get executed, you know. So, I don’t know, mate.

…. “And because (you have been greedy), you and your descendants will suffer…. forever.” (2 Kings 5)

Clearly “forever” is a little theatrical. (Masoretic Text: And the LORD removed the wheels of Pharaoh’s chariots, so that they were difficult to turn.) I don’t think God would turn away someone who wanted to be healed, as this same chapter implies. But there are inherited diseases and —family dysfunctions—, obviously I don’t know why, Why is there war, Why do girls get old, etc; but that’s the way this life is. Family sucks, sry. Hahaha.

But you should also expect good things (the Woman (Mother) of Shunem 2 Kings 4, the end of the famine siege 2 Kings 7). It’s a kicker, I tell ya. You torture yourself if you refuse to think that anything good can happen though.

…. They did a ritual with shooting an arrow and stamping on the ground back then.
—What, rituals? But, but! But, It Doesn’t Say That In The Bible!…. Oh, it happened in 2 Kings 13? Well…. Well, you’re just rude! And I have, da by-bull!
…. I guess I am kinda mean, yeah.

…. (The Chronicler’s Book of Names)

Obviously there is no philosophy in a list of names. The Fathers in their commentaries read passages like these imbued with poetic meaning, from the origins of the names, and that I guess is the way to get conceptual meaning out of a list of names, to provide information about each. (There’s also conceptual meaning in a song or poem, even though such a composition is largely emotional or emoting in nature.) But maybe the lists of names, the names of the ancestors, are simply meant to be read as a ritual action, you know. They’re the ancestors. These are their names. Get into your prayer zone, right.

…. “Yet I have done no wrong,
And my prayer is pure.”
Job 16:17

—NO ONE is justified before God, loser! The Bible says it, and I believe it, so fuck you!
—God is great; people are bad.
—I liked you when you had money, (because God!), but now you’re poor, and I don’t like you anymore (because God!).

And yet what Job’s friends say is usually quite epigrammatic and ‘biblical’, when they can keep their tempers, although I suppose anger is ‘biblical’ too! A lot of religious people Are just like Job’s friends, and that they can’t see themselves in them is only a sign of just how dishonest and self-deceptive they usually are. They don’t do the math problem, they just flip to the back of the answer book and copy the one-line solution, you know…. Basically, they let people leave the church so that they don’t have to teach Job honestly inside the church. That’s a huge factor…. I mean, Job’s friend’s “theology” isn’t so “wrong” or “different” than “God’s”, (which is I guess why the fourth friend who’s exactly like the other three had to be interpolated in, snipped in…. Hey people this is great stuff! Pay no attention to that God guy over there; we’ve got the village pope here! He’s Way above God!)—it’s just that God is honest and means what he says, and the proof text bullshitters love you as long as the money and the status keep flowing, so that’s what their words really mean, you know. But it’s not the words, usually. I guess at the end it kinda ends with a, And Stay Out!, but a lot of it is true for some people some of the time, they just don’t care, you know, because there’s no money in consoling this wrecked sailor, right.

…. Selected verses from the Psalms:

“End the evil of those who are wicked,
And defend the righteous.
For you look deep within the mind and heart,
O righteous God.” (Ps 7:9)

“Lord, you know the hopes of the helpless.
Surely you will hear their cries and comfort them.” (Ps 10:17)

“I called on the LORD, who is worthy of praise,
And he saved me from my enemies.” (Ps 18:3)

“Like lions they open their jaws against me,
Roaring and tearing into their prey.”
(Ps 22:13)

“Even if my father and mother abandon me,
The LORD will hold me close.”
(Ps 27:10)

“Let the godly sing for joy before the LORD;
It is fitting for the pure to praise him.”
(Ps 33:1)

“God is our refuge and strength,
Always ready to help in times of trouble.”
(Ps 46:1)

“I listen carefully to many proverbs
And solve riddles with inspiration from a harp.”
(Ps 49:4)

“Then at last everyone will say,
‘There truly is a reward for those who live for God;
surely there is a God who judges justly here on earth.’”
(Ps 58:11)

“Then I will sing praises to your name forever
As I fulfill my vows each day.”
(Ps 61:8)

“Father to the fatherless, defender of widows—
This is God, whose dwelling is holy.”
(Ps 68:5)

“[I said to myself, ‘]These fat cats have everything
Their hearts could ever wish for![‘]….
[But] [t]hen I went into your sanctuary, O God,
And I finally understood the destiny of the wicked.”
(Ps 73: 7, 17)

“I cry out to God; yes, I shout.
Oh, that God would listen to me!”
(Ps 77:1)

“What joy for those who can live in your house (O God),
Always singing your praises.”
(Ps 84:4)

“Protect me (O LORD), for I am devoted to you.
Save me, for I serve and trust you.
You are my God.”
(Ps 86:2)

“Teach us to realize the brevity of life,
So that we may grow in wisdom.”
(Ps 90:12)

“For there your ancestors tested and tried my patience,
Even though they saw everything I did.”
(Ps 95:9)

“The LORD has announced his victory
And has revealed his righteousness to every nation!”
(Ps 98:2)

“All this happened so they would follow his decrees
And obey his instructions.

Praise the LORD!”
(Ps 105:45)

“Those who are wise will take this to heart;
They will see in our history the faithful love of the LORD.”
(Ps 107:43)

“I believed in you, so I said,
‘I am deeply troubled, LORD.’”
(Ps 116:10)

“Keep me from lying to myself;
Give me the privilege of knowing your instructions.”
(Ps 119:29)

“I am your servant; deal with me in unfailing love,
And teach me your decrees.”
(Ps 119:124)

“I (the LORD) will bless this city and make it prosperous;
I will satisfy its poor with food.”
(Ps 132:15)

“Though the LORD is great, he cares for the humble,
But he keeps his distance from the proud.”
(Ps 138:6)

“(God) gives food to the wild animals
And feeds the young ravens when they cry.”
(Ps 147:9)

Favorite proverbs:

“For wisdom is more profitable than silver,
And her wages are better than gold.”
(Pro 3:14)

“They eat the food of wickedness
And drink the wine of violence!”
(Pro 4:17)

“My advice is wholesome.
There is nothing devious or crooked in it.”
(Pro 8:8)

“To learn, you must love discipline;
It is stupid to hate correction.”
(Pro 12:1)

“We can make our own plans,
but the LORD gives the right answer.”
(Pro 16:1)

“An inheritance obtained too early in life,
Is not a blessing in the end.”
(Pro 20:21)

“Don’t cheat your neighbor by moving the ancient boundary markers;
Don’t take the land of defenseless orphans.”
(Pro 23:10)

“It is better to live alone in the corner of an attic
Than with a quarrelsome [spouse] in a lovely home.”
(Pro 25:24)

“(The wife of noble character) goes to inspect a field and buys it;
With her earnings she plants s vineyard.”
(Pro 31:16)

Ecclesiastes/Song of Songs:
I think that Ecclesiastes is more balanced, in a way, than S of S. But I guess it’s to be expected that people aren’t balanced when they’re very young. You don’t see the truth when you’re young, the way that you do when you become an encrusted formalist who secretly despises what he claims to be inspired, etc. etc—etc!

…. Brian McLaren, Randy Alcorn, Isaiah—

To cut out the beautiful poetry and most of the length: God calls on people, on peoples, or a people, to render justice to people, and justice to the earth, and when they do, there will be miracles in the material world. But of course they don’t, so first there will be wars and such, political and physical disaster, because people hate the poor and destroy the land and use false religion. The victorious armies imagine that they are powerful like God, but in truth they are just unwitting instruments of his that do not understand his purposes or obey his law, and will receive their own judgment in time, just as they have accepted his blessings without gratitude.

…. Ezekiel etc:

I have nothing against psychology, but sometimes you don’t need elaborate personal/psychology/inner demons systems, when you can have talk of politics (like in the Republic, more popular now than the Timaeus), and of course a little personal purity talk. And in a way it is a consolation, amid the rubble, that we can say, Now we know, that you are the Lord.

…. Other prophets:

Obviously, if you should never get angry, then the prophets are wicked men. The Victorians and such, if they were honest, the Victorians would not like the prophets. (“I’ll protect you,” said Edward, offering her his umbrella.) It’s not that Jack doesn’t have talent—we all seem to have this weird sort of humanism, where we get pissed off that a talented writer can be blind to certain things or if even tech-y ages can have common foibles shared by essentially everyone…. Well, people make mistakes, bitches! —“But he was a philosopher!”—but it’s that Jack thing where he’s like, Girl, you have no animus, but I have SUCH an anima; I think that the most important part of the battle is wiping off the blood—that’s the climax!—like a girl keeping house…. Anyway, sometimes it is appropriate to be angry at excesses of injustice; the ‘acceptance’ is that you accept that you ARE angry! It’s not like, rushing into cursing them because THEY should not have made YOU angry; it’s very like spaced-out and royal, you know, a royal prophetic denunciation, that’s like what the prophets are. They’re not really weepy, you know. Although they do hit different notes, you know—it’s not a matter of guilting people once the problem is obvious and running away with the money when times are good, like an Indian-fighter country prophet, you know.

…. I just enjoyed reading Matthew in one sitting, and I plan on doing that for the other three gospels too. I was struck by the teaching on non-striving for wealth; it’s very common. It’s not that limitation is an end in itself, or that there’s a specific set of rules about wealth and poverty, but poverty can be very freeing, I find. You have money, you have to keep telling people the same lies you told before to get it, or you lose it. Poverty IS freedom in a certain sense, although anything can be good or bad, any word, which is why there’s no definitive rule. But to refer to the text, just to take a pair of the most obvious examples, out of the many obvious examples—Jesus just wouldn’t have been Jesus or sounded like Jesus if he had asked, Hey, what’s in it for me?—in the temptation of Christ, the devil’s all like, You know what you could be? You could be the Rich White Man! And God’s all, I don’t know—don’t they write books about greedy people now? And then later he starts doing his class, and he says, You know, I’ve decided that your problem, people, is not that you need lots of money. What’s good is a certain sort of poverty, right mourning, humility, hunger for justice & mercy & purity, and peace, and even being persecuted! And his editor said, Jesus, Jesus! The people want to be rich, Any sort of rich! They want to laugh, and be on top, and have that be okay, and get their revenge and their ‘needs met’, and a little victory in war and crushing foreigners never hurt the people in the good neighborhoods, right? It’ll never sell, Jesus! I’m sending you your manuscript back with my corrections in red!

I guess people contrast the teachings and the death sometimes, and I guess sometimes it makes sense, but (most outrageously at the end, of course), the teachings are the teachings of the prophet who gets knocked off, you know. He wouldn’t have given these teachings if he had needed to be comfortable, or even away from a painful death.

…. (Mark) I don’t know how many times I’ve read the wine/wine-skins thing, but it was a lot, and I never got until now that he was talking about *adaptation*. New circumstances call for new rules, which makes perfect sense really, both because the Jews always came up with new legal opinions, and even more for Jesus, certainly one of the cardinal points is that the church isn’t supposed to see the Bible as a rule-book or a set of, well, legal opinions and such. I don’t know how to say it, but, new wine-skins for new wine, new rules for new circumstances. But the legalistic blinders were so strong I just thought it was ‘Bible talk’, you know. And then you’re helpless. You think that the whole thing is just formalism formed to benefit old money corruption, in the very moment that it’s trying to lead you by the narrow gate.

Calling yourself ‘Legion’ (“for there are many of us” or whatever) sounds cute to our ears; reminds us of History Channel documentaries or Halloween or something, or Italian food or Oxford or something. But being occupied by the ‘legions’, hearing a demon call himself ‘Legion’ would be like today if a mentally ill person called himself ‘Gestapo’, ‘because I have many secrets’ (cf Secret State Police in German abbreviation).

‘Save Now’ (=Hosanna)—very Eckhart Tolle, you know. (clipped German accent) —Get ‘saved’, (subtly dramatic); Now!

How different the death of Jesus is from the death of Caesar, (far more different than Victorian schoolboys ever knew). Caesar died overreaching for extra power, trying to take it away from the inner-circle-not-quite-inner-circle that he wanted to push farther away from the center. Christ died for the outsiders at least as much as for the insiders, and died because his love was too pure and too giving, and people didn’t understand, and kinda thought he was just, either weird or, making them look bad, or both, somehow.

…. (Luke) A lot of “reasoning” with people is just kinda negotiating with the bramble bush—What, no grapes? But I like grapes; really it makes a lot of sense, you know, good sense, and it’s good business…. “No I don’t think so”—and back and forth, all on the surface, and never, But you COULD give me grapes if you wanted, right bramble bush? All you have to do is choose, from the power of your mind, the human computer….

I don’t know how to say it, but people are foolish. Most people never even examine themselves in the beginning, you know, and people putter and push and try to get them over the finish line….

—But who do you say that I am?
—You are the one I love.

—“I suppose that the one for whom he canceled a larger debt, loved him more.”
—And how we don’t want to hear that, though I don’t know why, though I haven’t wanted to hear it. How sinful we are, that we don’t want to be forgiven! It’s like we wallow in sin, hoping for merit!

—I would have given Jesus something vegan to eat, but that’s just me. 😂🥸

…. (Romans) Let me start by saying that Paul can be misleading, especially in the beginning where he tries to say that the pagans are capable of pleasing God because God has revealed himself in nature, just kidding they’re all notorious sinners I’ve heard and it’s their own fault although they can’t change. Lots of We All Share, and then, just kidding! You’re gay. I mean, you’re literally Gay. You’re a flaming homo!

Paul doesn’t really talk much about pagans though; he probably didn’t spend much time in the truly primitive world to understand it—although he did have some useful intuitions about it that people have sometimes abused and usually ignored. The more Europe got into Civilization & Colonization, the more civilization-ness became the moral form of my inherent superiority, and not like even what Paul said in Romans 1. But Paul did think a lot about the ‘civilized world’, which for him was the Jews and the near-Jewish Greeks, the God-fearing Gentiles, who he did understand more or less. (Although sometimes Paul goes all bell hooks where he labels and insults you in 17 different ways, and it’s like, bro! Move on!)

But anyway, although I’m not trying to marginalize literal Hanukkah people or support the annual War on Hanukkah—not explicitly rejecting the Jews is against my Faith, In Love!—I think literally translating Jew as Jew and Greek as Greek or Gentile, 100% of the time, gets you into this literalness and unhelpful historicity, time-bound Bible talk for intimidating book nerds, you know.

I mean, I do like Romans better than Acts, like a lot of people—they are somewhat similar, but Acts is kinda superficial and novelistic, and Romans more philosophical, with that pure yet meat-like mushroom product texture, you know…. But I think really people should consider translating Jew as insider and Greek as outsider, right. (You could always put the literal version in the footnotes.) Because really the main theological thrust is about opening to the outsider, without wronging the insider. For all Paul’s lawyer-ness, ultimately even the Law of the Insiders is not so complex, even if it is a mystery too. I don’t know. But you make it all historical and deny the universal or philosophical aspect, and whitey (the insider!) decides that it’s about confusing and intimidating people, while leaving your life the same as the outsiders, except for that you reject them.

Most of that would take a commentary or a theology book to unravel at all half fully, but I think that a less literal translation might help free us of encrusted ideas and from implying that Paul was in favor of us bullying people he never met, you know. But anyway.

And that’s all without getting into grace, right. Grace—when you REALLY want to impress your friends with your vocabulary. 🙋‍♂️😹

(I also think ‘circumcision’ should be in this hypothetical good English over good Greek translation be some variation of inclusion, or ritual inclusion.)

…. Of course, sometimes, often, really, the translation is perfectly fine, you know.

I’m an Aquarius so I don’t have Boring problems, you know, like other people—I don’t think I’ve ever had a problem with the word sin in itself, for the whole time I’ve been moving towards Christ, and maybe even before, although then I was very angry at the sins of ‘Christians’. But I realize I still don’t think much of the word grace; I guess I don’t know to what it refers. I know what sin is, to some extent, at least. (In the end, everything is a mystery.) But although I guess theoretically I must have experienced grace in this lifetime, I don’t know, even in this ordinary way, what ‘grace’ is, although I know that grace is not what the church likes to imply it is—being puffed up, pride, intimidation, violence, various forms of compulsion. But I guess that the idea must be Life, Real Life, which we can only experience as a gift, even if it comes with some responsibilities. And since I do experience life now as something that’s not habitually a problem, I guess I can say that I’ve experienced Life, you know.

…. (1/2 Corinthians) Of course, Paul is not the LORD, as he himself explicitly says more than once I think, so I don’t know if every line is as good as every other line, but apart from a little flirting with (short-haired!) legalism (Mary of Bethany: I want to study with Jesus! —“Your long hair is your glory, girlfriend!”), I would say that in general Paul among his friends is very intimate and passionate and pure; it is almost unfortunate that we better remember Paul the Bookish (Romans) or Paul the Angry (Galatians), than Intimate Paul (Corinthians). Sometimes we are almost different people among our friends, you know.

But I don’t pretend to understand it. I don’t pretend to know what love is. I know that around the same time we talk of the necessary body, of foolishness knowledge, of rules and advice for not running off with the neighbor’s cat, you know, and we talk about disputes and betrayal…. And we also talk about love. And how I love you all, you know.

…. (Galatians)
—“And let the angry man be cursed” said the man angrily.
—Ah, but that was before I started thanking people.

I get angry too. I do better with neglect, and even a certain amount of secular-ritual time wasting, than real active disrespect lecturing time wasting; it’s hard to explain. (The latter two bleed into each other, so even though I have a certain tolerance built up to not getting my way, at a certain point it’s like, “I want you to be sick; I don’t want you to have support or recovery”—“Fine, then I’ll be sick! That’ll show you, fucker!” Although I hide that. It’s my hidden protest.) But people will be like…. I mean, they try to limit the boundaries of your universe to the limits of theirs, nothing but dust cleaning good and bananas bad, or whatever the fuck it is, nothing in their world but a wall and the stolen centuries, you know, and lecturing—why can’t your consciousness be as false as mine? You LOOK white, now really BE white, be an empty wall inside, you know. The ultimate revenge.

Then again, I almost got through the day long birthday party without feeling even irritation until five minutes before I went to bed, you know. (Can I use your bathroom? Say that’s nice of you, Ted. Let’s bond; let’s be friends. Let’s be well-wishers!)

I don’t know. I guess you have to let yourself feel the anger, have the honesty of that, but not become identified with it, like there’s nothing else inside….

I’m not usually the person to act out publicly, but I do still get angry if something surprises me, you know, sometimes.

…. There are still some times when I can have boundaries in a way respectful both to the other person and to myself.

…. (Ephesians)
It’s a nice balance of the pretty words, the cute writing, and the simple writing, the do this do that. The ‘practical’ part is psychological (unlike the prophets or Revelation), and so deal more with remaining pure in an impure world, than more political topics. I guess the first half is like a bit of cosmic history, though. I don’t know.

…. (Philippians)
It’s very mature, although not at all stilted, you know. The main theme is joy and peace in whatever place, and not so much the anger that was there before; although maybe you need both, for there is both joy and anger here, you know—all passion, mostly contented. I notice myself that whenever I have a big anger one day, I am not fully my normal sleepy self for days; at first I am calm again, but then I fall into fear or anger or even rejoicing, and it is not as it was before.

…. (Colossians)
It would be easy to do this wrong, you know.

On the one hand, we have the long paragraphs of forbidden things—not least of them legalism!—whether of the soul or of the body, and he does not seem to understand the difference between ‘you NEED not’, and, ‘you MUST not’, you know. “You don’t need to—so don’t do it, dammit!” Which is pretty rich coming from an anti-legalist, right!

But we don’t know how Paul would be, if he weren’t wearing the mask of a settler or an imperialist, you know. “Paul doesn’t want you to be a Greek, a Jew, a Chinese, or an individualist! Just be an American, folks; it’s the only way! Praise the Lord, and get with the program!” Maybe there is a line of thought from Colossians to that, but there are obviously also several critically neglected lines of thought in the life of the church from Colossians to something else, you know. Maybe if Paul wore a different mask, the poem/hymn and the mystery of God’s identity, and the sisterhood of man, would have claimed the great dignity of place, you know.

Maybe if we had criticized people it would have been like, They do not see, do they, how good it all is.

…. (1/2 Thessalonians)

It’s a pretty good take on everyday faith and non-ordinary reality. There is a relationship between the two which it is of course easy to fumble. On the one hand, seeing cosmic truth can reinforce the desire to live soberly, and truth is a benefit itself. But then, it is probably foolish to have too great a desire to see the events of heavenly history, you know. There’s always a lot of scumminess to resolve, right.

…. (1 Timothy)

—I was scribing out a pastoral letters, (yawn), but I fell asleep.
—(paranoid) I heard once a weirdo say a weird thing, so I used DragonTouch on him, crisped him.

(2 Timothy)

I mean, it would be easy to lay into him, right. ‘People are always into philosophy and hate the personal, UNLESS they’re into “myths” and hate “wisdom”, you know. Gosh! People! Can’t live with ‘em, can’t kill ‘em all off at once.”

But it is a rather nice letter. God equips us for good works with his books, trains us to strength and discipline, and tests us on the wicked day.

But the Normie Christians, you know. “(Insert any slander about Greeks, Jews, Catholics, and literally any other group)! Proof-texted! That means I’m the master—I’m the master now!” 🧌

But you know what they say— It’s all been done. (Woo hoo hoo.) It’s all been done. (Woo hoo hoo.) It’s all been dooooone, be-fore!”


See 1 Timothy

—(Jewish man accent) Timothy, come here. Timothy. Timothy! Timothy, come here! Oh, you’re Titus? So. So, you’re Titus! I can’t keep you boys straight. And besides, I feel myself getting a little cranky; it must be almost time for my nap.

…. (Reading Paul book by book vs in books of biblical readings, and other things)

The thing is, you read Paul three verses at a time, he sounds like a crazy cool cosmic poet, and you read him five chapters at a time you’ll like, What’s the matter with this cranky legalist, right?

And then with Paul there’s always the question of what’s there versus what we expect to find there—

And also church leaders can’t be artists. You’ll “enjoy” throwing large dinner parties, dammit, and with boring people, praise God! And your mule of a wife will be glad to do all the cooking and cleaning so you can be the star of the night. Maybe you can talk about crime and punishment, and wrongful mercy, you know.

But the thing the chauvinist of the first century wouldn’t have had anything to gain by switching ships, you know. They could have gotten that crap by staying pagan. But then, you read Camoens or something, or the lies, I mean, the news, and it’s like, Maybe they did stay pagan.

But anyway.

…. (Philemon)

There are political teachings in the Bible, although there are more personal ones as well, obviously. I think the Philemon letter deals with this personal dispute (disorderliness) as well as can be (I’ll pay the bill, put it on me—not, make Onesmius beg, and then put him in jail anyway, like a patriotic American Christian) without being able to confront at that moment the political dragon that underlay the situation (slavery). I’m sure some people on both sides have considered it an apologist’s take on slavery. I just think that sometimes we are individuals and sometimes we cannot abolish things ourselves, you know.

Of course, the abuse of that is this character in a Shakespeare play, the cultural Christian Henry V, who at one point says to these guys accused of undermining this authority (while he’s busy getting ready to undermine the King of France’s ability to continue to exist)—you know, they’re like Blah blah blah mercy man! I screwed up!, and he’s like, Well of course if it were Easy, if it were just me and you, I’d forgive you, (like any loyal alcoholic villager in the Christian realm of England forgives people—at least during his blackout-drinking episodes), but, you know: Can’t run a kingdom on this Jesus Christ mercy bullshit! The board of directors want to see growth before the next fiscal quarter is over, y’know?

Justifying THAT is not the point of the Philemon letter.

…. (Hebrews)

I was distracted by the evangelical (dross) gloss that “the letter may have been written to inferior maggot banksters”. They actually did use that word, “inferior”—like, yo’mamma’s religion ain’t nuttin’ compared to my daddy’s religion. My daddy’s religion is superior in every way! He’s white, *even on the inside*. —*schoolyard kids* Whoa!!

It’s like, Don’t you have shame? The Holocaust wasn’t bad enough for you? Schoolyard bully Churchianity really must be the faith of God, you know.

1: Gandhi said that God doesn’t have a religion.
2: My Bible says he was born a Jew two thousand years ago.
3: Really? Is God in Hell now, then? Wow, imagine having to send God to Hell! That would take balls! You’d have to be a, RealMan!
4: Like Pinocchio?
3: No, he was a real BOY, dammit, a BOY!
4: Let’s not get racial, now.

…. Anyway, I feel like I’ve already expended the space I’d devote to Hebrews, but I’ll just say that the problem is not with the text itself. Jesus is the center of our faith as Christians, but that does not mean that he came to punish people who wear kippahs, you know. (They got that skullcap style going on!) The war is not with the past. You’d think that conservatives might get that, but then you’d think that conservatives were conservationists or something. You’d think they were conserving something, maybe for other people, you know. Ah, golly Molly.


James is kewl Mommy.

James actually implies the prayer of quiet (‘the tongue is a restless evil’), as well as famously talking about right action and actually also right human relationship (if you save a sibling from sinning).

Carly would say that the God without a shadow is too inhuman and that we can’t know him, and I guess I’ve struggled with that old white Baptist hymn that takes a line from James that they unconsciously want to have mean that they’re only good, whereas I guess even God has a “conflict of duties” which makes him look bad, you know.

But maybe that’s where the poor/rich thing comes in, the relative light of wealth and the hidden shadow of injustice, which should be combined by the poor rejoicing for the coming mercy on them, and the rich becoming sorrowful because of this age, you know.

And then maybe, when it’s combined, it is all light—God being only light, yet not partial.

(1/2 Peter)

A lot of Bible books are technically literally pseudonymous, many of the longer ones especially being compilations of collective anonymous authorship, but I think Peter’s letters really were written by Peter; if you had been just playing the angles—“well Peter’s gotta have something”, then probably there would have been a canonical Gospel of Peter, and not a gospel of Peter’s cousin’s friend, you know…. The New Testament in general is more individual than what precedes it, (since it’s basically the product of one generation, or at least one generation is central to it), although this can be and probably has been overstated either explicitly or implicitly—ie people assume that there’s this book I read, and then there’s me, and that’s it, you know.

(1/2/3 John)

“(Avoid) craving for…. Achievements and possessions.”

I started rereading this popular psychiatry book, and I’m starting to think I might be often in a state of subtle grandiosity from a sort of hypomania, even if I’m not full on delusional like I was when I was a dreamer (sorry Carly, but I mean—the dreams I had!). Sometimes I am at peace and it’s good, although somehow I am not at ease in that state. I feel like I’m getting better at reducing isolation. I don’t desire possessions. But my odd little achievements, even if no one notices—I know, it’s so odd—but unlike just odd, which can be nice, it’s the world sticking to my fingers as I go through life, and I want it not to be like that.


I remember when I was reading dad’s book, the Bible, and it just seemed like this fucker Jude was making fun of me or whatever!

In truth, Jude doesn’t tell us to persecute others or place ourselves above other people. In fact, it says the opposite. And God preserve us from taking other people’s inventories, unless we really feel that we and those other people are the same.


I don’t think it’s as mysterious as people say, unless you try to force it through ‘the entire Bible is apolitical’, although certainly some of the details have different levels to them, since it’s highly imaginative. But I’ll just talk about the churches.

Somehow I had gotten this folk Christianity notion that the churches in Revelation were all bad, you know, because if you’re not a real man you’re a sinner and nobody’s really a real man; that’s the idea below the surface. Certainly sometimes we think of sin as being sexuality, but only two of the churches that I see (Pergamum, Thyatira), have physical sin as an issue (sex, food), and neither is the first or last group mentioned, you know. (Attention! This is the first one! Ok, dramatics! Here’s the epic conclusion!)

The rest of the churches seem either too cautious—which sounds great if it’s “you’re not a real man, you’re a sinner”, but non-sex sinners are often cautious, not least conservative legalists, many of whom lose the love they had at first. So Ephesus, Laodicea and Sardis were overly cautious, nominal, and/or had lost their love. And Philadelphia and Smyrna were faithful *despite poverty and opposition*, an interesting little factoid for the whole King Solomon’s Temple Prayer for The Christian Nation of America thing, you know, because it’s for the rich and the people crushing, not the people being crushed because they’re not into comfort sin, you know—and don’t forget, “obey your parents” is the First Commandment. (“When I Was Puerto Rican”, lol.) Or was it, Be A Real Man?

I know it wasn’t about the Empire being vanity and sin! 😸

…. “And they did not repent of their murders or their (religious sin) or their sexual immorality or their thefts.”

Lovers—they will come and they will go
When the rain washes you clean you’ll know

…. 😀🫢

It’s a song! What a beautiful song! It’s a song without music!

…. Wow, that was great! For all the effect we let it have on our comfort-seeking, cruel, and anti-imaginative way of living, lol. I guess that that’s why there are catastrophes!

Paul Pastor: *sneering, mocking* And to hell with all visions and weird things—I just need The Bible!
Hermes Child: *tugging at pant-leg* Daddy, the leprechauns in my dream are becoming violent. They’re hurting me.
Paul Pastor: Shut up kid; I’m preaching the gospel here.
  goosecap | Dec 3, 2022 |
I did a one year project blogging the Bible ( )
  eri_kars | Jul 10, 2022 |
The Holy Bible, New Living Translation provides a wonderful balance of readability and authority. It is easy to understand, poetically beautiful, powerful, and emotive. At the same time, due to the careful work of ninety leading Bible scholars, it is accurate to the original Greek and Hebrew text. The New Living Translation makes the Bible accessible, useful, and enjoyable for every situation. The easy-to-read, clear text is perfect for comparative study of difficult passages.
  Rawderson_Rangel | Mar 21, 2022 |
Logos Library
  birdsnare | May 16, 2019 |
My main physical copy is NLT. I also have an eBook version on my nook for leaving behind comments, which is AKJV. Further, I use the Bible Gateway app, which provides tonsod translations and more (which I generally also use to keep track of favorite verses). I doubt a review of its contents is necessary from me or anyone else. However, I’ve never read it strictly from beginning to end, but more piecemeal. ( )
  Michael_Rose | Mar 31, 2018 |
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The Personal Gift and Reference Edition and Reference Edition are great-value gift Bibles in the New Living Translation-perfect for anyone who wants to grow in God's Word.The Personal Gift and Reference Edition has extensive features that make it perfect for church presentations and award programs. The Reference Edition beautifully presents the New Living Translation and includes the same features, plus full-color maps.Special Features: New Living Translation text 300 In-Text Application notes Dictionary/concordance Book introductions Cross-references Personality profiles In-text maps Words of Christ in red letter Presentation page Index of 52 favorite Bible stories 25 topical Bible studies Full color maps (Reference Edition only)

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