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Monday, February 13, 2006

Song of Songs: The Most Beautiful Song

Claude Mariottini, professor of Old Testament, decries the fact that many Bible users are willing to read this book from the Hebrew Bible, but not listen to it sung. Are we afraid to be emotionally, spiritually, or passionately impacted by the Bible? Bibles should impact us as the original biblical texts were intended to do. And better translated Bibles will impact us more authentically than will Bibles translated into non-standard English wordings.


At Mon Feb 13, 10:51:00 AM, Blogger Ted Gossard said...

Am reading through Iain Provan's NIV Applicat Commentary on Song of Songs and finding it most interesting, and I think helpful/good. Could more or less reject his position yet find it helpful, I think.

If he's right, the TNIV is somewhat of an improvement over the NIV. "Beloved" instead of "beloved" and "lover" for same Hebrew word. And added captions are "she" and "he" rather than "beloved" and "lover".

At Mon Feb 13, 10:53:00 AM, Blogger Ted Gossard said...

His position I refer to is premise that there is a true love relationship going on between the woman and the shepherd. Opposed to Solomon's empty life of conquest of women sexually.

At Mon Feb 13, 10:34:00 PM, Blogger KAT said...

"Are we afraid to be emotionally, spiritually, or passionately impacted by the Bible?"

I think many of us (traditional bible readers, that is) could use a semester in a "Bible as Literature" course at a local university. Or perhaps, just hear what it has to say on a humanistic, dramatic, historical, and literary level. Without presumptions of dogma, theology, ecclessiastical experience, etc..

Even worse, some of us read the Bible on a piecemeal, verse by verse, prophetic basis -- As if it was some kind of divinistic text! As if it was the Judeo-Christian version of a crystal ball.

The Bible contains theology, dogma, and can speak prophetically, of course, but God is far more multidimensional than that. God is NOT "religious". And God is not only concerned about our religious or moral well being either. God's word is not a "religious" word -- God's word is a word for all facets of the human experience, religion included. And the less we assume about it, the more it can hit us in the ways it was intended to be heard.

At Tue Feb 14, 03:25:00 AM, Blogger David McKay said...

Have you seen the Rowan Atkinson/Maggie Smith film Keeping Mum? The Song of Songs is used very effectively in this film as a text that opens up a starchy minister [Atkinson, of course] to his and his wife's sexual needs.

At Tue Feb 14, 07:27:00 AM, Blogger lingamish said...


You make some good points! Do you have a blog?

Such a shame that Christians in America look to the Bible only for theology and rely on Cosmopolitan, etc. and the movies to inform them on the nature of sexual relationships.

Having said that, I'm not sure I would recommend SOS as some sort of marriage guide, but if it is approached like you have said and understood as a specific genre within a specific culture I think it is a rich and rewarding text.


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