Wednesday, April 21, 2010

thanks, isaiah

The bathroom door opened and there stood my husband, Bible in hand.

"Isaiah Book 1, Chapter 4, Verse 6: And God commanded that a wife should leaveth the bathroom when her husband has need of it."

I left the bathroom when I was good and ready, commandment or not.

Last night marked the first in what I hope will become a weekly spiritual discussion with Stefan.  We are first tackling the Bible.  As I become attuned to my body's needs, I find myself pulled ever increasingly toward grappling with the heaviest of questions: wherefore the journey?  I come to the table bearing a host of isms: feminism, skepticism, Eckart Tolle-ism.

We dove right in to Matthew's genealogy of Jesus, and I fought the urge to skip down a few passages to avoid the long, crazy names.  But then we got to the goods: a description of Jesus' conception.  Hoo-boy, did that ever light a spark.  I have trouble seeing this virgin birth idea as something other than a 1st-century man's need to protect Mary's purity by offering the only solution that absolves her of any possible wrongdoing.  I am perfectly okay with Mary and Joseph having had sex before they were married.  I still buy Jesus as a descendant of God even with Joseph's biological involvement.  Stefan says that I am missing the point, and that it shouldn't make logical sense as it relies on faith.

I definitely need to keep reading.


  1. I have to point out that accepting the Bible based on "faith" is what led me from the Baptist religion to Unitarianism. I'm glad that you and Stefan are reading and discussing it together. I'm curious as to which version (therein lies a problem for me too as in, "I could jot down my own interpretation as well") you are reading. By the way, the UU church at the U. of Chicago is having a year-long Bible study. What an interesting discussion that should be!!

    We'll talk soon about visit possibilities.


  2. I wonder if the Providence UU church has anything like that; it does sound very interesting!

    We've been thinking about getting a Bible for discussions, so Stefan (as is his wont) researched long hours and decided that the New International Version made the most sense for us. He also bought the Gnostic gospels which I'm really looking forward to reading. Especially the gospel of Judas!

  3. I grew up on the King James' Bible and used it until I realized that it was exactly what it said--King James' version! Interesting how those gnostic gospels were omitted!

  4. P.S. Get on the mailing list for the Providence UU church. A small donation would cover their mailing cost to you.

  5. What an intersting study/ discussion to take on together. I'll look forward to more revelations along the way. Glad to have found your blog!

  6. May I recommend some reading? The Religion of Thinness, by Michelle Lelwica. She looks at a lot of body image issues from the perspective of a person of faith, or at least of a person in a culture largely dominated by western interpretations of Christianity. If I recall correctly, she even brings up the virgin birth, with many of the same thoughts as you.

    Having been through a Presbyterian seminary, perhaps I'm biased, but my version is the NRSV; the Green Bible is a good one too: Happy exploring!

  7. Wonderful, Kate! For the life of me, I don't know why I didn't ask for your recommendation in the first place! I'm looking these up right now...