“Make New Friends, But Keep The Old”

This old Girl Scout song has been on my mind today:

Make new friends, but keep the old; one is silver and the other gold.


The reason this came to mind is because we (finally!) got a copy of The Lutheran Study Bible from Concordia Publishing House. There has been much anticipation for this replacement for the Concordia Self-Study Bible for several reasons. First, it’s the ESV translation, which is helpful, because many of our LC-MS churches have switched over to the ESV for Sunday morning readings, Bible studies, etc. More importantly, this study Bible has all of the notes/supplementary materials done by Lutheran scholars. In the old study Bible, as far as I understand, we took another publisher’s notes, and clarified some to reflect a Lutheran perspective, but for the most part, the notes were not “Lutheran.”

So, I’ve very much been looking forward to getting this new Bible. And, having looked through it a few times, it’s going to be a great tool for Bible study. But I’m left feeling a little confused as to what happens to my old Bible. I received it as a gift from my parents in 1991 (let’s try not to dwell on the fact that my Bible is almost 20 years old!), and it served me well. It’s full of highlights, notes from Bible studies and retreats in high school, and, of even more value to me, notes from all my theology classes in college.

I guess it would defeat the purpose to re-copy all the notes from one Bible to another. And I wouldn’t ever get rid of the old Bible, even if only for sentimental reasons, not even considering all the scholarly ones. But I also realize that once I really start using the new Bible, I won’t go back and look at the old one that often, even though I know it has lots of good information, and all of my favorite verses marked.

I guess I need to just start making my new “friend” mine, by taking notes, marking, and highlighting. But I won’t ever get rid of my old “friend,” either, because it truly is gold to me!

old Bible

Making Memory Work too Hard

I have, now that we’re well over half done with our first year, one major beef with Sonlight. (And really, if that’s all the problems I have with it, I guess I’m pretty fortunate!).

The way memory work is set up drives me crazy.  Let’s put aside the fact that I’m very particular about Bible translations for a moment (read: I can’t stand translations such as The Living Bible, which is used quite frequently). The number one thing that makes me insane is the way they jump around from translation to translation…you know, if you’re going to go with an “easier” translation, then just stick with it.  Use it for all of all of the memory assignments.  Jumping from translation to translation (which is a *huge* pet peeve of mine in Bible studies for adults, as well), just smacks of trying to get the verse to say what you want it to say, instead of letting Scripture speak for itself.

I had already planned to use my ESV Bible (can’t wait for The Lutheran Study Bible to come out this fall, by the way–shameless CPH plug!) to write down our verse every week, so it’s not a huge deal to me that I can’t just copy it out of the teacher’s guide.  But, I have discovered that some of the verses just don’t make sense in the context they’re given outside of The Living Bible.  And this is where I see a major fault of that translation.  If that is the only translation out there where a half of a verse by itself makes sense, I don’t think it’s very good (or accurate).

I get that the good people at Sonlight are probably trying to find a child-friendly way to memorize Scripture, especially in the lower cores.  But, I think (actually, I know, from personal experience), that children are way smarter than we tend to give them credit for, and I also think consistency is crucial.  Have all the memory verses come from the same translation, so they become familiar with one translation. I may not like the one you choose, but at least I’ll respect you for being consistent!

So, I’ve had to substitute verses a few times, which may mean we overlap a few by the end of the year, but that’s OK, right? It’s not like you can learn a Bible verse too many times…

Lutheran Witless

While I was waiting for my older two children and husband to get out of Sunday school this last Sunday (read: I was trapped in the cry room with the younger two because they’re not old enough for Sunday school, and that hour with a bunch of different toys is a huge treat for them), I skimmed through the past two issues of our synodical publication, The Lutheran Witness.  After reading through the letters to the editor, I am totally convinced of the complete idiocy of some of the members of our church body.

Here is what I learned, in just those two issues.  Christians are responsible for the moral decline of America (primarily promiscuity and homosexuality) because they moved out of the cities and into suburbs, and because they pulled their children from public schools and enrolled them in parochial institutions (I bet that person would love the fact that we’re homeschooling!).  The ESV is a horrible translation, because one person doesn’t like the “way it sounds” in comparison to the NIV.  Oh, and some stick in the mud got all up in arms over what I guess was an advertisement (I didn’t get to see the original photo in context) with a picture of four older women in completely modest bathing suits at the beach (I hope that person at least isn’t a total hypocrite, and gets equally incensed upon seeing advertising in the secular realm featuring young women in skimpy bikinis!).

Here are my feelings on the above.  I’m grateful to live in the suburbs, because I can’t imagine being cramped in a crowded city with four small children, and having to deal with public transit to boot.  And I’m not so naive to think that bad morals don’t exist here, so I will assume that even if people hadn’t flocked to suburbia from the cities of America, the moral decay would still have occurred.  And, as a homeschooling parent, I am also grateful that I don’t have to send my children to public school (although I am grateful for the option, especially when it comes to Moose getting the extra help he needs from the school system), because they would not be adequately challenged in that environment, and they wouldn’t be learning about Jesus as much as they are now, which is, according to them, the best part of the school day.

I love the ESV, and in my somewhat limited understanding of such things, think it’s the best translation out there.  I can’t wait until the Concordia Study Bible finally comes out in that translation (can I just say that I think CPH totally dropped the ball on that one–they should have made sure their new Bible came out before, or at least with, the Crossway edition), and I’ll probably get the Crossway one in the meanwhile. And one of my pet peeves is people who pick and choose Bible translations based on what they think sounds pretty, or worse yet, which one says what they want it to say.  I’d rather stick with one good translation and use it for everything (which is why I’ve tweaked our weekly memory verses to all be ESV).

As for the bathing suit thing…I don’t know why the picture was in there, or if it was appropriate for the magazine or not. I do know for certain that I’d rather see modest pictures of women at any age genuinely enjoying themselves and their lives, than fake pictures of women who are trying too hard to impress, and who are dressed completely inappropriately and sending horrible messages about body image and sexuality to my daughters.