Known

“O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.” Psalm 139.1-4

Jesus is willing to love you, knowing everything about you

Conversations with Death

Some old school music with a tad bit of Bible and history thrown in.

But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave: for he shall receive me. Selah. Psalm 49.15

“O Death, also known as O, Death, Oh Death and Conversations with Death, is a traditional American folk song. In 2004, the Journal of Folklore Research asserted that “O, Death” is Lloyd Chandler’s song “A Conversation with Death”, which Chandler performed in the 1920s while preaching in Appalachia.” – Wiki

Lyrics:

Oh death, oh death
Won’t you spare me over til another year

Well what is this that I can’t see With ice cold hands taking hold of me
Well I am death none can excel I’ll open the door to heaven or hell

Whoa death someone would pray Could you wait to call me til another day
The children pray the preacher preached Time and mercy is out of your reach

I’ll fix your feet til you can’t walk I’ll lock your jaw til you can’t talk
I’ll close your eyes so you can’t see This very hour come and go with me

In death I come to take the soul Leave the body and leave it cold
To drop the flesh off of the frame The earth and worms both have a claim

Oh death, oh death
Won’t you spare me over til another year

My mother came to my bed Place a cold towel upon my head
My head is warm my feet are cold Death is a movin upon my soul

Oh death how you’re treatin me You close my eyes so I can’t see
Well you’re hurtin my body you make me cold You run my life right out of my soul

Oh death please consider my age Please don’t take me at this stage
My wealth is all at your command If you’ll remove your icy hands

Oh the young the rich or poor All alike to me you know
No wealth no land no silver or gold Nothin satisfies my but your soul

Oh death, oh death
Won’t you spare me over til another year
Won’t you spare me over til another year
Won’t you spare me over til another year

 

“In The Midst Of Life We Are In Death” from Magill’s Quotations in Context
Context: According to The Order for the Burial of the Dead from The Book of Common Prayer, while the body is being made ready to be placed in the grave, there shall be said or sung, by those standing by, the anthem from which this quotation is taken. This anthem, retaining the medieval sense of awe and dread in the presence of death, acknowledges this sense as a judgment upon our sins from whose bitter pains we may be spared by the mercy of our Saviour and Judge. The anthem, one of the few survivals of the medieval spirit in the Prayer Book offices of the dead, is as follows:

Man, that is born of a woman, hath but a short time to live, and is full of misery. He cometh up, and is cut down, like a flower; he fleeth as it were a shadow, and never continueth in one stay.
In the midst of life we are in death; of whom may we seek for succour, but of thee, O Lord, who for our sins art justly displeased?
Yet, O Lord God most holy, O Lord most mighty, O holy and most merciful Saviour, deliver us not into the bitter pains of eternal death.
Thou knowest, Lord, the secrets of our hearts; shut not thy merciful ears to our prayer; but spare us, Lord most holy, O God most mighty, O holy and merciful Saviour, thou most worthy Judge eternal, suffer us not, at our last hour, for any pains of death, to fall from thee.

Lined-Out Hymnody from Southern Kentucky

(first blogged in 2010)

This is some moving, soul stirring music from the Southern States.  These hymns are similar to the Gaelic Psalms sung in Scotland and I’m sure there is a connection, not to mention it sounds similar to early Blues music before the electric guitar.

Have a listen.

They are offered as free downloads from the Old Regular Baptist [1] website.

Turn it up and be engulfed by the power of the human voice.

jm


[1] note, these brothers and sisters are Arminian in their theology

The Orthodox Study Bible

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OSB without dust jacket

This year, 2016, I decided to read the Orthodox Study Bible. Last year I tried reading the New Living Translation but found it difficult to read with reverence for my devotions and damn near impossible to use for study. I gave up the NLT after only a few weeks and went back to my Authorized King James Version. The Orthodox Study Bible (OSB) grabbed my attention years ago when it was published as the New Testament and Psalms, which was a little misleading, only the notes were from the Eastern Orthodox perspective while the translation was taken from the New King James. I decided to wait until the OSB was published with the Old and New Testaments, including the deuterocanonical or apocrypha. A few thoughts on the OSB will follow.

POSITIVES: What I like about this Bible

=> The Bible itself (without the dust jacket) is beautiful! I find the red cover with gold embossing quite fetching. The 10 point text size and 8 point note size allows for easy reading. Throughout the OSB you will find colour Icons depicting different stories or people found in scripture.

=> If you are interested in learning about Eastern Orthodoxy this Bible might be the way to go. The study notes were taken from the church fathers including Ambrose of Milan, Elias the Presbyter, Eusebius, John Cassian, Leo the Great, Vincent of Lerins, etc. Many of the notes point to the Nicene Creed, Canon of St. Andrew and the Akathist Service. The notes also point out when a passage of scripture is read during a church service. For example, Genesis 13.12-18 has a note that reads, “This passage is read during Monday Vespers in the fifth week of Great Lent.” Again, “This passage is read during the Feasts of the Holy Fathers.” Genesis 14.14-20

=> Another aspect of the OSB that I find fascinating is the emphasis on pointing out the Godhead, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, whenever even the slightest hint of the Trinity can be found in scripture. A note from Genesis 1.2 reads, “The Spirit of God is the Holy Spirit (BasilG; EphS). He proceeds from the Father, and is ‘the Lord and Giver of Life’ (Creed). Since He is Lord, He is coequal with the Father, and is His Coworker in making heaven and earth.” (The source abbreviations represent Basil the Great and Ephraim the Syrian.) Not only do you find a strong Trinitarian theology in the notes you also find a quiet/not so quiet denial of the Filioque. Bavinck refers to the Eastern Orthodox denial of Holy Spirit descending from the Father AND the Son (Filioque) as the last remnant of Subordinationism but I digress.

=> Throughout this Bible you’ll find theological notes that are helpful in understanding the Eastern Orthodox denominational opinion as well as a Lectionary, Morning and Evening Prayers.

=> It’s the Septuagint. I’ve wanted to read a translation of the LXX for some time, this Bible contains the complete LXX canon with the LXX ordering of the Books. I’ve included a list of Orthodox, Roman and Protestant canons below.

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NEGATIVES: What I dislike about this Bible

=> Thomas Nelson produces some of the worse quality Bibles on the market! The paper is ok but the binding is horrible. I will probably have this Bible rebound at the end of the year.

=> NO CROSS REFERENCES! I’m a cross reference fanatic. My favorite Bible is the Westminster Reference Bible from TBS because of his massive cross reference system. The OSB doesn’t offer any cross references unless you include the random references in the notes. It would have been cool to use a cross reference system that took one through the apocryphal works…

=> The theological notes are humanistic and man centered. If you are looking for great examples of eisegesis this Bible will supply you with many. Off the top of my head, notes on church government and authority seemed forced upon the scriptures rather than draw from the scriptures.

=> If you set out on a long journey in the wrong direct you will miss your destination. The Eastern Orthodox deny original sin. Some examples from the OSB, “Human nature remains inherently good after the fall…” and “after the fall the intellectual, desiring and incensive aspects of the soul are natural and therefore neutral.” For anyone considering conversion to Eastern Orthodoxy please take time to investigate original sin or radical corruption.

=> The ordering of the Old Testament is confusing. There doesn’t seem to be any reason for the ordering, it’s very random… I’ll get use to it in time.

=> I’ve discovered the LXX uses a mixture of translation philosophies including extreme literalism and paraphrasing. I can’t confirm this it’s just a detail I recall from my studies a few years ago.

=> When the OSB arrived from Amazon.ca the box had been opened and not secured shut again. At some point in its travels the dust jacket was ripped in half. That’s not a big deal really, the dust jacket had a creepy Icon representing Jesus Christ on it, I wasn’t going to use it anyway.

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FINAL THOUGHTS

The Orthodox Study Bible will be an interesting read but it will not take the place of my plain Jane AV with references. I look forward to reading some of the apocryphal works just for kicks and reading through the LXX Psalms. Would I recommend this Bible? Too early to say. Maybe I’ll do a followup review.

Yours in the Lord,

jm

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Westminster Reference Bible from TBS
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The Orthodox Study Bible
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The OSB and Westminster

PS: My wife and I are considering matching Bible with Sproul’s Reformation Bible ESV high on the list. Any other recommendations? Thanks

Commune With God

Psalm 4:4 “Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah.”

Psalm 63:6 “When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches.”

Psalm 16:7 “I will bless the Lord, who hath given me counsel: my reins also instruct me in the night seasons.”

Psalm 119:147 “I prevented the dawning of the morning, and cried: I hoped in thy word.”

MUSIC FRIDAY: The Psalms as Blues

re-Blog:

The Psalms as Blues

What do the “Devil’s music” and the Word of God have in common?

Lament. Both Robert Johnson and King David knew what it was like to suffer, to be tormented, both internally and externally. Did they take different paths to relieve their suffering? Of course. But one strategy they both used was to express their trials in song. Let’s look at parts of “Stones in My Passway” by Johnson (recording) and Psalm 13, written by David (full text).

Stones In My Passway
My enemies have betrayed me
Have overtaken poor Bob at last
My enemies have betrayed me
Have overtaken poor Bob at last
An’ here’s one thing certainly
They have stones all in my pass

Psalm 13
How long will my enemies triumph over me?
Look on me and answer, O Lord my God.
Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death;
my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,”
and my foes will rejoice when I fall.
The feeling we get from both of these texts is that of weakness in the face of enemies, and a sense of impending doom. They had different enemies of course, but they were similarly worn down by them, and they both acknowledged their inability to defeat their enemies. Let’s look at another section from each song:

Stones In My Passway…………………….Psalm 13
I got stones in my passway How long, oh Lord? Will you forget me forever?
And my road seems dark as night How long will you hide your face from me?
I have pains in my heart How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
They have taken my appetite and every day have sorrow in my heart?

The previous passages focused on external enemies, and these discuss the singers’ internal struggles. They each have sorrow/pain in their hearts, and they are both in darkness.

I think this comparison is interesting, especially considering the fact that blues music is seen as almost a polar opposite to what is referred to as sacred music.

Disclaimer: I know that there are many blues and many Psalms that are not like these. And I know that there are several more differences between these two songs than I described. I am simply pointing out the similarities.

 

O Sing to me of Heaven – Chilhowie Primitive Baptist Church

O Sing to me of Heaven (page 60 – New Baptist Songbook 2007)

O Sing to me of Heaven.
When I am called to die.
Sweet songs of holy ecstasy.
To waft my soul on high.

CHORUS:
There’ll be no sorrow there.
There’ll be no sorrow there.
In Heaven above where all his love.
There’ll be no sorrow there.

When cold and sluggish drops.
Roll off my marble *dying* brow.
Break forth in songs of joyfulness.
Let Heaven begin below.

When the last moments come.
O, watch *sooth* my dying face.
To catch the bright seraphic gleam.
Which o’er my features play.

Then to my raptured ear.
Let one sweet song be given;
Let music charm me last on earth,
And greet me first in Heaven.

Then round my senseless clay.
Assemble those I love,
And sing of Heaven, delightful Heaven,
My glorious home above.