The Origins of the Bible, Part XXVII: The Liturgical Books of Lamentations and Esther

Column by Bishop John Shelby Spong on 16 July 2009 0 Comments
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Tad Evans, a retired Episcopal priest and the grandson of the well known and well remembered Walter Russell Bowie, sent the following verse that he attributes without certainty to English Bible scholar Michael Donald Goulder. One of my columns on "The Shady Ladies" of Matthew's genealogy inspired Tad to pass this along. I thought it too much fun to keep it to myself and so I run it today in place of the "Question and Answer" feature.

I hope you both enjoy it and that it sends you back to your Bibles to read Matthew 1:1-17 on which it is based and to check out his references to the Hebrew Scriptures.

– John Shelby Spong


Exceedingly odd is the means by which

God has directed our path to the heavenly shore.

Of the girls from whose line the true light was to shine,

There was one an adulteress, one was a whore.

There was Tamar who bore what we all should deplore:

A fine pair of twins to her father-in-law.

And Rahab, the harlot, her sins were as scarlet,

As red as the thread she hung from her door.

Yet alone of her nation she came to salvation,

And lived to be mother of Boaz of yore.

And he married Ruth, a Gentile uncouth,

In a manner quite counter to Biblical lore,

And from her there did spring blessed David, the king,

Who walked on his palace one morning and spied

The wife of Uriah from whom he did sire,

A baby who died, Oh and princes, a score.

And a mother, unmarried, it was, too, who carried,

God's son whom she laid in a cradle of straw,

That the moral might wait at the Heavenly Gate,

While sinners and publicans go in before,

Who have not earned their place, but received it by grace,

And have found them a righteousness, not of the law.




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