Saturday, June 26

Important News on the Thrift Shop Front

Yes, yesterday I made another trip to the Salvation Army Thrift Shop, the source of all good things, and I'm going to tell you about my latest find. Besides the pair of shorts for my youngest son, and a couple of plates and some coffee cups, I got this:

The Cotton Patch Version of Paul's Epistles, by Clarence Jordon.

The blurb on the cover reads like this:
A colloquial modern translation with a Southern accent, vigorous and fervent for the gospel, unsparing in earthiness, rich in humor.
I'd heard of this "version" before, but thought it was a joke. I guess it isn't. Well it is a joke, but it's a REAL joke, and sometimes an offensive one. It was done in 1968, and is very politically incorrect, at least by the standards of today. It's also pretty free with the word of God.

Philippians, for instance, is titled, The Letter to the Alabaster African Church, Smithville, Alabama. Here's an excerpt from Philippians 2:12, 13:
So then, my loved ones, just as you've always been obedient, not only when I was with you but especially now that I'm absent, I urge you to carry on with your emancipation with a deep sense of reverence and responsibility. For it is God who gives you the energy both to will and to work in his behalf.
This is really not all that bad, although I'm not sure that emancipation is all that's involved in salvation. It's probably is not a good word choice, and there are other things I'd quibble with, too.

Here's an example of where it gets offensive. Christ's death on the cross is called his lynching, and the cross is called a noose. Here's a bit from A Letter to the Christians in Atlanta, or 1 Corinthians 1:
I'm saying this, my brothers, because some friends of Clara's reported to me that there were factions springing up among you. To be specific, various ones of you are saying, "I'm on Paul's side," "I'm on Oliver's side," "I'm on Rock's side," "I'm on Jesus' side." Tell me this, since when did Christ get so split up? And was Paul lynched for you?.....The fact is, Christ didn't appoint me merely to initiate converts, but to tell the great story, simply and without display of learning, lest the noose of Christ become something to be toyed with.
I find that last line interesting. Isn't changing the cross of Christ into a noose toying with the cross?

Perhaps it's best that the book is rare and out of print. But I'm really glad I've got a copy....