Tom Simard

Poetry, Music, and Prose

Archive for the category “The Bible”


For the wine aficionados among you, I’m not talking about the six-liter bottle but rather the man spoken of in Genesis.

Recently I was asked (as you are) if I really believed that Methuselah had lived to the ripe old age of 969.  Using the tried and trued method of answering a question with a question, the effectiveness of which should be evident to anyone who has read Jesus responding to the Pharisees, I asked, “What do you think?”

After being told, no, I responded by saying what I found difficult to believe was not his age but that he had been struck down by a taxi cab.

Translation (The When)

Wycliffe Bible (1380s)
“In tho daies Joon Baptist cam, and prechide in the desert of Judee,
and seide, Do ye penaunce, for the kyngdom of heuenes shal neiye.”

Tyndale Bible (1526)
“In those dayes Ihon the Baptyst came and preached in the wildernes of Iury
saynge; Repet the kyngdome of heue is at honde.”

King Jame Version (1611)
“In those daies came Iohn the Baptist, preachinng in the wilderness of Iudea,
and saying, Repent yee: for the kingdom of heauen is at hand.”

King James Version (1769)
“In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,
And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

Darby Bible (1892)
“Now in those days comes John the baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,
and saying, Repent, for the kingdom of the heavens has drawn nigh.”

New International Version (1984)
“In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the Desert of Judea
and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.”

The Literal Translation

Young’s Literal Translation is a translation of the Bible into English, published in 1862…The Literal Translation is unusual in that, as the name implies, it is a strictly literal translation of the original Hebrew and Greek texts.”

Here are the first few verses from Genesis:

“In the beginning of God’s preparing the heavens and the earth —
the earth hath existed waste and void, and darkness on the face of the deep, and the Spirit of God fluttering on the face of the waters,
and God saith, ‘Let light be;’ and light is.
And God seeth the light that it is good, and God separateth between the light and the darkness,
and God calleth to the light ‘Day,’ and to the darkness He hath called ‘Night;’ and there is an evening, and there is a morning — day one.”

The Cottonpatch Version

Most people are familiar with Harry Chapin’s haunting Cat’s in the Cradle  but you may be less familiar with his humanitarian side.

“In the mid-1970s, Chapin focused on his social activism, including raising money to combat hunger in the United States. His daughter Jen said: “‘He saw hunger and poverty as an insult to America.'”

You also may not know that his last music and lyrics was for a musical called, Cotton Patch Gospel, which was based on The Cottonpatch Version of Matthew and John by Clarence Jordan.  Do you know Habit for Humanity?  Jordan was instrumental in its founding.

It has taken a long way to get to where I was planning to go, but I hope no one has felt you’ve taken one of those dreadful detours.

Here’s an excerpt from the Gospel of Matthew.

“One day John the Baptizer showed up and started preaching in the rural areas of Georgia. “Reshape your lives,” he said “because God’s new order of the Spirit is confronting you. This is what the prophet Isaiah meant when he said,

‘A voice is shouting in the rurals:
Lay out the Lord’s highway
Straighten his roads.’ “

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