How Many Bibles

bibleA while ago I was in a local Christian bookstore. I found myself browsing the Bible section of the store. I was struck by the variety of bibles there were to choose from.
First off, there are the various translations. Biblica.com lists 16 different English translations of the Bible. King James, New King James, NIV, The Good News Bible, The Message, The New Living Translation, The New American Standard Bible, etc. Then within different translations there are different versions. The NIV has the Study Bible, the Life Application Bible, The Student Bible, Young Readers Bible… you get the picture. These various styles within the different translations have different notes, and study aids. Then you’ve got the Men’s devotional Bible, the Sports Devotional Bible, the Women’s devotional Bible. Wow. In China, the small, non-government-sanctioned churches that meet secretly in homes, share pages of bible with each other. They memorize the page, and then pass it on. Once upon a time, the bible only came in Latin. It was considered blasphemous to print a bible in the reader’s own language. It’s nice to be able to have one in your language with a style you can understand.
What I found a little crazy was the “celebrity” Bibles. There’s the New Spirit-Filled Life Daily Bible by Jack Hayford, The Everyday Life Bible: The Power of God’s Word for Everyday Living by Joyce Meyer, Hope for Today Bible by Joel Osteen, Tim LaHaye Prophecy Study Bible: King James Version, Holy Bible, Woman Thou Art Loosed Edition by TD Jakes, The Master’s Healing Presence Bible By Benny Hinn Ministries.
I had to chuckle. Would having Joel Osteen’s name on my Bible make me more cheerful? I would be leery about putting my name on a Bible. It seems like a lot of pressure to put on one’s self.
What’s next, the Barney, “I Love you, You Love Me” Bible?
If it get’s someone to buy it, I guess whatever works…

Those #@%^%** Cuss Words! Part 2

Body parts as “dirty” words puzzle me. Mores change in most cultures. Certain terminology that had been avoided in polite company is now heard in normal conversation. Some see this as moral decline while others see it as linguistic evolution. I probably fall somewhere in the middle.
Certain parts of our body have at least one euphemism that we tend not to use in mixed company. Some have more. Some of these words have other meanings when used in a different context.
Every square centimeter of our bodies is named and illustrated in anatomy books all over the world; even the “dirty” parts.
Generally speaking, the parts of the body that were given vulgar nicknames are the ones that have to do with sex, or waste elimination. There is one part that isn’t directly related to sex or elimination, but has an association with each. Which one do I mean? You’re probably sitting on it.
Nothing elicited more giggling than Judges 15:15, where Samson slew a thousand Philistines with the jawbone of an ass. Us kids thought that was great. We even started reading the Bible to look for more dirty words.
We could always get away with calling someone an ass.
“I meant the donkey one!” we’d shout.
I don’t know why using that word to describe one’s Gluteal region was deemed vulgar. Today we’ve softened on our stand against that word. We can talk about kicking ones ass (not the donkey) and not be viewed as too uncouth. On the other hand, if we add the word that, combined with ass, is another word for anus, we are considered to be swearing. We can say ass, but a**h*** is still kinda frowned upon in most of our society. “Butthead” doesn’t even get a second glance anymore. Although most of us instruct our children not to say that. I dare you to call someone an “anal orifice” at the top of your lungs and see what kind of looks you get.
Genitalia probably have more nicknames than you could shake a stick at. The penis for some reason was called the nickname of our 37th president. I don’t know why. Another name for it is another name for a rooster. Again, the Bible made us laugh. (Matthew 26:34 King James)
Now, some people get squirmy hearing even the official, anatomical name for the female counterpart. It’s my opinion that the “Big V” has the honor of having the most vulgar word assigned to it. (I never said I was immune from these cultural biases, just that I don’t understand them)
Testicles never seemed to reach swear word status, but we’ve still assigned them lots of nicknames.
The breast (female variety) has a lot of rude nicknames. For some reason, today the term “boobs” is acceptable, while when I was a kid it seemed to be on the same list as the “T Word”. A tit is a bird found in the Northern Hemisphere and Africa. We weren’t allowed to say it. I didn’t get that farmers always talked about teats, which were found on the corresponding location of their cows.

When I was a kid my mom never used the anatomical terms for our naughty  parts. We didn’t have penises or gluteus maximi, we had peepees, tushies, or hineys. Go ahead shout at the guy who cut you off on the onramp “You peepeehead!”  There, didn’t that feel good. “You tushface!”  I’m feeling better already.

I’m not trying to make a case for more swearing on TV, or for letting our children test out George Carlin’s “Seven Words” on their teachers. I just want to know how and why we chose which were the magic, wash-your-mouth-out-with-soap, bad words