high” (Hebrews 1;3), for the suggestionrnthat the right hand is a place of honorrnmight upset left-handed people (thisrnleft-handed editor, until his eonsciousnessrnwas raised, was not upset; in fact, hernis not upset even now, no doubt an indicationrnthat he is so insensitive that herncannot even recognize derogatory insinuationsrnthat apply direetlv to him).rn”Darkness” must also be eliminated, forrnit might be offensive to dark-skinnedrnpeople. (Will this rehabilitate the termrn”darkies,” which up until now has beenrnconsidered a bit condescending, to designaternAfrican-Americans?) What is lost,rnof course, is the love of the personal God,rnespeciallv as it is expressed in the mysteryrnof divine election: “Jacob have I lovedrnbut Esau have I hated” (Malachi 1:2f,rncited b- Paul in Romans 9:13).rnAccording to Kraus, the editors soughtrnto produce “a version of the biblical textrnthat will enlarge the reader’s vision of therngreat human community.” Perhaps itrndocs so, but the purpose and power ofrnthe Bible as actually written is “to makernthee wise unto salvation” (II Timothyrn3:15). The Gospel, according to Paul, “isrnthe power of God unto salvation, to everyrnone who believes, to the Jew first, andrnalso to the Greek” (Romans 1:16). Paulrnwas referring to the Gospel as proclaimedrnand taught by Jesus and His disciples,rnnot to the twisted texts producedrnby Oxford. It is interesting to observernthat although earlier heretics such as thernGnostics of the second century couldrnhave derived considerable benefit byrnchanging only a few words in John’srnGospel, they did not do so: they gaverntheir own interpretation to the words asrnthey stood, but did not change them tornsuit themselves. Perhaps they had toornmuch reverence for the actual texts, orrnperhaps they knew that too many peoplernknew the texts too well to permit distortingrnalternations to get by.rnOxford University Press and its editorsrncannot escape the charge of intellectualrndishonesty. To “translate” a text so thatrnit savs what you want it to say, not whatrnthe authors wrote and meant, is dishonestrnand intellectually irresponsible. Thernlate Paul Tillich, certainly no fundamentalist,rnwarned about making verbal orrnconceptual idols to suit individual tastes.rnTo change the words of Jesus and callrnGod bv names of one’s own choosing,rnnames evocative of things specificallyrnprohibited in Scripture such as goddessrnworship, is blasphemous. It is dangerousrnto forget that—at least in the words ofrnthe Bible as hitherto known—”God willrnnot hold him guiltless who taketh hisrnname in vain” (Exodus 20:7).rn—Harold O.j. BrownrnOBITER DICTA: Look for Chroniclesrnat the following stores in Georgia:rnBorders Bookstore, 3637 PeaehtreernRd., Atlanta; Oxford Book Store, 2343rnPeaehtree Rd., N.E., Atlanta; MediarnPlay, Barrett PL, Suite 100, Kennesaw:rnMedia Play, 1317 Johnson Ferry Rd.,rnMarietta; Media Play, North Pointe Market,rnAlpharetta; Media Play, VenturernPoint, Duluth; Media Play, PerimeterrnSq., Dunwoody; Media Play, LargornPlaza, Savannah; Media Play, HeritagernPavilion, Smyrna; Barnette News Stand,rn145 Gollege Ave., Athens.rnAmong the Home Folksrn(Matthew 13:53-58)rnby Harold McCuidyrnPower surged through him, unexampled power:rnThe halt began to dance, the blind to see;rnThe madmen in their chains, the storms that towerrnOver black waves, grew calm in Galilee;rnLegions of demons fled and left men free.rnThe hungry were fed, the thirsty drank from fountainsrnNever opened before. Out of the pressrnHe slipped away at times into the mountainsrnTo pray alone and in the wildernessrnDraw fresh reserves to cope with human distress.rnThey were astonished at him. Jairus’s daughterrnRose at his touch from death. His disciples saw,rnAnd trembled to see, their Master walking on waterrnTo rescue them. The synagogues in awernHeard him expound the knottier points of the Law.rnThey were astonished, yes, but not all shakenrnTo the hard footings of their cautious lives.rnMost looked askance at him, would not be takenrnIn by his wonders. Peering out of their hivesrnLike hornets at bay, they whetted their little knives.rn”Who is this miracle-worker, this more than Moses?rnIsn’t he Mary’s son who made ox-yokes?rnBrother to Simon and James and Judas and Joses?rnHis sisters, aren’t they our neighbors, just plain folks?”rnThey elbowed out of the synagogue cracking jokes.rnHe sighed, and observed that power can be resisted,rnThat unfaith too has power, and waits in placern(Skeptical, cramped, hypocritical, twisted)rnTo stop up any conduit of God’s grace.rn—^And from his kinsmen, sadly, he turned his face.rnJANUARY 1996/7rnrnrn