Pisseth and the Gospel
I said the word “piss” several times during a sermon a few weeks ago. Actually it was “pisseth,” but that’s close enough. The message was from 1 Samuel 25 where a rich, rude man named Nabal acts selfishly toward David and his followers by not giving them their deserved payment. David is upset about this and vows to go to Nabal’s plantation and kill everyone that “pisseth against the wall.”
My family considered the word “piss” a bad word, so my brother and I didn’t use it. We also weren’t allowed to watch The Golden Girls because of Blanche’s trampy antics or Cheers because it was set mostly in a bar. While the prohibition against watching those shows slowly faded, we still weren’t allowed to use that word or many of the other more colorful words. While I am thankful for my parents sheltering us from the majority of the unsavory stuff that we could have gotten involved with, it caused me to feel a little sheepish saying “pisseth” again and again.
I don’t guess I had to say “pisseth”; it is only found in the King James Version. I suppose I could have switched over to a different version of the Bible for this particular sermon. To be honest, I didn’t even consider doing so. I’m old school when it comes to both my Bible version of choice and when it comes to The Dukes of Hazzard. Johnny Knoxville is no Tom Wopat.
Yes, I know that people don’t use King James language when they speak or write. I think that this is one of the reasons that is resonates so much within me. There is a certain set-apart-ness about it that still draws my attention. If I read a magazine article and then read my Bible, I notice that there is a difference between the two on a surface level before even getting into the content of what is being read. I like this difference; I like that my copy of God’s Word is decidedly unique from everything else I read.
I think this helps me in terms on my theology. It is good for me to be continually reminded that God is altogether other; that he is distinct from everything else in existence and that there is none like him. This fact can be seen in a multitude of ways, but when I pick up my Bible and feast from its riches it is seen in a way that is very tangible as I hold the scriptures in my hands.
Some people bash those who use a Bible version different from the one they prefer. I think this is poor stewardship of their time and distracts from the main goal of lifting up Jesus. Aside from a few terribly inadequate versions, I believe that the best Bible version for a person is the one that he or she is actually going to read.
For me, though, the King James Version continues to be what I study and preach from. This may or may not change at some point in the future. And whether it changes or not doesn’t really matter.
What never needs to change is my certainty that God is highly exalted and my gratitude to for the provision of my adoption into his family through the power of the Gospel. Regardless of what version is used, the Bible is about the never-changing, life-giving Gospel. I pray that I will continue to drink deeply from its truth and help others make their way to the Fountain of Life that never runs dry.
What Bible version do you use?
How are you reminded of God’s glorious other-ness?