Monday, December 18, 2006

Religion: (About) 100 Words on Disciple IV – The Whole of Psalms

November was a tough month. I missed four weeks of Disciple IV, vainly hoping that I would miss the remaining chapters of the Old Testament devoted to Psalms. Not that I have anything against the Psalms or the Psalmist; I am just tired of the Old Testament.

Scholars suspect that it is unlikely that King David wrote any of the Psalms. that in itself sould not affect the status of this book, only illuminate the fact that even the authorship of Holy Scripture is a Myth like its subject matter is. This is not the point. Marcus J. Borg, in his insightful book, Reading the Bible Again For the First Time: Taking the Bible Seriously But Not Literally, considers the "Christian Myth." This is "Myth" inthe academic sense. Borg reasons that a story does not have to have happened or even been likely to happen in order to convey truth. this was the purpose of the Roman and Greek myths and, indeed, the Judeo-Christian myth.

Scripture is allagorical, not actual. Only superstition can justify the literal interpretation of scripture. Does this mean the Scripture is useless? Of course not. But to have Scripture meet all of the potential intended by God, one has to unite his or her two brain cells (including the diseased one) and accept the fact that Scripture is not literal and thinking so is the theological equivilant of Ludditeism.

What does any of this have to do with Psalms? Everything. The Psalms are first songs, literary affectations composed for the worship of God. Because they are songs, they are art of the highest order.

© Copyright, C. Michael Bailey, 2006