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January 2011

To leave and cleave

It’s no accident that the key verbs of Genesis 2:24 rhyme.  The King James translation was written to be read aloud.  They would have been glad to find a rhyme that so naturally arises from the Hebrew.  And certainly preachers for the last four centuries have enjoyed the fact that their sermons on marriage can […]

Bone of my bones

It was not good for the man to be alone.  The beauty of the garden, its endless delights, the challenges of work and exploration weren’t enough for Adam.  And swans, dolphins, baboons, wombats, poodles – none of them solved this ‘aloneness’ either. Creation in and of itself is not a suitable counterpart for Adam.  It’s […]

Spare Rib

Genesis 2:18-25 Spare Rib was a feminist magazine launched in 1972.  Its title was a defiant play on the account of Eve’s creation in Genesis 2.   Woman is far more than a spare rib, was the message. But the bible would agree.  Eve’s origins are far more exalted than Adam’s.  He came from dirt!  She […]


Let’s think about two modern sayings where ‘Adam’ features. We say “as old as Adam” when we mean ancient.  And, at least whenever I use it, it has the connotation of intransigent.  If there’s a stubborn fact of existence that has ever been thus, it’s “as old as Adam.”  Frustration with work, the battle of […]

The Garden of Eden

Even the phrase “garden of Eden” should make us home-sick.  “Eden” is taken from the word “delight”.  And “garden” when translated to Greek is “paradise”. The highest plane humanity has reached thus far was at the outset.  In fact Genesis 2 means to communicate this truth, even topologically!  The four rivers flow down from this […]

The Story of the King James Bible [Radio 4]

James Naughtie on the Story of the King James Bible Part 1 – The Commission Part 2 – The Translation Part 3 – The Legacy

The Breath of Life

What does dirt have to do with deity?  Quite a bit actually. Here’s our verse for the day: “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”  (Genesis 2:7) It doesn’t get any more earthy than ‘the […]

God rested

Work to live or live to work?  We know how we should answer that question.  The testimony of our lives is probably another matter.  But let’s ask the question of God – because I reckon our unspoken assumption is that, basically, God lives to work. You see, for many people “Creator” is God’s most basic […]

And Behold, it was very good

A good God makes a good world.  Perhaps that should be the banner over Genesis chapter 1. There’s no regrets here.  God doesn’t say “It’s not quite what I’d imagined.  It was better in rehearsals.  I’ve kept the receipts in case you want to exchange it.”  No, Genesis 1:28 – “Behold!  It’s very good” … […]

Be fruitful and multiply

On day 4 we’ve hit a milestone.  Here’s the first of many King James phrases that have become swear words!  “Be fruitful and multiply.” It’s God’s way of saying… well… let’s stick to the way God says it: “Be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 1:28) It’s a phrase that actually gives us a window onto: the […]