We continue on in the Apocrypha, well into and finishing the book of Judith, then moving into Greek Esther. As David deSilva considers in Judith,
Although featuring a female heroine and thus the potential and value of a “good woman,” the book also bears witness to the persistence of traditional values concerning women; that is, to be killed by the hand of a woman, the weakest enemy, is the greatest disgrace. There is no virtue for women when their chastity has been compromised. Even though Judith can emerge as a heroine in a time of crisis, her proper place remains outside the male sphere of governance. The book of Judith remains a rich witness to the theology and ethics of the period, as well as the surprising (and disturbing) use of deceit as a laudable means to defeat an enemy of one’s people.” (p. 20-21)
Greek Esther, as deSilva notes, “contains six substantial additions (in older English translations, these are often separated out as the ‘Additions to Esther’) as well as many minor changes throughout the text. These changes and additions introduce a strongly theological element that was strangely lacking in the Hebrew version.” (p. 21) As the OT version of Esther is known as one of the least overtly theological books of the Bible (which placed its canonical status in dispute for a long time), it is strange that its more overtly theological version would be considered apocryphal. Sounds like a question for further exploration!
What questions do you have about the Apocryphal (or deutero-canonical) books of the Bible?
The University of Portland has a Visio Divina video archive, offering seven visual meditations to try. Try one out!
What did you experience in the visual meditation?
This week we’re in “Your Personal Mission Statement” of The Lifelong Activist. Rettig asks us to use the Goals Lists we have created (consisting of activism, health and fitness, relationships, money, and whole person goals) and create a Personal Mission Statement out of them. She suggests creating a Mission Statement for each list, putting each mission statement at the top of its list, combine all lists with their mission statements into one document, which becomes your Personal Mission Statement, summarizing that document into one paragraph as your core mission, dating it, and sitting with it for a while to make sure it fits who you are, then making adjustments as necessary.
What is your Personal Mission Statement paragraph? Does it fit who you are?
Check out the Find Your FBCO Map to find your local faith-based community organizing affiliate and connect with the people who are working together to live out their dreams of a more just world! What’s going on in your living of the Gospel? Let us know in the comments, in our e-mail discussion group, or on social media.
- “‘Apocrypha’ in the HarperCollins Bible Dictionary, Abridged Edition.” Bible Odyssey, 2009. http://www.bibleodyssey.org/HarperCollinsBibleDictionary/a/apocrypha.
- Breed, Brennan. “Bible Basics: How Was the Bible Written and Transmitted?” Bible Odyssey, n.d. http://www.bibleodyssey.org/tools/bible-basics/how-was-the-bible-written-and-transmitted.
- Burnette-Bletsch, Rhonda. “Bible Basics: Why Does the Bible Look the Way It Does?” Bible Odyssey, n.d. http://www.bibleodyssey.org/en/tools/bible-basics/why-does-the-bible-look-the-way-it-does.
- deSilva, David. The Apocrypha. Core Biblical Studies. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2012.
- Harrelson, Walter J., ed. The New Interpreter’s Study Bible: New Revised Standard Version with the Apocrypha. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2003.
- Luther Seminary. “Enter the Bible,” n.d. http://www.enterthebible.org/.
- “Praying with Art – Visio Divina.” Patheos, n.d. https://www.patheos.com/resources/additional-resources/2009/07/praying-with-art-visio-divina.
- Rettig, Hillary. The Lifelong Activist: How to Change the World Without Losing Your Way. New York, NY: Lantern Books, 2006.
- Rettig, Hillary. “Your Personal Mission Statement” in The Lifelong Activist: How to Change the World Without Losing Your Way. New York, NY: Lantern Books, 2006. http://lifelongactivist.com/part-i-managing-your-mission/your-mission-plan/
- “Visio Divina.” The Upper Room, n.d. https://www.upperroom.org/resources/visio-divina.