The Bible Can't be Saying THAT!
When I began reading the Bible as a teenager, I struggled to find a good place to start. I tried starting in Genesis, but soon got derailed. Then I tried starting in Matthew, but again, soon got off-track. Finally, I decided to read Ecclesiastes.
Why Ecclesiastes? Well, I liked the song "Turn, Turn, Turn" by the Byrds, and I had learned from the movie Footloose that those words came from the biblical book of Ecclesiastes. I began reading Ecclesiastes in the King James and was surprised to find it chock full of phrases like "all is vanity and vexation of spirit" (Ecclesiastes 1:14). I was pretty sure I knew what that meant, and it didn't sound particularly inspiring. In fact, it sounded downright depressing!
Somehow, I managed to slog my way through Ecclesiastes, and flush with the success of having read an entire book of the Bible, I decided to read on through the next book: Song of Songs. I vividly remember getting about halfway through Song of Songs and suddenly slamming my Bible shut. "I must have the dirtiest mind in the world," I thought, "Because there's no way the Bible could be saying what I thought it was just saying!" As I discovered somewhat comically that day, the Bible has a lot to say about romantic love, and it sometimes does so in quite explicit terms.
Today, of course, is Valentine's Day—a day dedicated to celebrating romantic love in all its fuchsia and lace-trimmed glory. Like most holidays, its origins and meaning are murky. It is a feast day dedicated to a Christian saint, but the connection between that saint and romantic love is unclear. It is a day in which we are expected to express our love with all the eloquence of Shakespeare, or at the very least, borrow a well turned phrase from Hallmark. Finally, it's a day when we can actually quote from the Song of Songs without embarrassment!
In honor of this day, and in honor of this love which the Bible celebrates in terms that can still make us blush, we've released a special new module: Valentine Verses and Valentine Verse. This module contains a brief biography of Saint Valentine, along with favorite biblical verses on romantic love, and some of the finest love poetry by Shakespeare, John Donne, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and others. Valentine Verses and Valentine Verse is on sale from now until February 19th for just $10. You can purchase it online and download it to your computer, iPad, or iPhone.
Who knows? Maybe quick access to a Shakespearean sonnet or passage from Song of Songs will come in handy today! :-)