Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

This blog will be written from an orthodox Christian point of view. There may be some topic that is out of bounds, but at present I don't know what it will be. Politics is a part of life. Theology and philosophy are disciplines that we all participate in even if we don't think so. The Bible has a lot to say about economics. How about self defense? Is war ethical? Think of all the things that someone tells you we should not touch and let's give it a try. Everything that is a part of life should be an expression of worship.

Keep it courteous and be kind to those less blessed than you, but by all means don't worry about agreeing. We learn more when we get backed into a corner.

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Opus 2021-183: The Hokey-Pokey Translation

If you will excuse the irreverence, reading the Bible is a lot like doing the Hokey-Pokey.  If you won’t excuse it you have my understanding and sympathy.  There are a lot of parallels between the two.

There are times when you go through every gyration of the Hokey-Pokey.  It is useful in teaching children music, body parts, right and left and hand-eye coordination.  It also is useful in burning energy.  In the same way you need to be familiar with the entire Bible.  As you mature you will find that the Hokey-Pokey has given you some basics and you only need to review certain parts with regularity.  The same with the Bible.  You will also find that even adults can get into the entire Hokey-Pokey experience at times.

If you are doing a study of children’s songs then you get the general idea of how it goes from the first verse.  After that you only need to learn the order of hands and feet and spend a few moments on the last verse, which varies depending on the part of the country you come from.  If you are around me you will need to learn adaptations that I have added to make it a deeper experience.  In the Bible there are parts you really only need to read once.  I refer to such things as the genealogies and the census data.  If you are a scholar doing a deep dive into the mystical meaning of numbers then you go right ahead and read through how many men of fighting age were in each tribe.  For most of us the first tribe gives us the idea.  You also find that the descriptions of how many goats are sacrificed and how much flower is poured out gets repeated more than is necessary to get the point.

Even the Hokey-Pokey comes in different translations.  Deal with it.  I am sure you have had the experience of singing a song with people who have changed a few words or don’t follow the melody the way you learned it.  When I was checking the Hokey-Pokey’s spelling on Google it brought up a video, which I chose not to watch.  I did notice that the words on the screen said, “Share it all about.”  I learned to shake, not share.  This can be minor, replacing an archaic word with one we still use or a direct attempt to modify the meaning.  We see the same thing happening with hymns that are centuries old.

It might do you good to sing and dance the Hokey-Pokey every morning.  It might just be what you need to get your juices flowing.  It might be a disaster.  Reading your Bible every day can also be a bit empty if you spend too much time on the repetitive parts.  It is also a meaningless gesture if your mind is not turned on and your heart open.  There might be days when you want to put your left foot in first.  You might feel like putting it out first.  You might limit your shaking.  Feel free to personalize your Bible reading too.  It might not be a win/win for you but it will definitely be a no lose/no lose.

homo unius libri


  1. It is not difficult for me to excuse the irreverence of others because God has forgiven all of mine - past, present, and future. A couple of points from your post:
    1) For those who may dispute that Scripture is uniquely authoritative, I would direct them to 1 John 5:9 and Psalm 138:2 (Nothing like two or more witnesses.) If/since this is true, then every word of Scripture is true since God cannot be God if He lies.
    2) As such, I look to Scripture as a source of spiritual nutrition. This means I consume it slowly, savoring the beauty of its taste and smell. One method I have used to do this is to pick a chapter at the beginning of a month, say Romans 1, and read it carefully. Then, on day 2, I read Romans 1 again, and repeat this through each day of the month. What I typically find is the I see things in the fourth week that I didn't notice in weeks 1 or 2. Then, in the second month, I do Romans 2. The first time I tried that, It took me 17 months to finish Romans, because one month was not enough for Chapter 12.
    3. If the ultimate Author of Scripture is God's Holy Spirit, and if He indwells you along with all the others He has regenerated, then wouldn't it make sense that He would want to help you understand what He has arranged to be written down? He has said in Romans 8:14 that He leads us. I am pleased to follow His lead.

    1. That is an interesting method of Bible reading/study. I might give it a try but on a shorter book. I think the most important lesson in what you say is that we "consume it slowly." I don't know how many times I have suddenly become aware that I am not being aware.

      Grace and peace


Comments are welcome. Feel free to agree or disagree but keep it clean, courteous and short. I heard some shorthand on a podcast: TLDR, Too long, didn't read.