December 9, 2022
“In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth,to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary.” ~ Luke 1:26-27 NRSV
Dear St. Paul’s Family,
Anne-Sophie was proudly reading the words hidden behind the doors of her Advent Calendar to me during our almost-nightly WhatsApp video call. She got to the scripture reference for the first door, read the verse aloud, and then read the scripture reference (Luke 1:26) using these exact words, “Luke one, twenty-six o’clock.” I suggested that it was simply read as “Luke one, twenty-six.” “Nana,” she said, it’s Luke one dot dot twenty-six.”
She’s heard lots of Bible stories and been in Sunday School and worship for all her eight years but has never seen a “grown up” Bible with chapter and verse numbers. So, she read it exactly like it looked to her through the lens of her experience, a man’s name followed by the time, a new twist on the phrase “Biblical Times.”
When I see her at Christmas, I will bring a Bible and begin to teach her some of the basics of navigating through it. “Virgin” was an unfamiliar word, so she stumbled through the pronunciation. That’s a lesson for another time and place (with her dads’ permission).
Thanks for seeing something I take for granted through the eyes of a child. ~ Rev. Anne
Bible Knowledge Side Bar:
The first English New Testament that included verse divisions was a 1557 translation written by William Whittingham. The first English Bible to use both chapter and verse divisions was the Geneva Bible published in 1560.