Recently one of my kids asked me what colour my hair was originally. That was a big oof - a reminder that I am fairly old. In fact, I'm old enough to have read the entire Bible several times, and to have read some parts of it many, many times. Books like the Gospel of Matthew have become very familiar.
I want to meet Matthew again for the first time. Over the past few years I have heard a number of Biblical scholars comment on the fact that the New Testament is a far wilder, stranger and more demanding document than modern readers realize. It comes from a time and culture that are vary alien to our own, and yet we have managed to domesticate it - turning it into happy little stories for children and old ladies. (Actually, old ladies are some of the toughest people I know. They probably get Matthew better than most of us, since they've seen some wild stuff in their time.)
I want to get to know Matthew from a new perspective, so I've chosen a new translation of the Gospels by Sarah Ruden. Ruden is good at providing translations that reflect the original language and provides a bit of newness, some freshness, to the text. I'm planning to read and journal one chapter of Matthew every day starting on September 7. I'll be sharing my journal thoughts here. I hope you'll join me, reading and journaling and sharing your thoughts. Together we can look for the new, and the strange or the compelling in what we are reading.
I'm undertaking this is part of the Journey for Hope, a fundraiser in honour of Journey Canada's 30th anniversary. I hope you'll sponsor this effort by visiting my donation page at Journey for Hope.