That summer, I read his namesake book again, this time in the New Jerusalem Version, a fresh, scholarly translation that sticks very close to the text—in the process losing poetry while gaining directness. I’ve joked that this version sounds more like a batch of reports from a Quaker meeting’s Peace & Social Concerns Committee than a section from the Bible. Been surprised, too, how early in the text the hopeful, Messianic thread appears to weave through the warnings of doom and gloom; all along, I had thought the first half of the book was dominated by dark jeremiads, with the lightness taking the lead in the second half. Not so!


For more Seasons of the Spirit, click here.


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