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A Timeout for Peace from The Jerusalem Bible

The atmosphere attached to public discourse today is caustic and poisonous. It feels disharmonious to read a newspaper or to listen to a radio. But:

“Whenever you find jealously and ambition, you find disharmony, and wicked things of every kind being done; whereas the wisdom that comes down from above is essentially something pure; it also makes for peace, and is kindly and considerate; it is full of compassion and shows itself by doing good; nor is there any trace of partiality or hypocrisy in it. Peacemakers, when they work for peace, sow the seeds which will bear fruit in holiness.” James: 3. The Jerusalem Bible.

This quote comes from the Reader’s Edition of The Jerusalem Bible (internal link), which I think the most creative and literary bible version written in the last century. My edition is from 1967, before the text was completely revised and “popularized” several years later. Although I am not a Catholic, I understand the Jerusalem Bible was the first attempt by that Church to produce an entirely modern bible that would incorporate the literary style of the King James version while including new scholarship and insight. The KJV never had the benefit, for example, of the research into the Dead Sea Scrolls, discovered in the 1940s and 1950s. As I said, this version is quite beautifully written, one of the contributors being J. R. R. Tolkien.

You may be able to find a version at used book stores like Just don’t get The New Jerusalem Bible, instead, insist upon a copy from the mid to late 1960s.

By thomasfarley01

Business writer and graphic arts gadfly.

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