Poetry of Kansas

Revising the Bible

"I'm sorely peeved," said Deacon Dobbs, when he
        came home from church,
"I used to be a crackerjack on scriptural research;
I had whole chapters memorized which I would oft-
        times quote,
I knowed the Bible so that I could sing it through by
        note.
 
"But now they've got a new revise and everything is
        changed;
The chapters and the verses are differently ar-
        ranged;
And when the preacher reads a text it don't sound
        right at all
For Hell is rendered "Ha-dees," "Gehenna" or
        "She-ol."
And lots of sound opinions the church has held so
        long
The new revision indicates to be entirely wrong.
 
"When some smart theologian who wants to win a
        name,
Who's studied Greek and Hebrew till he worked his
        way to fame,
Finds out us old time brethren has got him fairly beat
A quotin' of the scriptures, he rises in his seat
And moves to change the version that we relied upon
From the openin' of Genesis to visions of St. John.
 
"I reckon in a few more years the Book will be re-
        vised
Till all them ancient stories will be wholly modern-
        ized,
With Adam as a boozer who drank his apple-jack
And Sampson as a slugger who managed to come
        back;
With Noah as the captain of a steamer on the seas
Who caught wild animals for men who ran menag-
        eries;
And Moses, with a job press, upon Mount Sinai,
Will be printin' the commandmandments for the people
        standin' by,
While Jehu in his armored car with rapid firin' gun
Is chargin' heathen trenches from the dawn till set
        of sun."
 

Verdigris Valley Verse
Albert Stroud
(Coffeyville, Kansas: The Journal Press. 1917)
Pages 14-15

 
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June 21, 2003 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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