Thursday, May 03, 2007

No, No, She Meant the Sai-ble

I know Biblical literacy is at modern-history lows, but this takes the cake. Read this section of an otherwise well-done article by's Jemele Hill:
If Bierria never played in the NFL again, he could handle it. He believes everything -- even the bad things -- happens for a reason. A phrase in the Bible echoes in his head. It goes: "It's only in the depths of silence that the voice of God can be heard." Although life without football is more silent than he imagined.
Does that sound like Scripture to you? It didn't to me, so I looked it up on BibleGateway, for just about every English translation. Nothing came up. So I tried a few different versions of Googling it; the results are here.

It turns out that this phrase was not spoken by Moses, or David, or Isaiah, or Zephaniah, or Jesus Christ, or the Apostle Paul, but by Indian mystic Sri Sathya Sai Baba.

I know we're all ecumenical and big-tent now, but isn't extending Monsieur Baba the privilege of adding to the canon taking things just a bit far?

UPDATE 5/5: Welcome GetReligion and Jeff the Baptist readers! Have a look around while you're here, and say hello if you find anything interesting.


Peter Beddow said...

Then, in the deep silence, wisdom begins to sing her unending, sunlit, inexpressible song: the private song she sings to the solitary soul. It is his own song and hers -- the unique, irreplaceable song that each soul sings for himself with the unknown Spirit, as he sits on the doorstep of his own being, the place where his existence opens out into the abyss of God's nameless, limitless freedom. It is the song that each one of us must sing, the song of grace that God has composed Himself, that He may sing it within us. It is the song of His mercy for us, which, if we do not listen to it, will never be sung. And if we do not join with God in singing this song, we will never be fully real: for it is the song of our own life welling up like a stream out of the very heart of God's creative and redemptive love.
Now each man's individual song, that he sings in secret with the Spirit of God, blends also in secret with the unheard notes of every other individual song. The voices of all the men who love God, the living and the dead, those who are on earth, those who suffer in the place of probation, those who have gone into the place of victory and rest: these voices all form a great choir whose music is heard only in the depths of silence, because it is more silent than the silence itself.
- Thomas Merton (Seasons of Celebration, pp.214-215)

(I'm sure ol' Tommy Merton and our Lord were working closely together when he composed Seasons of Celebration... and I'm sure it almost made it into the canon - darn that Synod of Carthage!!)

Easy mistake to make, you know -

mom said...

(bangs head against nearest wall)
Oy vey!!

Kami Rice said...

Nice catch! and a nice reminder that all that's in print isn't true and that all that's attributed to the Bible is not of the Bible.

braymp said...

Hey man, you're famous!

I think to the classic Ezekiel 25:17 bit from Pulp Fiction. I'm sure many of my non-Christian friends are convinced the lines come from the Bible rather than hodgepodge it really is.

FzxGkJssFrk said...

Having never seen Pulp Fiction, I'm afraid I don't get the reference. What's it about?

mom said...

I've got it!! This scripture is from Hezekiah 17. ;-P

colleenness said...

This reminds me of the time a visiting speaker (on the campus of a university whose claim to fame is the largest charismatic liberal arts university in the world) who referenced "God helps those who help themselves" as Scripture. There's a thin line between Foundng Fathers and Patriarchs, i suppose...