One of the first things one learns when entering into academic study of the Biblical texts is that the Bible we have now is a bit of a patchwork tapestry, beautiful on the whole but a little messy when you get up close. One contributor to this messiness is the well-meaning interpolator. Interpolations are the words, sentences, or even paragraphs inserted into the text by an editor or scribe who thought it would clarify the text. Or maybe the interpolation made the text fit their theology. Or maybe the interpolation made the text fit the context of the editor or scribe. Or maybe there was a really great story that St. John surely intended to include but probably forgot. Regardless, the Bible is filled with interpolations. Today, I was thinking, if I were to add some interpolations to match my context, what would I add? And then I slipped on some ice. And I knew. So these are my additions to the text to fit my context of wintry Fairfield County, CT.
For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways.
On their hands they will bear you up,
so that you will not dash your foot against a stone
nor will you slip upon black ice.
Matthew 5:7 1/2
“Blessed are you when you slip coming out of the gym and fall on your butt, for you will receive pity from the pretty girl barely able to stifle her laughter.”
This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth; you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to act in accordance with all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall be successful except when a blizzard swoops in and you have to cancel your date that was already rescheduled.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel; it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who has faith, to the Jew first and also to the Greek and very very last to the driver of the car going up the steep icy hill at 2 miles per hour.
God humbled you by letting you hunger, then by feeding you with manna, with which neither you nor your ancestors were acquainted, in order to make you understand that one does not live by bread alone or the ramen noodles, beans, and bacon which was the only thing in your apartment during the blizzard, but by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.