How to understand the f-word in a theological context

4 Aug

Theologians have long debated the efficacy of the f-word in prayer. Conservatives insist that if God had meant for us to use the f-word, he would have put it in the Bible. Liberal factions contend (rightly) that the word “pussy willow” doesn’t appear in the Bible either, and yet we use it all the time. Also, there is some debate over the translation of various New Testament verses following the resurrection of Jesus.

For example, in John 24:9, shortly after Jesus’ resurrection, Mary Magdalene goes to tell the disciples.

“When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. “No way,” said Peter, and they did not believe the women because their words seemed to them like nonsense. Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves. “No f**king way!” he shouted, and went away, wondering to himself what had happened.”

Later, in the famous story of the “doubting Thomas,” again in John, Jesus appears before the disciples:

“Jesus came and stood among them and said, “peace be with you!” Then he said to Thomas, “put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”

Thomas then looked at Jesus: “do I have to, my lord?”

“Do it!” Jesus shrieked.

“But it’s so f**king gross!” Thomas said, sliding his hand into Jesus’ side, all the way up to his wristwatch. “I don’t know why you’re always so mean to me.”

There is even some debate as to the correct translation of the Latin Fiat Lux, itself a translation of the Greek phrase, genetheto phos, or “Let there be light.” The original Hebrew is vayo’mer Elohiym yehiy ‘or vayehiy, generally translated as “And said God let there be light, and there was light.”

There is, however, an extant version of Genesis in the Dead Sea Scrolls that has often been translated “And said God ‘could I get some f**king light in here? I can’t believe how dark this universe is,’ and there was light.”

Also in the Old Testament, in Exodus, the Song of Moses and Miriam reads in part:

“In the greatness of your majesty, you threw down those who opposed you. You unleashed your burning anger; it consumed them like stubble. By the blast of your nostrils the waters piled up. The surging waters stood firm like a wall; the deep waters congealed in the heart of the sea. You f**ked them up good, oh Lord. You are one stone cold masta killa.”

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