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Showing posts from January 23, 2011

Dancing, Women, and Prophets

The oldest Christian tradition, quite possibly formulated within the first decade from Jesus’ crucifixion, is the Christological hymn that Paul quotes in Philippians 2: 5-11. Hebrew Bible scholars agree that the oldest tradition from Ancient Israel, quite possibly already circulating a generation or two from the Exodus event, is found in the book of Exodus. Chapter 15: 20-21 to be exact. Let me read it in its entirety….
Then Miriam the prophet, Aaron’s sister, took a timbrel in her hand, and all the women followed her, with timbrels and dancing. 21 Miriam sang to them:
“Sing to the LORD,
for God is highly exalted.
Both horse and driver
God has hurled into the sea
This passage, over three thousand years old, challenges many of our most cherished practices and traditions. First, the main characters in this oldest poem are women. Not men. Second, their faith expression is dancing, not preaching. Third, their leader is a prophet, not a priest; a woman, not a man; Miriam, not Moses.