JEHOVAH JIREH, the poem displayed on the cover, is among the most moving portions of scripture. If we close our eyes and “feel” the scene with our hearts, we see, not only the plan of salvation, but we “feel” the pain sin caused the very heart of God when He sacrificed His own son. What a love story!
To paint that love story in poetic pastels is the purpose of THE GOSPEL IN VERSE. As one enjoys the beauty of perfect rhyme and meter my hope is that the depths of God’s love will penetrate and permeate the soul of the reader.
What would possess anyone to undertake the mind-boggling challenge of putting the entire bible in verse? Shortly before beginning I felt strongly that my poetic gift had irretrievably declined. After writing one poem, “A Stable,” about Christ’s lowly stable birth, I felt impressed to put all my favorite bible passages into poetry. Then something, (or better, Someone) impressed me to put the whole bible in verse. My first reaction was, “That’s crazy-that’s impossible.” But the assurance came that “with God, all things are possible.” Mark 2:27. I also realized that Somebody bigger than I would finish what He had begun.
Sometimes the verse flowed. At other times I labored at it and had to use several versions of the bible to retain the integrity of the text along with the rhyme. And that was the major hurdle, scriptural integrity. The rhyme was a gift. My hope is that all, whether grade school scholar or seminary professor, will find this text unbiased and theologically sound. My hope is that the message of God’s “love letter,” the bible, will flow forth to a new generation in the beauty of “poetic pastels” that will make it a joy to read and to listen to.
Although the rhyme and meter is consistent throughout the text there are a few passages in italics in which the beat is different. The accent falls on the first syllable rather than the second. Each of these passages is footnoted with the comment, “see introduction.” The entire ten commandments in Exodus
20 is written with this alternative beat. This alternative beat is just the way the Spirit moved me at that moment.
A few chapters are not included at the end of Exodus because the statutes and judgments could become as burdensome to the reader (and the writer) as they were to the Israelites (Acts 15:10). I hope that this does not detract from the reader’s acceptance and enjoyment of the text.
As noted earlier JEHOVAH JIREH is paraphrased to grasp the overwhelming emotion weaved into every fiber of the story. Hope fully, in no other passage is anything added that is not implicit in the original translation.