VIEWPOINTS: What is your favorite scripture or holy text and why?

The Viewpoints question for this week is:

What is your favorite scripture or holy text and why?

Here are some of our writers’ preferences. Please tell us your favorite scripture or holy text!

Philip Stine

Philip Stine

Different passages of the Bible have been meaningful at different times in my life, but I frequently come back to one which allowed me to be a Christian and also led to a career choice. My upbringing was in a very conservative evangelical context, and I went to a college with highly restrictive social rules. Christianity seemed to be about not doing this and not doing that. Just when I was ready to chuck the whole thing, a wise mentor had me read Colossians 2:16-19 in J.B. Phillips’ translation of the New Testament. It says in part, “In view of these tremendous facts, don’t let anyone worry you by criticizing what you eat or drink, or what holy days you ought to observe, or bothering you over new moons or Sabbaths. All these things have at most only a symbolical value; the solid fact is Christ.” What a sense of freedom that represented. It also was a key for me deciding to get into the field of Bible translation, for no other English translation I knew was quite so clear.


Fran Salone-Pelletier

Fran Salone-Pelletier –

It’s always difficult for me to isolate a favorite scripture passage since there are many. However, this day I’d choose Isaiah 49: 1-6. Actually, the entire chapter is marvelous, but I’ll limit myself to the selected verses.

As I read, and heed, the word of God, I hear God speaking not only to the coast lands mentioned in this verse but to me—personally and specifically. God has called me from eternity to enter this world at a chosen time and place and into a selected family. I have been given a name by God, a name that indicates God’s will and mission for me. I’ve always found that conversation to be intriguing since my parents named me traditionally, as their firstborn, after my paternal grandmother. Yet, my name has been my life: Frances….the one who speaks frankly and sincerely, is open to new ideas, and is as generous with praise as with committed criticism.

I have often found myself in anguish because of this lifestyle and have ached with Isaiah, feeling “I have labored in vain…spent my strength for nothing.” At the same time, I know deep in my spirit that, “Surely my cause is with the Lord. and my reward is with God.”

I have trusted, and continue to trust, that my instincts are true and my vocation is to be a light to the nations so that God’s salvation—however that occurs—may reach to the ends of the earth.

The mission may appear lofty, perhaps even impossible, but I believe it is mine. I believe it happens daily, in tiny increments and among the least likely people at the least convenient times.

My recent bout with illness that brought me to death’s door, replete with unbelievable pain and suffering, ended in a miraculous recovery. I have heard from many that my life was saved for God to work through me for others. I cannot deny the message as a divine delivery.


Jenny Morris

Jenny Morris

One verse in the Bible I really like is Acts 10:38. “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.”

If every follower of Jesus simply went about doing good that would do much for the world and the message of Christ because we truly would be following him.

I also love the healing of Peter’s mother-in-law in Matthew 8: 14-15.
“And when Jesus was come into Peter’s house, he saw his wife’s mother laid, and sick of a fever. And he touched her hand, and the fever left her: and she arose, and ministered unto them.”

There is so much conflict in the world and many jokes about family, particularly in-laws. This healing showed the love amongst family.


Steve Lee

Steve Lee

My favorite scripture in Buddhism is a portion of the Kalama Sutta AN 3.65 (Anguttara Nikaya, the fourth division of the Sutta Pitaka)

“As they sat there, the Kalamas of Kesaputta said to the Blessed One, “Lord, there are some brahmans & contemplatives who come to Kesaputta. They expound & glorify their own doctrines, but as for the doctrines of others, they deprecate them, revile them, show contempt for them, & disparage them. And then other brahmans & contemplatives come to Kesaputta. They expound & glorify their own doctrines, but as for the doctrines of others, they deprecate them, revile them, show contempt for them, & disparage them. They leave us absolutely uncertain & in doubt: Which of these venerable brahmans & contemplatives are speaking the truth, and which ones are lying?”

“Of course you are uncertain, Kalamas. Of course you are in doubt. When there are reasons for doubt, uncertainty is born. So in this case, Kalamas, don’t go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, ‘This contemplative is our teacher.’ When you know for yourselves that, ‘These qualities are unskillful; these qualities are blameworthy; these qualities are criticized by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to harm & to suffering’ — then you should abandon them.”


2 responses to “VIEWPOINTS: What is your favorite scripture or holy text and why?

  1. Sarema Maldosha

    My favorite verse is from the Koran; Surah 9:29 because it demonstrates the peacefulness and tolerance of Islam. It says: Fight those who do not believe in Allah or in the Last Day and who do not consider unlawful what Allah and His Messenger have made unlawful and who do not adopt the religion of truth (Islam) from those who were given the Scripture – [fight] until they give the Jizyah willingly while they are humbled. (Jizyah is a tax non-Muslims must pay when they live in a Muslim land.)

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