The response to TC Robinson’s post on praise and worship postures reminds me of some Bibles I saw on sale last week. This was a batch of I think NLT Life Application Bibles which were being sold cheaply because they were “missing just three verses”, because of a printing error, which turned out to be the last three verses of the Psalms. Now the clearest biblical injunction to dance in worship is in Psalm 150:4. So this edition of the Bible is ideal for those who don’t like dance!
This also reminds me of a story which I heard about an argument between a Baptist and a Pentecostal pastor in a remote part of Russia over whether the Bible teaches dancing in worship. Of course we know that the Pentecostal was correct, that Psalm 150:4 and a few other verses such as 2 Samuel 6:14 teach in favour of dancing in worship. But my friend who told me about this said that the Baptist really could not find any reference to dance in his Bible. I had a look at the Russian Synodal version, which he was probably using, and realised why. Nowhere in the Bible was any word used which clearly means “dance” in modern Russian. When I asked some Russian educated graduates to translate for me the Russian of the first half of Psalm 150:4, Khvalite Yego s timpanom i likami, they were puzzled and could only suggest “Praise Him with tambourine and faces”, understanding likami as the instrumental plural of lik, an archaic word for “face”. It was only with the aid of the glossary in a recent edition of the Russian Bible that I found the real source of this word: liki, a Slavonic word for a choir. So it is hardly surprising that the Baptist pastor was confused.