I woke up this morning to discover “the media” (heh) hyperventilating about how they now have undeniable proof that Donald Trump is, like, a totally fake christian-n-stuff, because he said “Two Corinthians” in his speech at Liberty University.
As if we needed proof that Trump knows zero about the Bible.
What we actually know now, without a shred of doubt, is that these media people really don’t know anything about how the average Christian (pastor, pew-sitter, bible scholar, author, blogger, editor, etc.) references the location of scripture passages, and the freedom that we have to do it in whatever way works. This will be a shock to them, but there is not consistency among even the most totally genuine and truly (like, I mean seriously) real Christians about how to say where a passage is located in the Bible.
It seems that members of the Trump campaign – and possibly even The Donald himself have been hacking Christian websites and inserting their blunder into lots of posts, and even changing the titles of sermons and books, editing the text of theological journals and even some church publications to fit their mistaken understanding of how to reference the location of bible texts. Here are some examples (among thousands you can find when using a cute little tool called “google”)…
- The Bible in 365 days for men – “One Corinthians”
- A Church’s teaching on Salvation from “One Corinthians”
- A blog outlining the teaching of Henry Morris – “Two Corinthians”
- The American Catholic Quarterly – “Two Corinthians”
- A fiction book where some folks are studying “One Timothy” together
- Amazon.com Wants to sell you Stott’s study of “Two Timothy”
- Folks at the Bible Fellowship Union want to study “Two Timothy” with you
- Christian Book Distributors thinks you’ll like this book about “One Thessalonians”
- This Christian School teacher is testing students on the meaning of “One Thessalonians 4”
- Pastor David Crespo wants to look at “Two Thessalonians” with you on his radio program
- Follow Bible Teacher Duurt Sikkens through a study where he quotes from “Two Thessalonians”
The Peters and the Johns – You get the idea. Do these yourself.
The point is, everyone does this. Your pastor does it all the time without even thinking about it, and so do you. There is simply no consistency and no rule that anyone is following from the “encyclopedia of how to talk all Christian-like” regarding how to give the GPS of a Bible verse. There are academic standards for how this is to be done in both writing and speaking, but the average Christian does not use these standards consistently, and neither do many academics when they are involved in discussions about biblical texts.
Nothing to see here people. Let’s move along.
UPDATE: You can watch here in utter horror as N.T. Wright makes the exact same mistake as Donald Trump at the 7:22 min. mark: