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Biblical Blunders? Or Divine Humour?

This morning's service was chugging along nicely and innocuously enough until we go to the Bible readings.  The first reading, scheduled to be Matt 7:24 - 27 (wise and foolish builders) began and clearly wasn't what was intended.  I let the reader read, after all it was probably me who had mistyped the reference - a quick flick through my Bible revealed she was reading Math 6:24 - 27 (serving two masters, God and mammon).  So, after the two Matthew readings, I read the correct parable and then did the reflection.  The same person was reading another passage later in the service and she said she'd switched Bibles because, seemingly, in her Bible the chapter numbers in Matthew differed and she had been reading allegedly the correct passage, and I had given the right reference.  I think she was using a New English Bible, but the only NEB New Testament I have is correctly labelled - so maybe someone can put me right?  Anyway, with the theme of folly and wisdom, and the current economic muddles I did find myself wondering if  divine mischief was at work here?

One person took me to task over the use of the 'Wisdom's Table' hymn, not liking the use of the word 'fool' to refer to Christ (at least that's what I think it means) even though this theme was picked up from the 1 Corinthians 1 reading and God's folly being wiser than human wisdom.  Ah well, can't please them all.


  • Mistakes do happen, and it's often because at the top of the page some Bibles have reference to the chapter, and if a page has part of more than one chapter then sometimes the verses are read out from the wrong chapter.

    I had an unusual and interesting incident a couple of years ago. We produce a weekly sheet, and at the top of the sheet I choose an appropriate Bible verse. It was Harvest Sunday, so I chose Genesis 8:22, 'As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.'

    However, with the way that the Bible was laid out, with the chapter numbers at the top of the page, our administrator accidently put Genesis 9:22 at the top, 'Ham, the Father of Canaan, saw his father's nakedness and told his two brothers outside.'

    I suppose what amused me most was that as she typed in the verse she didn't give a thought as to whether a mistake had been made, as if I normally choose whacky and inappropriate verses for our weekly sheet.

  • I had a calendar once from the Dick Saunders 'Way to Life Crusade' Organisation, with a text for each month. November's verse was "With God all things are possible" - and somehow they had printed THIRTY ONE days in the month!!

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