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A blog of the Evangelical Lutheran Liturgy

The World's Favorite Bible Verse (ESV)

Trinity IV is nigh upon us and with it the world's favorite Bible verse: Judge not, and you will not be judged.

Of course, Jesus has more to say - the log should come out and the sawdust, too. The "judge not" business is a statement of how the world works: judge and condemn not, and forgive, and men will do likewise for you. There is, after all, honor among thieves and an agreement between pot and kettle not to mention the word "black." But there's more: can the blind lead the blind. . .

All that is a commonplace in our preaching on this text - I bring it up only because those using the ESV will encounter a most puzzling mistranslation this week. To wit:

Luke 6:38 (ESV) give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you."

Luke 6:38 (KJV) Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

Luke 6:38 δίδοτε, καὶ δοθήσεται ὑμῖν: μέτρον καλὸν πεπιεσμένον σεσαλευμένον ὑπερεκχυννόμενον δώσουσιν εἰς τὸν κόλπον ὑμῶν: ᾧ γὰρ μέτρῳ μετρεῖτε ἀντιμετρηθήσεται ὑμῖν.

Usually I find the ESV a very faithful and straightforward translation - I'm excited to get the Lutheran Study Bible (will it be called LSB II: Son of LSB?) which will use this translation. But every translation drops the ball now and again - and the ESV certainly does here. The KJV's addition of "men" in v. 38 is a very good way to make things explicit.

Pr. H. R.5 Comments