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The Bible police

February 4, 2011 - Jim Anderson
Here are some definitions of the verb “botch”:

1. To ruin through clumsiness.

2. To make or perform clumsily; bungle.

3. To foul up hopelessly

Here is a Feb. 3 headline at Fox Nation (

“Obama Botches Bible Verse at Prayer Breakfast”

Here are the first three paragraphs of the story:

President Obama misquoted a familiar Bible verse during a faith-based address at the National Prayer Breakfast.

“Those who wait on the Lord will soar on wings like eagles, and they will run and not be weary, and they will walk and not faint,” the president said during a speech to several thousand people at the breakfast.

But the actual passage, from Isaiah 40:31, states: “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”

The Fox Nation story cites the King James version of the Bible passage. What the Fox Nation story fails to mention is that Obama quoted the New International version, with the exception of substituting “wait” for “hope” and omitting the phrase “renew their strength.”

By Fox Nation standards, that apparently justifies the headline “Obama Botches Bible Verse.”

Also, the passage Obama quoted was rhetorically directed at Kaye Wilson, a family friend and godmother to the Obama children, who has organized prayer circles for the president.

Here, according to a White House transcript, is the fuller context: "So my prayer this morning is that we might seek His face not only in those moments, but each and every day; that every day as we go through the hustle and bustle of our lives, whether it’s in Washington or Hollywood or anywhere in between, that we might every so often rise above the here and now, and kneel before the Eternal; that we might remember, Kaye, the fact that those who wait on the Lord will soar on wings like eagles, and they will run and not be weary, and they will walk and not faint."

- - - - - - - - - - - - “But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31 (New International version).

- - - - - - - - - - - - -

“Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty: but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbor.” Leviticus 19:15 (King James version)

“Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly.” Leviticus 19:15 (New International version)



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