Sunday, March 15, 2009

Literary License

It drives me nuts when people are loose with the truth. What is even more troubling is when the truth is violated by someone who is supposed to be a leader and keeper of the truth. My example in this case is Pastor John Baker from Saddleback Church in California and the editors of his book Life's Healing Choices. This is a great book that I'm sure has helped countless people, so why spoil it with inaccuracy?

On page 77 the book mentions the story found in Chapter 5 of the Gospel of Mark. It is the story of Jairus whose daughter is sick, then dies, but is raised from the dead by Jesus. On the next page (p. 78) John Baker goes on to tell this story from the Bible with great exaggeration:

Jairus was an honest guy, and so he told Jesus the truth: "Lord, I've got a lot of doubts, I want to believe; help me with my unbelief."

I don't have a problem with people paraphrasing the Bible or putting it into understandable language, but this is flat out wrong. Jairus didn't say that! The guy that said that line was the father of the demon possessed boy in Mark Chapter 9, a totally different guy with a totally different situation. How the editors and author goofed this up is unbelievable to me. Is the Bible not amazing enough without this sort of "literary license."  As my favorite TV news show guy John Stossel would say, "Give me a break!"

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