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Friday, February 20, 2009
  Adding to Scripture
David Kerr has a good post "Those nefarious section titles in your Bible" in which he discusses the section headings that one finds in most printed Bibles today.

Headings are added to the Bible by translators, they are then printed in such a way that they look and feel like part of the biblical text. They are not and never have been part of the Bible text. (Except the mysterious and often incomprehensible headings to Psalms, those these same Bible publishers often put in small print - they are merely part of the Bible text and not therefore as "important" as the clever ideas of the inspired translation team. Warning: the previous sentence may contain irony and sarcasm.)

Section headings are therefore systematic and institutionalised lies, that are presented as Scripture. (Chapter and verse divisions are too, but they are at least a convenient way of identifying the passage one is talking about.) This practice is a travesty and institutions like Bible Societies ought to have more respect for Scripture than to amend it in this way.

Please note as David's examples suggest these "titles" are not neutral, they often direct us as readers to understand the text in a particular way. While those directions may often be good, they are never scriptural.

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