President Obama’s Homily in Newtown— 2 Cor. 4.7-18

It is indeed a rare thing to see a President offer a homily on national TV broadcast to the whole nation. Here is the 18 minute eulogy and homily he offered in Newtown this night Dec. 16th 2012.

  • Michael Newheart

    Ben, I’ve been trying to track down the exact version the President is quoting from. It seems to be NIV, but I’m not sure which edition. Here’s what I say on Facebook:

    I’ve been trying to chase down those various versions to see what text the President or his speechwriters began from. It’s difficult to believe that they would have added commas or taken out a “yet” in the translation they were using. The most interesting thing I found was that in every version I’ve read so far, Paul begins,”We do not lose heart,” but Obama begins, “Do not lose heart.” Did he make that change from the indicative to imperative for rhetorical effect, or is that what the translation had? Oh well, I just need to let it go and get back to grading! Obama here functions not only as pastor-in-chief but exegete-in-chief, whether he’s aware of it or not!

    Any thoughts?


  • Ben Witherington

    Michael it seems to be the TNIV with sprinkles. But what is interesting is that that initial indicative could be an imperative in the Greek…. so….. it’s probably appropriate. Merry Christmas, Ben W.

  • Michael Newheart

    Thanks, Ben, for the quick response. “TNIV with sprinkles.” That’s a nice turn of phrase. And I thought about the initial indicative/imperative but didn’t do anything with it. Peace to you, and Merry Christmas! Michael W. N.

  • Drane

    I find it hard to believe that people on this blog are discussing what translation is being used by the President. We have many translations available today. No single one of them is an absolutely authoritative translation of the original.

    The issue is what the President said, which was entirely appropriate, and in harmony with the teaching of Jesus. This kind of fundamentalist approach to theology and to politics is indicative of the irrelevance of fundamentalist (=evangelical) Christian theology in our world.

  • ben Witherington

    Hi ‘Drane’: It is a cardinal mistake to lump fundamentalists and Evangelicals together. There is a world of difference, including in how they approach the Bible. But you are certainly right, the focus should have been on the powerful remarks of the President himself which were all Gospel BW3