Misread Bible Passages: Beware the Nicotines!

We continued our study of Revelation in my Sunday school class, and while we had some serious discussion of the issues facing the churches mentioned in chapter 2, the main thing that seemed worth blogging about was a misreading. One of the attendees said that at first glance they thought that two of the churches were having problems with the Nicotines.

Since I suspect that our church is supportive of Indiana’s new no smoking law, presumably we are more like the church in Ephesus than that in Pergamum.

We did talk about the serious subject of the eating of meat sacrificed to idols in first century churches, and whether Paul’s teaching on the matter in 1 Corinthians is the sort of thing the author of Revelation was seeking to sanction.

We also had mention of another issue that comes up in Revelation 2, as it was misread in a Sunday school class for children, namely “sexual immortality.” It sounds like an interesting topic, and yet I still kind of hope we won’t come back to it.

But the very fact that such a misreading apparently came up in another Sunday school class, one for young children, makes me wonder once again what people are thinking, giving Bibles to the very young. Presumably it is a bad idea to do so unless one is prepared, and considers it appropriate, to talk with them about all the sorts of contents the Bible has. Otherwise, just give them a collection of excerpts, or perhaps give the Bible as a collection an R rating and leave the reading and discussing of it until people are mature enough to deal with all its contents.

But that’s too serious for a post that started the way this one did, and so let me end with the misread Bible verse with which we began:

“But you have this in your favor: You hate the practices of the Nicotines, which I also hate.”

Indeed I do!

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  • Jeff Carter

    My favorite misreading of scripture came when someone added an “h” to “s-it at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet…” (matthew 22:44).   Ooops.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/religionprof/ James F. McGrath

      I remember one of the few episodes of The Vicar of Dibley that I saw, in which someone was trying to read a really old Bible in which the letter “s” looked somewhat like a modern “f”. The vicar stopped her just in time as she was about to mispronounce “succour.”