God Didn't Say That

Bible Translations and Mistranslations

Where Have All The Posts Gone?

Many of you have asked if this blog is “dead.” It’s not, but it’s certainly experiencing a pretty significant hibernation.

Between back-to-back books I’ve been unbelievably busy, mostly with traveling to lecture. In the fall, for example, I logged some 15,000 flight miles, without leaving North America and without even flying to the West Coast! And now I’m back on the road again.

I even fell behind with comment moderation, but I’m catching up on that. My next step will be to start responding to some of those great comments, and, I hope, writing here more.

But I’ve also started a new project, as I describe next


March 1, 2017 Posted by | meta | 3 Comments

Five Years of “God Didn’t Say That”

It’s hard to believe that over five years have gone by since I started “God Didn’t Say That.”

To mark the occasion, here are two “wordles,” graphic representations depicting the words I used most in five years of posts, and the words readers used most in comments. Click on the images for larger views.

Thank you to everyone who contributes to the conversation here, and happy 2015.

Most Common Words in Five Years of Posts.

Most common words in five years of posts.

Most Common Words in Five Years of Comments

Most Common Words in Five Years of Comments

December 31, 2014 Posted by | meta | , , , | 4 Comments

Where Have All The Posts Gone?

Regular readers here may have noticed that lately there hasn’t been much here to regularly read.

I started this blog on a whim during a mini-sabbatical in 2009. It turned out to be so rewarding — thanks to the comments, questions, and general discussion among readers — that I kept at it even after my sabbatical came to an end. I was no longer writing 20-40 posts a month, but I tried to put something up once or twice a week, and I tried not to let questions go unanswered.

But now, between my fiction and non-fiction writing, teaching, travel, and other projects, I find that I don’t have the time to invest here that I used to. I’m not giving up. And I’ll keep posting here as I’m able, because I really do enjoy the on-line conversation.

So the new posts haven’t vanished. They’ve just taken a break, along with their author. They’ll be back, I hope.

In the meantime, if for some reason you absolutely have to read something I’ve written, you can try my personal blog, where issues surrounding religion sometimes pop-up, or even my author blog, which I inagurated with photos and impressions from my trip to Alaska, before promptly falling behind on that, too.

July 19, 2013 Posted by | meta | , | Comments Off on Where Have All The Posts Gone?

The Year in Review (2012)

As 2013 begins, here’s a look at the year just ended, starting with the ten most popular posts from 2012:

Pull Quote

  1. Q&A: What’s the best Bible translation to read and study from?
  2. The Lord isn’t the Shepherd You Think (or: Don’t Mess with the Shepherds)
  3. BBC: “Virgin Birth a Mistranslation”
  4. How to Love the Lord Your God — Part 1, “Heart”
  5. How to Love the Lord Your God — Part 3, “Heart and Soul”
  6. Adultery in Matthew 5:32
  7. Who Says Homosexuality is a Sin?
  8. Q&A: What color is the “blue” of the Bible?
  9. What’s the difference between an eagle and a vulture?
  10. Disaster, Unloved, and Unwanted: Hosea’s Children

I like looking at this list each year because I think it reflects interest in the Bible.

Bible translation remains a popular topic (“What’s the best Bible translation to read and study from?“). Many people, apparently, are interested in the role the Bible plays in modern life, whether spiritually (“The Lord isn’t the Shepherd You Think” and “How to Love the Lord Your God“) or in terms of social issues (“Who Says Homosexuality is a Sin?“). And I see a third group of people who are drawn to the intersection of modern topics and the Bible (“What color is the ‘blue’ of the Bible?“).

On the other hand, my thoughts about translating the names of animal species (“What’s the difference between an eagle and a vulture?“) keep attracting attention for the wrong reasons: The popularity of my blog has unfortunately put the post among the top Google results for searches about the differences between eagles and vultures.

I’ve continued writing for the Huffington Post (most recently, “Putting the Text of the Bible Back Into Context,” and, earlier in the year, the more interesting “Five Bible Images You Probably Misunderstand“), a fact which I mention because normally that site sends more traffic my way than any other single source, but this year, according to WordPress, the superb BibleGateway.com was the top referrer, with HuffPo coming in second. Third in the list was Facebook, presumably from my book’s Facebook page. (I’m still not sure what to make of the fact that my book has so many more friends than I do.)

With my writing (including my latest project, a thriller series called The Warwick Files), lecturing, teaching, and so forth all competing for my time, I was only able to add a few posts a month last year. Each time, the discussion that followed reinforced my belief that there’s room on the Internet for serious, thoughtful, respectful, and fun discussion about things that matter. I’m looking forward to another year.

Happy 2013.

January 2, 2013 Posted by | meta | , , , , , | Comments Off on The Year in Review (2012)

I’m Back, for a Bit

A while ago my laptop crashed, the result of a virus.

My first repair attempt went like this:

  1. Boot Windows XP from the Installation CD.
  2. Windows: “Windows is examining your hardware … Press ‘R’ to repair Windows.”
  3. Me: “R”
  4. Windows: “Insert repair disk into floppy drive.”

I don’t have a floppy drive. Good job examining the hardware, Windows.

“If Windows made cars, you’d be driving from NY to LA, and somewhere around the Rockies the radio would stop working, and you’d be asked to turn the car off and on again. And when you did, you’d be back in NY.”

On one hand, I’m lucky, because I use a different computer for writing, so I didn’t lose anything important. I only use the laptop for three things: to connect to my main computer when I travel; for Bibleworks, which is an indispensable Bible research tool; and for Web-intensive applications, like WordPress. But when the virus hit, I lost those three.

In spite of a background in Computer Science (from my year doing graduate work at the Technion in Israel), I didn’t have the inclination or the patience to reinstall Windows, but I was left with little choice, because I need Windows XP (which they don’t sell any more) and I didn’t want to give up the unlimited data plan that comes with my internal Verizon data card.

Fortunately, I have the installation disks, including the Windows CD and Dell’s supplemental disks.

Unfortunately, simply following the instructions doesn’t work. (It never does.)
One particularly frustrating moment came when the newly installed Windows couldn’t find the Ethernet driver. “Do you want to connect to the Internet to find a driver?” Windows asked.

At any rate, the computer mostly works now. It still gives an error message every time it boots. Oddly, I can’t view PDF files, because installation of Adobe’s Acrobat Reader fails with a “general error.” And there are other quirks. But it works.

Still, between a crippled computer, lots of travel, and even more writing, I’ve been away from this blog for too long. I’m back now, for a bit, on and off, until things calm down.

May 9, 2012 Posted by | meta, Off Topic | 5 Comments

The Year in Review (2011)

With 2012 now upon us, here are the ten posts from 2011 that were most popular at God Didn’t Say That:

  1. Who Says Homosexuality is a Sin?
  2. Adultery in Matthew 5:32
  3. What’s the difference between an eagle and a vulture?
  4. Q&A: What’s the best Bible translation to read and study from?
  5. The Ten Commandments Don’t Forbid Coveting
  6. Making Jesus the “Human One”
  7. The Value of a Word for Word Translation
  8. Gender in the Updated NIV
  9. Who are you calling a virgin?
  10. So, What? John 3:16 and the Lord’s Prayer

As with last year, the results reflect a combination of interest in social issues, as reflected in my post about homosexuality and mistranslation, which again earned the top spot, and my post about adultery; news-making events in Bible translation, such as the release of the CEB; and people searching for other things, which is why my post about eagles and vultures received so many hits, presumably among people who really wanted to know the different between an eagle and vulture.

Also worthy of mention are my two Huffington Post articles: “Five Ways Your Bible Translation Distorts the Original Meaning of the Text” and “Five Mistakes in Your Bible Translation,” which (as nearly as I can estimate) received more hits than anything on my blog, perhaps propelled by my TEDx video about Bible translation.

Between speaking and other projects, I haven’t had as much time for this blog as I’d like, and I’m way behind in addressing the questions on the About page. But the thoughtful comments and discussions here always conspire to bring me back, and I’m looking forward to another year.

Happy 2012.

January 1, 2012 Posted by | meta | , , , , | 2 Comments

October Snowstorm and Fall Foliage

A freak October snowstorm has left me with beautiful scenes of snow-covered fall foliage and no electricity.

So I’m essentially off the grid until NYSEG can figure out how to restore my power.

Snow Foliage

Snow Foliage

Trees on Wires

Trees on Wires

October 31, 2011 Posted by | meta | | Comments Off on October Snowstorm and Fall Foliage

Almost Back

If I had to choose a name for an alternating series of good and bad unexpected events, I might go with “Summer 2011.”

There were combined lecture/pleasure trips to London, Amsterdam, and East Hampton on one hand. And on the other hand was an earthquake (which I didn’t feel), a hurricane (which left me without power for four days and without phone or Internet for a week), flooding, and more.

All of this left little time for writing, and now my traveling has already begun.

But barring any new surprises, I hope I’ll be able to return to this blog very soon.

In the meantime, one of my lectures over the summer was taped, and the edited version has just been released, as I describe next.

September 14, 2011 Posted by | meta | , , | 1 Comment

Back from London and Amsterdam

London Reflection

London Reflection

I’ve just returned from an exhilarating if exhausting round of teaching in London and Amsterdam. I posted periodic travel updates on the official And God Said blog, so that’s the place to look for details.

Of particular interest are The Eurostar Biathlon, about my adventures trying to get back to London from Amsterdam in time to teach; Limmud Netherlands, which includes a short description of what it was like teaching about Bible translation to a group of non-native English speakers in Amsterdam; and London, which has some photos of Hampton Court Palace (where the KJV was commissioned), among others. More photos are on my Flickr page.

Now that I’m back in New York, I’ll be able once again to devote attention to this site. So look for regularly scheduled programming to resume soon.

Dutch Scenery Zipping By

Dutch Scenery Zipping By

June 21, 2011 Posted by | meta | , , , , | 1 Comment

Off to London and Amsterdam

I’m off to teach for a bit in London and Amsterdam, so unfortunately I may not have time to update this blog for the next little while.

If you live in one of those cities, I hope you’ll drop by one of the classes I’m offering. I’ll also try to post about my travels from time to time on the main And God Said blog.

June 6, 2011 Posted by | meta | 1 Comment