God Didn't Say That

Bible Translations and Mistranslations

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 | , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

The Year in Review (2010)

As we mark the end of 2010, here are the top ten most-viewed posts from the past 12 months at God Didn’t Say That:

    1. Who Says Homosexuality is a Sin?

    2. Gender in the Updated NIV

    3. Q&A: What’s the best Bible translation to read and study from?

    4. Q&A: How Mistranslation Created Divorce in the Bible

    5. What’s the difference between an eagle and a vulture?

    6. Which Jews Opposed Jesus?

    7. Q&A: The Original Baptism

    8. Review: Professor Ellen van Wolde on bara in Genesis

    9. On James 2:23-24: Why Faith Without Works is Dead

    10. Review: Sin: A History

    Of these, three (on the best Bible to study from, on Ellen Van Wolde’s work on bara, and on Gary A. Anderson’s Sin: A History) were written last year, and I suppose their continuing popularity reflects the centrality of their themes. (And once again, if you haven’t read Dr. Anderson’s book yet, now’s the time. It’s that good.)

    Similarly, only two top-ten posts are from the final quarter of this year, and both (“Gender in the Updated NIV” and “Which Jews Opposed Jesus?“) are about the new NIV translation, reflecting that version’s importance.

    At the other end of the spectrum is “What’s the difference between an eagle and a vulture?” I had fun writing it, but I don’t think it breaks new ground in any way. Maybe it was popular because I threw in some bird photos I took. Or maybe people found it searching on-line for something else.

    2010 also saw the publication, in February, of my And God Said: How Translations Conceal the Bible’s Original Meaning. I’m happy to report that the book, now in its second printing, has generally been received very positively.

    Though my speaking schedule has sometimes made it difficult to post regularly, I hope to continue to address broad theoretical issues in 2011, as well as to focus on specific translation examples. (If you have suggestions, add them to the About page.)

    And as always, I look forward to the many thoughtful and enlightening comments that readers submit.

    Happy 2011.

    December 31, 2010 Posted by | meta | , , , | 2 Comments