Donald Trump is getting a lot of heat from the media for the way he pronounced 2 Corinthians 3:17.
The verse reads “…where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is Liberty.” (Trump used the King James Version, although the same translation can be found in other versions as well). He cited the passage by saying “Two Corinthians 3:17” instead of the more evangelical-friendly “Second Corinthians 3:17.”
A few thoughts:
- Trump’s pronunciation is quite common among Christians (and evangelicals) in the United Kingdom and I have heard this pronunciation used many times by American evangelical ministers as well.
- Most American evangelicals would have said “Second Corinthians 3:17.” Trump’s pronunciation thus shows how little he knows about the American evangelical subculture even as he claims to understand them. He does not speak evangelicalese.
- Finally, anyone who thinks that the big story of Trump’s visit to Liberty is how he cited this Bible verse is missing the bigger picture . From a historical point of view, the Liberty response to Trump illustrates yet another case study of the close relationship between evangelicals and the GOP that began about forty years ago. From the perspective of Christians, Trump’s visit should cause serious concern, especially when Jerry Falwell Jr. holds Trump up as a Christian who follows the Golden Rule, displays Christian “fruit” (he quoted Matthew 7–“by your fruits you shall know them”–to describe Trump in a positive light), and has “radical” ideas just like Jesus did.
- I wonder if Trump realizes that this verse has nothing to do with political liberty.