I’m sure many have listened to a song with another person and as both of you sang you heard them misquoting the lyrics. You may have hesitated to correct them but once you were confident you probably pointed out the error. Typically joking about who is right ensues until someone pulls out their phone and does a Google search for the lyrics. Some songs historically misquoted include: Rolling Stones’ Beast of Burden. Misquoted verse “I’ll never leave you pizza burning” – actual verse “I’ll never be you beast of burden”. Another song: Psy’s Gingham style. Misquoted verse “”Oprah got no style” – actual verse “Oppa Gangnam style”. Lastly, Jesus loves me – misquoted verse “forty bibles told me so” – actual verse “For the bible tells me so”.
If we or somebody else misquoted a song verse there is always an excuse at hand to cover up. The singer is blamed for mumbling or even purposely trying to send a mixed message. There also is the possibility that we have been confused by the lyrics for a while but never thought to verify or maybe we knew that we were misquoting but liked our version better. When all is said and done and put in perspective with everything else going on around us, is it reasonable to ask, “does it really matter whether the song is misquoted”?
We don’t read scripture so that we can quote it correctly to others. We read and study so we can understand God’s story and live as He intended. Paul shares in 2 Timothy that scripture is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness. Paul also shares that scripture is God-breathed – inspired by God. Paul also suggest that scripture enlighten the reader about the gift of salvation; their eternity. Since God is without error, we can be assured that the teachings and truths that He inspired to be written in the Bible are all without error. We should not want to misquote God’s words or modify them to our liking otherwise we are suggesting God is wrong. Many of us also know people who misquote scripture or who like to suggest a certain catchy phrase is from the bible. Sadly, many who hear this person speak will not pick up on the error because recent church surveys reveal that few Christians read their bible let alone are able to quote from them. If we are not reading our bibles and corroborating the learning, how then will we know if we are being mislead by man and the evil one? When all is said and done and put in perspective with everything else going on around us, I think it is reasonable to ask ourselves “does it really matter whether scripture is misquoted”. When you answer that question it may validate your current bible study practice or cause you to engage in a new one.
Jesus believed in scripture. He reminded people they must seek the truth in it. On one occasion, while sharing God’s truth, someone in the crowd who had acknowledged something wonderful about Jesus shouted, “Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you”. Jesus replied: “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it’, Luke 11:28. Many need to be blessed and take advantage of the fact that we have immediate access to scripture and can discover first hand the path to God. Yes, it is easier to listen to someone else share the gospel than read it ourselves, but we are meant to experience, which comes from hearing and applying.