Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Best known passages of Scripture

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

A statement I heard in a sermon on October 22nd got me to thinking about this: What are the most well-known passages in the Bible? By this I mean not just a single verse, but a passage that encompasses several verses. John 3:16 might be the most well-known verse in the Bible, but I think perhaps the 23rd Psalm and Matthew 6:9-13 (the Model Prayer, called by many the Lord's Prayer) could be the most recognized extended portions of Scripture; that is, known and recognized (not necessarily believed) by Christians and non-Christians alike.

Would you tend to agree or do you disagree?


Eric said...

Not only is Psalm 23 one of the more well-known passages of scripture, but it is also almost always known in its KJV translation, even by those who use a different translation in personal and communal worship. In other words, it is not just the passage which is known and treasured but a particular translation.

R. L. Vaughn said...

Thanks for making that point, Eric. Being a KJV user myself, I hadn't thought of it particularly that way. This might be somewhat true of the Model Prayer as well, though probably not to the same extent.

clinch64 said...

One drawback to translations other than the King James Version is scriptures are rarely quoted word for word in any passage. It always reverts back to the King James.


Eric said...

I think you're right about the Lord's Prayer as well. Churches I've attended that opt to use the NRSV tend to retain the "art" and several "thy's" along the way when reciting it. To me, it demonstrates how influential the KJV has been in our religious cultures, even when many deem the text too archaic in its language for modern, liturgical use. In other words, while some feel it is no longer a usable translation, our practice suggests otherwise.