Mark Driscoll Makes It into the OED

by Aug 13, 2020Linguistics4 comments

Look who I discovered being cited in the august OED… I wish I knew more about the work of OED lexicographers, my heroes. I don’t know, for example, how OED editors find/choose their citation sources. It’s just that beyond Shakespeare and various editions of the Bible, most of their citations are so obscure—so old (obviously) or so far from my ken—that it was a pleasant shock to see a current book from my evangelical world.

I’ve come to really trust the OED after tons and tons of use. It isn’t perfect; I do occasionally find senses I think are archaic or obsolete that they don’t mark that way. But it well deserves its status at the top of the lexicographical heap.

Now back to your regularly scheduled life.

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  1. Robert

    Hi Mark,
    I may have overlooked it, but what was the actual entry that OED used the Mark Driscoll’s reference for? And what do you think of Vintage Church?

    • Mark Ward

      It was the word “unreasonable”—and I’ve never read Vintage Church, I confess. Never read a Driscoll book. Listened to a number of his sermons back in the day, though. I wasn’t a fan of the cussing and crassness, but he definitely had insights into the text.

      • Robert

        I entirely share your concerns regarding Driscoll. His language and general conduct has a tendency to be unbecoming and setting a bad example as a Christian. One could argue that It is rather ironical that OED would look at someone controversial like Driscoll to illustrate the meaning of the word unreasoable…

        I did enjoy reading your view on the dangers of KJV-onlyism, which seems to be gripping the Independent Baptist church.


        Your choice not to make doctrine the main focus of criticism in this regards, but rather highlight the importance of comprehension, makes sense in the light of most people being virtually ignorant of the Greek language. Would you say that this argument weighs heavier for you than the fact that new manuscripts used for later translations, which were found after compilation of the KJV, and which were older than the ones on which the KJV was based, showed that the KJV contained text that was not in the original documents?
        Or will it be easier to convince KJV afficionados with the argument of simplicity of understanding?