Linguistics

Prescriptivist Descriptivism

This is exactly where I'm at: Either you smugly preen about the mistakes you find abhorrent – this makes you a so-called prescriptivist – or you show off your knowledge of language change, and poke holes in the prescriptivists’ facts – this makes you a descriptivist....

“Grandfathered In,” Racism, and a Copy-Editor’s True Calling

“Grandfathered In,” Racism, and a Copy-Editor’s True Calling

It seems that the phrase “grandfathered in”—as in, “Smokers who were already working at the company were grandfathered into the new health plan, but new hires won’t be able to get on if they smoke”—has its origins in overtly unjust, racist practices. This was sent to...

A Funny False Friend

A Funny False Friend

The ESV (2000s) of 1 Thessalonians 5:22: Abstain from every form of evil. Wycliffe’s translation (1380s) of the same verse: Absteyne you fro al yuel spice. Why did Wycliffe take a very general command—the most general command possible—and focus it on a very specific...

Papple

Papple

True story I just have to share somewhere: I recently asked a precious and generous and godly and intelligent family friend if she had “Apple Pay,” the iPhone-based payment system, so I could quickly remunerate her for something she'd just given my wife. She just...

Take That, Arrogant American English Speakers

This was utterly, absolutely fascinating. I laughed out loud with joy to hear these residents of Mumbai defend their English and criticize ours (see especially starting around 1:10). Why did I find this so funny/interesting? Because it overturns American expectations...

John Calvin and Lamin Sanneh on Giving the Bible to the People

My book, Authorized: The Use and Misuse of the King James Bible, amounts to an argument for vernacular Bible translation—applied to one specific set of objections in one specific historical circumstance. I find myself repeating myself as I promote the book on podcasts...

Halt! A Defense of My Central Example

Halt! A Defense of My Central Example

A Facebook commenter with a PhD in English challenged my interpretation of halt at KJVQuiz.com. It was perhaps an incautious challenge to make to a person only too ready to write articles upon the feeblest provocation. Here goes. Many of our common words trace back...

The Preserved Word of God for English-Speaking Peoples

The Preserved Word of God for English-Speaking Peoples

“Preserved” is the key word in KJV-Onlyism these days. Just about every KJV-Only doctrinal statement I see uses that word “preserved.” But I’ve been thinking for a long time along with famous systematic theologian Inigo Montoya, I do not think it means what they think...

Authorized on Lexicon Valley

Authorized on Lexicon Valley

Check out my interview with John McWhorter on his Lexicon Valley podcast! McWhorter actually read the book, and I concur with him when he says in the piece, "I get it, Mark." He does, he clearly does. I'm praying that a lot of Christians join him in getting it. And...

Practical Questions about Original Language Study in Sermon Prep

A questions from someone who watched my Asia Center for Advanced Christian Studies lecture on Original Languages (click here and here for related blog posts): Most pastors I know have only about 6 hours max, maybe 8, to prepare a message and most need to prepare 3...

Final Lecture for Asia Center for Advanced Christian Studies

In which I take students through How to Think about Others' Exegetical Fallacies and then talk through some portions of my dissertation that focused on ἀγάπη (agape) and what it "really" means. No, like, for real this time.