Thinking About Thinking

The Chapter In The Bible That Appears Twice

Posted in Uncategorized by larrycheng on February 4, 2010

This qualifies in the camp of – you learn something new every day.  I learned yesterday that there are two chapters in the Bible that are nearly identical.  Not sure if this is common knowledge, but it was news to me.  It’s Psalm 14 and 53.  Here they are in the NIV version:

Psalm 14

 1 The fool says in his heart,
       “There is no God.”
       They are corrupt, their deeds are vile;
       there is no one who does good.

 2 The LORD looks down from heaven
       on the sons of men
       to see if there are any who understand,
       any who seek God.

 3 All have turned aside,
       they have together become corrupt;
       there is no one who does good,
       not even one.

 4 Will evildoers never learn—
       those who devour my people as men eat bread
       and who do not call on the LORD?

 5 There they are, overwhelmed with dread,
       for God is present in the company of the righteous.

 6 You evildoers frustrate the plans of the poor,
       but the LORD is their refuge.

 7 Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion!
       When the LORD restores the fortunes of his people,
       let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad!

Psalm 53

 1 The fool says in his heart,
       “There is no God.”
       They are corrupt, and their ways are vile;
       there is no one who does good.

 2 God looks down from heaven
       on the sons of men
       to see if there are any who understand,
       any who seek God.

 3 Everyone has turned away,
       they have together become corrupt;
       there is no one who does good,
       not even one.

 4 Will the evildoers never learn—
       those who devour my people as men eat bread
       and who do not call on God?

 5 There they were, overwhelmed with dread,
       where there was nothing to dread.
       God scattered the bones of those who attacked you;
       you put them to shame, for God despised them.

 6 Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion!
       When God restores the fortunes of his people,
       let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad!

22 Responses

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  1. johnburkert said, on February 4, 2010 at 11:49 am

    read this -> http://www.amazon.com/Wrote-Bible-Richard-Elliott-Friedman/dp/0060630353/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1265298522&sr=8-1

    it explains the 4 sources that were combined into the old testament, duplicate stories and all.

    • Teilo said, on February 4, 2010 at 1:14 pm

      Umm, fail.

      Whether or not you accept the JEDP theory, it has nothing to do with why this Psalm appears twice.

      • daelstorm said, on February 4, 2010 at 3:35 pm

        Well, the word “Yahweh” (translated as “the LORD”) in Chapter 14 replaces the “Elohim” (translated as “God”) in Chapter 53, so the JPED theory that the Jewish religion was being revised (albeit inefficiently) does explain why the verses differ only by a few words. If you ignore the Elohim/Yahweh swapouts, the two chapters only differ by about a dozen words in the Hebrew.

  2. Cory Mathews said, on February 4, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    This could also just be from people deciding to make so many different versions of the bible.

    • John said, on February 4, 2010 at 12:40 pm

      As a programmer, naturally the first thing to do was diff them: http://jcromartie.tumblr.com/post/370748932/diff-psalm14-txt-psalm53-txt

      • Dan Roberts said, on February 4, 2010 at 1:41 pm

        Of course this is a translated version — I would expect there to be fewer if any differences in the originals

    • Marianne Ryan said, on January 27, 2012 at 4:52 pm

      I think a lot of the problems that the creators of the JEDP system didn’t consider were the problems that the translators created, not the original author(s) of the Bible. For instance, the Jews refuse to even speak YHWH’s name because they feel it would be sacriligeous. Which is completely unbiblical. So the translators of the KJV replaced YHWH with the LORD (all caps so you know it once said YHWH). There are other problems that the original translators created beside this. People believe the apostles changed the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday (which is completely false) because of a faulty translation in Romans 20:7. You have to understand about the Feasts, and also the italizied words in the KJV, to understand the translation correctly, and why it’s faulty. But, a whole doctrine is created on this faulty translation. Christians believe the verse says “And on the first day of the week…”, when actually it should say “And on the first of the weeks…” My KJV Bible has the word “day” in italics, which means the word wasn’t originally there. The translators added it, and they shouldn’t have. Obviously, the translators weren’t familiar with the Feasts. It’s talking about counting the first sabbath of the feast. (They had to count to 49 Sabbaths, then the next sabbath, the 50th, another Feast would begin). You would never understand this if you weren’t familiar with italizied words in the KJV, and also the Lord’s Feasts.

  3. John said, on February 4, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    There are many parts of the Bible that are very similar. 1&2 Kings closely mirrors 1&2 Chronicles, for example.

  4. huh said, on February 4, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    the bible sucks

  5. […] I learned something cool today, Psalm’s 14 and 53 are almost identical (in NIV […]

  6. Mike said, on February 4, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    God inspired the writers to put it in there twice for emphasis, and also to see how long it would take for any of us to catch it.
    :-)

  7. Pav said, on February 4, 2010 at 4:08 pm

    2 Kings19 and Isaiah 37 are (almost) identical too.

  8. Alex said, on February 4, 2010 at 5:51 pm

    If I was endlessly copying bibles BY HAND all day I’d probably screw up which one was #14 and which one was #53 sometime.

  9. Top Posts — WordPress.com said, on February 4, 2010 at 8:28 pm

    […] The Chapter In The Bible That Appears Twice This qualifies in the camp of – you learn something new every day. I learned yesterday that there are two […] […]

  10. Anonymous Coward said, on February 5, 2010 at 3:52 pm

    It sounds everyone here as forgotten that the bible was not written in English. It was translated to English – By Men, and their own interpretations.

    It’s not surprising to me in the least that a section appears twice in two different places or that it was translated slightly differently in each place.

  11. Tresa Nishihara said, on March 21, 2010 at 11:35 am

    Just a little thank you comment for the time you put into making this article, not bad at all

  12. coby said, on September 21, 2010 at 11:01 am

    psalm 18 2 samuel 22

  13. […] The Chapter In The Bible That Appears Twice February 2010 16 comments […]

  14. Joshua Myshadowslullaby McDonald said, on August 19, 2012 at 11:13 am

    here’s an Idea maybe the bible is actually a bunch of ideals of a few ppl from many years ago. Developed to make ppl more orderly and controllable. Maybe when they compiled all these texts they made a few mistakes. And maybe that happened because A God had nothing to do with any of it.

    • cj said, on September 7, 2012 at 5:03 am

      You have no Idea brother.. in what you are saying… though the bible was written by 40 different authors in diverse places in different times and situations… but then if you read it… it does not contradict with each other.. because it was written by people that was being moved by the spirit of God… “2 Peter 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. ” may you know God through His words He writes for you.. God Bless

      • Steve R. said, on February 25, 2014 at 8:53 pm

        CJ – No contradictions ???? Really ? Uh, check out the different accounts of Judas’ death in Acts and Matthew – not to mention who was Joseph’s (Jesus’ stepfather) father … there are over a hundred – back to Judas, the bible can’t even agree on who bought the field of blood (Potter’s field)
        ~ Ex-Christian Steve

    • Darrell said, on August 22, 2013 at 7:06 pm

      I would sincerely respect and consider your opinion if like most true scholars who debate their views but have actually read the bible. So my question to you is, how can a person who considers themselves to be intelligent, debate and offer opinions and/or insight but have not foundation or haven’t even studied the very thing they are commenting on? Does this seem intelligent?


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