Why Donald Trump didn't REALLY mess up when he said 'Two Corinthians' instead of 'Second Corinthians'

The Donald went down to Liberty University.

He was looking for a Scripture to quote.

But then Donald Trump "bungled" his Bible reference, Politico reported. The Republican presidential candidate "slipped" in how he said "Two Corinthians," The Hill said. Trump "flubbed" it, ABC News proclaimed.

"Second Corinthians"  is "the correct way of saying it," Time magazine chimed in.

To see what Trump said, fast-forward to the 19:30 mark of the above video.

Here's how CNN  boiled down the the controversy:

Lynchburg, Virginia (CNN) Donald Trump pitched himself Monday to Christian students at Liberty University as a politically incorrect protector of Christianity, tailoring his classic stump speech to the evangelical audience with mixed success.
"Christianity, it's under siege," Trump proclaimed early in his speech to the crowd of about 10,000 -- overwhelmingly Liberty University students who are required to attend the university's tri-weekly convocations.
But Trump, who has eagerly targeted evangelicals -- a key voting bloc in the first caucus state of Iowa -- in his quest for the presidency, tripped over himself Monday as he attempted to quote from the Bible to connect with the crowd of students at one of the most prominent Christian universities in the country, and the largest in the world.
"Two Corinthians, 3:17, that's the whole ballgame," Trump said, drawing laughter from the crowd of students at Liberty University who knew Trump was attempting to refer to "Second Corinthians."
Trump was still able to draw applause from the crowd by reading the Bible verse, however: "Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty," the university's "School Verse" which is prominently displayed on campus.

The Associated Press put it this way:

"We're going to protect Christianity," he told the audience, before proceeding to quote from what he introduced as "Two Corinthians, 3:17."
The comment prompted chuckles from students in the crowd, who were quick to point out that the New Testament book is generally referred to as "Second Corinthians."

The New York Times offered this take:

LYNCHBURG, Va. – Donald J. Trump came to the stage where Senator Ted Cruz began his presidential campaign and vowed to “protect Christianity.”
Then, he turned to quote Scripture.
“Two Corinthians, 3:17,” Mr. Trump said. The many students in attendance chuckled, as the standard reference to that chapter of Scripture is “Second Corinthians.” But Mr. Trump was undeterred.

But did Trump really mess up?

Certainly, folks on social media (including yours truly) enjoyed some good laughs at his expense:

And others (again, myself included) noted the irony of certain media organizations lecturing on Bible matters:

But I'll ask again: Did Trump really mess up?

Washington Post religion writer Sarah Pulliam Bailey, a former GetReligionista and Christianity Today editor, knows evangelicals as well as anyone on the Godbeat. She pointed out:

An above-the-fold, front-page report in today's New York Times says evangelicals are "judging not" when it comes to Trump. They see him as a "man of strength, if not faith," the Times suggests.

"N.T. Wright will often say 'Two Corinthians,'" my minister friend Jeremie Beller wrote on Facebook, referring to the prominent British New Testament scholar and retired Anglican bishop. "However, call it a hunch, but I don't believe Trump has been spending time with Wright's work."

So no, Trump didn't really mess up. Except that he probably did.

The takeaway from a media reporting standpoint: More context is always helpful. So are fewer assumptions.

In the meantime, The Donald might want to consider remedial Sunday school.

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