It's time to revisit some ancient history — circa 2016 — in the annals of Donald Trump and evangelicalism.
I refer to when The Donald "went down to Liberty University ... looking for a Scripture to quote," as I put it in a GetReligion post at that time.
As you may recall, candidate Trump hit an unexpected bump at Liberty, as CNN noted then:
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."
Why am I bringing this up again now?
Because it's back in the news — somewhat — with the announcement that the president will deliver Liberty's commencement address this spring:
"I look forward to speaking to this amazing group of students on such a momentous occasion," Trump told the Christian Broadcasting Network. Trump added that he looked forward to "celebrating the success of this graduating class as well as sharing lessons as they embark on their next chapter full of hope, faith, optimism and a passion for life."
The trip to Liberty University will reunite Trump with one of his most vocal evangelical conservative surrogates, Liberty University President Jerry Falwell.
And yes, it's totally appropriate for reporters to recall the "Two Corinthians" episode, as CNN does:
Trump's lack of biblical lingo drew snickers from the crowd, too.
"Two Corinthians, 3:17, that's the whole ballgame," Trump had said, describing a biblical verse. The correct terminology is "Second Corinthians."
But that necessary background hurts my feelings just a little bit. Obviously, CNN missed — or forgot — the main point of my post way back when:
For all the details, go back and read that full post. But here's the gist: Some pretty prominent Bible scholars — particularly British ones — use the same "Two Corinthians" language as Trump did.
So he didn't really mess up.
Except that he admitted that he did — giving an interview in which he cast blame for how he said the biblical epistle's name.
Back to present time: Washington Post religion writer Julie Zauzmer nails the "Two Corinthians" background:
This is not the first time Trump has spoken at Liberty. He addressed the school’s convocation in 2012 and again in 2016 during his presidential campaign, when some mocked him for calling a book of the Bible “Two Corinthians” instead of the common American phrasing “Second Corinthians.”
That's a real precise — and accurate — way to put it.
Way to go, Julie!