Sunday, January 27, 2008

Obama's Speech & Mark 12:41-44

Obama's speech last night is getting a good deal of praise (see here, here, and here), but left a few folks -- myself included -- asking what was the Bible verse the old woman who sent his campaign with the money order for $3.01?

Mark Kleiman is on the case:

So what was the "verse of Scripture"? A Kossack commenter finds what must surely be the right passage: the parable of the Widow's Mite (Mark 12:41-44).

And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much.

And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing.

And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury:

For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.

Meanwhile, a reader answers my query about the significance of $3.01, which I imagined might point at the verse:

The significance of the amount isn't a particular verse of scripture. I thought it was an amazingly subtle little joke. If someone buys something for $3.01, you are going to have to make change.

I think my reader is right. But if he is, we need a stronger word than "subtle."

Another reader prefers the simpler-is-better approach:

Based on absolutely no facts, I'm going to guess that the supermarket where she bought the money order doesn't sell them for $3 or under.
[via PD2.0]

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