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Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Four hundred thousand litres of wheat: The NIV and Luke 16:7


Iver Larson writes in the Better Bibles Blog (apparently misquoting the actual figures):
I have seen an NIV that was obviously changed from imperial to metric with a quick search and replace, and any numeric references that didn’t have the unit afterwards were not converted. This turns the parable of the unjust steward in Luke 16 into something quite different:
“How much do you owe my master?” “3 kilolitres of wheat” “Well, take your bill and write 400″.

Consulting an imperial NIV showed that it was actually meant to go from 800 gallons to 400 gallons, which made some amount of sense.
I’d also add that we here at least would rarely use kilolitres in ordinary speech, and would probably say 3,000 litres of wheat (if we even measured wheat in litres). You may well use 3,000 and 1,500 in preference to 3 and 1.5 anyway.

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