Saturday 31 January 2009

Minus points, Stephen Fry

While watching the normally superb quiz programme QI on BBC1 last night, I was annoyed to hear the presenter Stephen Fry say that one of the commandments in the Bible is "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live".

This quote, which did appeared in the King James Bible, was actually a mistranslation of a phrase that meant "Thou shalt not suffer a poisoner to live", yet it was used as an excuse to persecute witches for centuries.

I'm a little surprised that the QI research team would have let this bit of misinformation slip through, because pointing out the errors in common sayings is what the quiz is all about.

So, Stephen Fry, minus points and time to put the dunces cap on.



Anonymous said...

Well - technically, it does appear in the bible; specifically as you say, the King James translation.

That's the problem with overarching statements like 'The Bible' - given that there's many versions, the point that QI was making is both true and untrue.

Badwitch said...

Hmmm. I still think Mr Fry deserved the klaxon of ignorance :)

Anonymous said...

I was shouting "dealer in poisons" at the telly and feeling just a teeny bit pleased with myself!

Anonymous said...

It's a lot older than the King James version: AFAIK it's in every English bible from Wycliffe onwards...