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Bad Sermon: “Him that pisseth against the wall”

7th March 2008

Check out this sermon on the phrase “him that pisseth against the wall” from the KJV of 1 Kings 14:10. The phrase also occurs in 1Sam 25:22, 25:34; 1Kings 16:11, 21:21, and 2Kings 9:8. The rendering by the KJV, while perhaps vulgar to modern ears, is a word for word translation of the Hebrew.

While I — along with this preacher — lament modern translations that simply render the Hebrew idiom with the English term “male” I do so for very different reasons. In absolute contrast with the meaning of the passage, the ludicrous message the preacher takes from the phrase is that “real men” pee standing up (and I would add, should never lift the toilet seat!). If this preacher would have cracked the cover of even the most useless Bible Commentary, he would have discovered that the expression is contemptuously comparing males to dogs who “piss against the wall.” Thus,  I don’t think modern translations bring out the connotative meaning of the original Hebrew by the non-vulgar translation as “male.”  See my post Dogs, Urine, and Bible Translations (On the Importance of Translating Connotative Meaning).

Well, enough preamble, here is the sermon in all its glory:

(HT to Bob Derrenbacker)


7 Responses to “Bad Sermon: “Him that pisseth against the wall””

  1. kata Drew » Blog Archive » Him that Pisseth against the Wall Says:

    [...] HT: Codex: Biblical Studies [...]

  2. D. P. Says:

    This piss-poor sermon has gotten far more coverage in the blogosphere than I would have ever predicted. And for what it’s worth, when I first heard it I immediately thought about your post linked above. :-)

  3. Dawn+ Says:

    It’s mid-afternoon on Friday, and I have spent much of the day preparing to work with students in an exegesis course. Your post has given me new energy. Thanks.

  4. Matt Page Says:

    Saw this for the first time a while ago, but can’t help wondering if it is a spoof. After all we never see the congregation. In fact, the unusual camera angle means it’s possible not even got a particularly big space in front of him. He could, in fact, be just spouting forth against a wall himself!

    Matt

  5. Loren Rosson III Says:

    It’s not a spoof. Just get on Pastor Anderson’s website and listen to his available sermons. This guy is completely for real.

  6. Bible Talk: Wall-Pissing and Big Brother « kata ta biblia Says:

    [...] Baptist Church, Tempe, Arizona). It’s so crazy, it’s hilarious. See posts about it by Tyler Williams, Loren Rosson, Paul Martin, and [...]

  7. Paraza » Worst Sermon Ending of All Time Says:

    [...] two “worst” posts in a row isn’t maybe all that uplifting … but follow this link if you want to find the five minute version of the topic I’m considering for the next time I [...]