Biblical Verses

Since my grasp of Japanese is far from adequate, i often refer to my English bible (usually NIV) during the readings and the sermon, and quite often during the collective reading of a psalm. This can be awkward, however, when the versification of the Japanese text differs from the English.

In yesterday’s Holy Communion service, for example, we were reading Psalm 69, verses 1-17 (Japanese), with Rev. Yoshioka reading the odd-numbered verses and the congregation responding with even numbered ones.

As I was trying to respond quietly in English, I soon found myself out of sync with everyone else. When I checked the psalm in both languages after the service, i found that verses two and three in Japanese correspond to verse two alone in English. Thus, verses 1-17 in Japanese correspond to verses 1-16 in English. The second English verse is follows:

I sink in the miry depths, where there is no foothold. (J2)
I have come into the deep waters; the floods engulf me. (J3)

For anyone trying to follow the service using English, therefore, it would be necessary to say only the first part of verse two, allow the president to finish the verse, and thereafter read the odd-numbered verses, with the president finishing on verse 16 (17 in Japanese).