Okay so I made a note at the end of a recent post about Zondervan that there might actually be grounds to question about Zondervan and the NIV Bible.
To be upfront with you, I am not supporting any of these theories. I am making you aware of them. I really should do multiple posts, but here is a table of contents:
1. Homosexuality issue.
2. Gender neutral issue.
3. Dominion theology issue.
4. Issue of the blood.
5. General NIV hate club.
Why am I showing these theories? Mostly because I want to learn about them and see what other people think about them as well. Like I said, at least when I started this post, I was neutral towards the NIV and did not have much knowledge about these issues. After I explain each issue later in this post I may or may not take a side…..
1. Homosexuality issue
Zonderzan is in a lawsuit– $60 million federal lawsuit filed by a man who claims he and other homosexuals have suffered based on what the suit claims is a misinterpretation of the Bible.
n the passage in 1 Corinthians 6:9 the word translated ‘homosexuals’ is from the Greek word Arsenokoites and from Strong’s:
– one who lies with a male as with a female, sodomite, homosexual.
From a WordPress Blog:
“Zondervan doesn’t translate the Bible or own the copyright for any of the translations. Instead, she said in a statement, the company relies on the “scholarly judgment of credible translation committees.”
That is to say, setting aside whether the federal civil rights lawsuit is credible, the company says Bradley Fowler sued the wrong group.
His suit centers on one passage in scripture — 1 Corinthians 6:9 — and how it reads in Bibles published by Zondervan.
Fowler says Zondervan Bibles published in 1982 and 1987 use the word homosexuals among a list of those who are “wicked” or “unrighteous” and won’t inherit the kingdom of heaven.
Fowler says his family’s pastor used that Zondervan Bible, and because of it his family considered him a sinner and he suffered.
Now he is asking for an apology and $60 million.
“To compensate for the past 20 years of emotional duress and mental instability,” Fowler told 24 Hour News 8 in a phone interview.
He claims the company is misinterpreting the Bible by specifically using the word homosexuals. Fowler admits that every Bible printed is a translation, interpreted in some way, but he says specifically using that word is not a translation but a change.
Fowler says he came across the discrepancy while researching a book. He says Zondervan Bibles published in the 1980s use the word homosexuals in the Corinthian passage in question, but earlier and later ones don’t.
24 Hour News 8 went to a library to do some research of our own, and found Zondervan Bibles published both in the 80s and post-2000 use the word homosexuals in the passage.
Some translations, like the New American Standard, use the word. Others don’t.
The (regular) American Standard version uses the phrase “abusers of themselves with men.” The King James says “abusers of themselves with mankind.” Still others, like the New American Bible, use the word “sodomites.”
Fowler says the idea that those phrases are another way of saying homosexuals is a misinterpretation as well.”
As far as I can tell, this man does not have much of a case. It think Zondervan will do alright in this lawsuit…..
I think that this man does not know what he is talking about. And that yes, the main point is that he is a sinner and the truth of the Bible is hurting him a little. My forst response is to pray for the guy. He is close to truth and needs the Holy Spirit to help him understand it.
2. Gender Neutral Issue:
Gender Neutral question
WORLD published an article in 1997, which attempts to convey a conspiracy of evangelical NIV Bible translation with radical social feminism.
Zondervan’s first response:
“ we intend in no way to advance a particular social agenda or stray from the original biblical texts. We don’t identify with these names. Our focus is strictly on maintaining the accuracy to the original biblical texts and readability of the translation of those texts. Whenever the original texts can be rendered more clearly in the English language, it is our commitment to do that.”
Originally they had no intention of producing a gender neutral Bible…but later that year, after more scrutinty from WORLD, The NIVI –New International Version Inclusive Language Edition …was produced.
Long story short, NIVI, is quite controversal. And there are a ton of heavy readings on it:
3. Dominionist theology:
” a grouping of theological systems with the common belief that society should be governed exclusively by the law of God as codified in the Bible, to the exclusion of secular law. The two main streams of Dominion Theology are Christian Reconstructionism and Kingdom Now theology. Though these two differ greatly in their general theological orientation (the first is strongly Reformed and Neo-Calvinistic, the second is Charismatic), they share a postmillenial vision in which the kingdom of God will be established on Earth through political and (in some cases) even military means, preparing the way for or enabling the return of Christ.
All strains of Dominion Theology are small minorities, and are rejected by most mainstream Christians as quite radical. However, Dominion Theology is seen by some as a subset of Dominionism, a term used by some social scientists and journalists to describe a theological form of political ideology, which they claim has broadly influenced the Christian Right in the United States, Canada, and Europe, within Protestant Christian evangelicalism and fundamentalism.”
Dominionism describes, in several distinct ways, a tendency among some conservative politically-active Christians, especially in the United States of America, to seek influence or control over secular civil government through political action — aiming either at a nation governed by Christians, or a nation governed by a conservative Christian understanding of biblical law. The use and application of this terminology is a matter of controversy.
There is something about Dominionism that I actually like! (To be perfectly honest!)
I like that in Dominionism, Christisans feel responsible and want to take social action. We as Christians have certian duties that require social action and responsibility!
I do see the negative side of Domininism. It is an etremist position.
The concept of Dominionism is based on the Bible’s text in Genesis 1:26. Most Christians interpret this verse as meaning that God gave humankind dominion over the Earth. Many consider this a mandate for stewardship rather than the assertion of total control. A more assertive interpretation of this verse is seen as a command that Christians bring all societies, around the world, under the rule of the Word of God, as they understand it. As Sara Diamond explains, in this view, Christians see themselves as “mandated to gradually occupy all secular institutions until Christ returns.”
And this can be a dangerous understanding of the verse. I think that is a little twisted and out of context! God certianly has given man rule over animals, but saying that he has given Christians world domination is quite a stretch! That is not right especially just from that one verse. Read it in context! And yes, God is calling us towards stewardship.
So I am not a fan of Dominionism. What I find strange, is how neo-calvinists and charismatics (both extremes) working together on this issue! And another weird finding is that Dominionism is related to the same people who believe in the New World Order Conspiracy.
Now the question is this, how is Zondervan a part of the Dominion theory? Well some people think that Zondervan and many of their books and theology that they believe in in general, is that of Dominionism theology.
To me, this feels like another conspiracy theory and it propbaly is no real threat. I am still buying books from Zondervan (wheter or not it is true.)
They do have books that push for social action and radical change in the World. But the authors are BIBLICALLY sound and the books of question are not radically Dominionistic, in my opinion. There really is a calling from God for us to be players of social justice and rightousness. So this theory is just merely conspiracy, I conclude.
4. The Blood of Jesus issue: There is an acusation that the NIV (along wiht several other modern translations are) / is bloodless. The issue here is blodd atonement. This is an issue that is unfortunate and does in fact bother me a little. But in the end it is debatable….
The arguement is really a technical issue and both sides of the argument can be stretched quite a bit! ( I recommend this article by James May) The issue is that the NIV tones down the blood of Jesus. The argument can cut both ways if you become a “KJV only” believer, becuase as May states “If the NIV is a bloodless Bible, then so are most of the manuscripts in the very family from which the KJV was translated. Of course it would be ridiculous to accuse the Byzantine manuscripts of not having the blood of Christ, but no more ridiculous than making the same accusation against the New International Version.” In the end it not worth laying down your life for either side. Sometimes it is great to look at many translations to get a fresh reading of the same scripture, it can really help you understnad the Word better. I find that helpful and useful many times.
For more on this topic do a search on : “KJV only” and “bloodless Bibles” for both sides of the debate.
5. NIV hate club:
All I can say is “WOW.” This website is really stupid and not really worth your time.
If you take a close look at some of their pages, there are some interesting arguments but still nothing even worht mentioning.
This website is angry and exegreatted way too much…..
So today looked at some intersting controversy surronding the NIV bible.
1. Homosexuality lawsuit. NIV gets my favor on this issue.
2. Gender neutral issue. The NIV is still okay with me, but the TNIV is something to avoid.
3. Dominion theology issue. The NIV is save. I even give props to Zondervan. Keep your eyes open though!
4. Issue of the blood. NIV is still okay in my opinion. The knive cuts both ways on this techincal issue.
5. General NIV hate club. Dumb site. NIV gets my favor, but it is still interesting to note some of the weird things the NIV hate club points out.
So overal, I am rooting for the NIV Bible. My favoraite translations recently:
1. HCSB (the Apologetic Study bible addiition)
2. NET Bible – relatively new check it out. Lots of scholars worked on putting this together, really neat!
3. NASB for deep study(Greek word meanings!!)
4. NLT for an easier read time to time