This post is intended for my Christian readers, and friends. If you are not a Christian, but would like more information about becoming one, I welcome you to contact me, and we can discuss it. If you are a Christian, and have questions about this post, I encourage you to contact me as well.
There are basic duties that come with being a Christian. Most people, Christian or not, know them. Love God. Love your neighbor as yourself. Follow the rules given by the Bible. Pretty basic, right? I think so, but when my timeline gets flooded by hysterics over a half truth, I start to wonder if we really follow the simple rules that we are given.
If you are a member of the evangelical world, then you probably received a copy of a now viral screen shot showing that the Bible has been amended due to LGBT influence. Please allow me to be your “biblical snopes” for a moment, and inform you that the claim is absolutely false.
Just in case you weren’t forced to attend biblical history classes (trust me: they were sheer torture during my childhood), or if you did not research versions of the Bible on your own, I will give you a bite-sized tutorial. King James was an actual person, and held the title long before Lebron was a twinkle in his mother’s eye. The Church of England disagreed with the Puritan’s version of the Bible, so James had translators create a new version that would reflect the church’s beliefs, and include references to ordained clergy. Somehow, the many editions of King James’ influenced translation became the “official” version of the Bible for many denominations. Years later, other translations and versions, including the NIV, popped up, and throughout the years, they have been amended per the influences their publishers or denominations.
Now, let’s talk about this screenshot:
There are some truths presented. Zondervan is the US publisher of NIV, and it is currently under HarperCollins Christian Publishing. Verses are “missing” from electronic NIV translations of the Bible. That is pretty much where the truth ends. The revisions to the NIV have never been due to whomever is elected, or lobbied, nor have they been a result of the LGBT community. Revisions to the NIV could be attributed to archaeological and linguistic studies, as well as certain scholars’ beliefs about the derivation and translation of certain phrases or scenarios. Several denominations, such as the Southern Baptist Convention, have rejected certain revisions in the past, and many others may do so now. Unfortunately, none of this information will matter. Why? Because we have the tendency to use hysteria, misinformation, fear, anger, and intimidation to get “our point” across.
What have we gained by spreading screenshots like this?
I believe that many Christians have played right into their enemy’s hands. How? We have proven that we 1) do not know the history behind the printed version(s) of the Bible; 2) have not taken to heart 2 Timothy 2:15. The Amplified happens to be one of my many favorite translations of this verse.
The enemy banks on Christians not knowing the Word. The enemy loves it when we operate from our emotions, rather than the spirit. The enemy also delights in anything that causes strife, division, and confusion. I say let’s be smarter than the enemy.
When we fail to live up to all of the simple things that we are commanded to do, and reduce ourselves to hysterical, misleading posts on social media, we limit our effectiveness as witnesses of the goodness of God. We should be wiser than our enemy, and never get distracted. We should know the history of the Good Book that we claim to live by, and defend. We should be a beacon of light, and not confusion. We should be the people who draw others to Him, and not make them run away in revulsion.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the NIV translation. Perhaps you will decide that you will no longer read it, and maybe you are in a church that has already “rejected” the latest version, but I hope that you’ll make your decisions, and share information seasoned with actual knowledge, wisdom, and love.