Features

Zondervan's view: Not serving the feminist agenda

National

Issue: "Donna Rice Hughes," April 19, 1997

The Committee on Bible Translation is the decision-maker for the NIV, and sources within it speak to the accuracy of WORLD's account. Spokesmen for two other organizations with key roles did not point out any factual errors, but accused WORLD of misleading readers through a tone that, according to Jonathan Petersen, Zondervan's director of corporate affairs, "attempts to convey a conspiracy of evangelical Bible translation with radical social feminism."

Mr. Petersen stated, "As far as Zondervan is concerned as the publisher of the NIV, and International Bible Society as the copyright owner of the NIV, nothing could be further from the truth. For 188 years IBS, and for 66 years Zondervan, have faithfully communicated the richness of God's revelation. Our proven commitment and time-tested dedication should be considered in any discussion on the matter."

Mr. Petersen then pointed out that the current NIV--which is the version WORLD editors and writers have used for years--is "based on the most reliable Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek texts. A translation team of more than 100 evangelical Bible scholars from many different denominations, using four levels of committee review, worked for 13 years before the complete Bible was released in 1978. These scholars came from the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Australia, and New Zealand."

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Turning to the question at hand, the revised NIV, Mr. Petersen stated, "All revisions, past and future, are done for the sole purpose of increasing the accuracy of the English rendering of what the original text says. Terms such as 'inclusive language,' 'unisex language,' and 'gender-neutral' can be seen as negative and politically-charged. We object to being put in these camps in the WORLD article; we intend in no way to advance a particular social agenda or stray from the original biblical texts. We have never identified with these phrases nor will we ever."

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