Columnists > Mailbag


Issue: "Progress in Hollywood," March 23, 2002

Be sensitive

As I read of Zondervan's premise that neutralizing "insensitive" parts of Scripture in its new TNIV may invite new people to read the Bible, it occurred to me that the gender-neutral issue is barely scratching the surface of offensive biblical issues ("Trust me," Feb. 23). We should also be concerned about animal-rights activists and vegetarians, and weed out portions describing animal and grain sacrifices. Then you have all the times God instructed the Israelites to destroy the surrounding pagan nations, which very sadly included women and children. Those parts definitely need to go. And all that judgment against sinful practices is out, because so many people find that offensive. I wonder what Zondervan's version will look like by the time it is sensitive to all readers? - Lisa Meek, Bothell, Wash.

Confront culture

I am glad for the stand WORLD takes on the Bible translation issue. Our culture is no longer tolerant of Christians and now more than ever we must stand strong. We are under pressure from every side to compromise, but culture should not dictate our standard for Bible translation. Throughout history Christians have found cultures that have been opposed to the Bible, but they did not change the Bible to fit the culture, they used the Bible to confront the culture. - Jonathan Wedge, Grand Rapids, Mich.

They have forgotten

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I was disappointed to read that IBS and Zondervan have tried again to publish a gender-neutral version of the NIV, particularly after agreeing not to do so five years ago. Their capitulation to the feminists' animus toward male pronouns was not nearly as bad as the other motive for changing the Word, to increase Bible reading by removing "insensitive" language. Those people have forgotten whose Word they are passing judgment on. It is time to take a stand when a Christian organization breaks its word in order to change God's Word, and that in an effort to be more acceptable to a sinful world. - Hugh Henry, Dahlonega, Ga.


Yes, let's keep political agendas out of Bible translation. Who is WORLD to predict that gender-neutral language will not become vernacular? If IBS, CBT, and Zondervan made a commitment to keep gender-neutral language out of future Bible translations, it was under extreme pressure from those with a political agenda. Kudos to them for introducing the TNIV in the face of such controversy. - Paul Schulz, Columbus, Ohio


Susan Olasky's articles on the TNIV Bible were outstanding. There were no personal attacks, but she exposed the hypocrisy of another supposedly Christian business venture that, due to poor ethics, does more harm than good to the cause of Christ. - Lenny Demers, North Wales, Pa.

Truth on the gallows

Having read avidly all that has appeared in WORLD about the TNIV, researching all I can find online and having written to both Zondervan (response received) and IBS (no response), the image of Mr. Clinton wagging his finger before the American people and saying, "I did not ..." comes to mind. Then, as in the current spin regarding the TNIV, truth was on the gallows. How sad that two once-great institutions have gone the way of postmodern political correctness. - Richard H. Hess, Manchester, N.J.

Redirect resources

I, too, am very concerned about what appears to be feminist intent and double talk in re-approaching previously abandoned efforts at gender dilution. However, I cannot remove from this discussion the millions of people with no Bible translation. Should we spend energy and resources in a word fight over the next newest or redirect many of those human resources to languages and people with no Bible at all? - John Sherwood
UFM International, Bala Cynwyd, Pa.

New and worse

To us the Bible is sacred, but to IBS and Zondervan it is apparently a book to be revised periodically to reflect changes in our culture, like a car repair manual must be updated to reflect model design changes. We will likely see a series of new and increasingly worse versions released every year or two as they seek to pander to the loudest voices in our culture. - Allen Brooks, Sheridan, Wyo.

Sorely disappointed

My wife and I have enjoyed WORLD for a number of months now, but we are sorely disappointed by the strong position you have taken regarding the TNIV. We look forward to getting a copy of the TNIV, and think you would do better sticking to the news. We will not be renewing our subscription. - Nat Krupp, Salem, Ore.


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