Zondervan/ NIV

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
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:

Me personally, I have not read an NIVI or TNIV. So cannot compare it to the NIV or anything. But in theory I am agianst having such translations. Fells like it is pushing liberal ideas.

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.

(from Wikipedia)

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.....

Moving on...
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

No Carnivores in the Garden?

Here is something I have been thinking a lot about (off and on) since my recent visit to Creation Museum.

Carnivores did not exist until after the Fall of man.
The assumption is that no animals died until after God killed the first animal to cover the human beings.

And think about what this means....
All the animal kingdom were vegetarians!

What would a wolf, tiger, shark, etc look like without those sharp teeth?
What did they eat!!!
I am just imaging all the adaptations that were made after the sin.....

And on a philosophical level....
Do you think that flesh was not suppose to be food?

Ok, well after doing some more research and thought I am keeping my mind open.
The more I think about it that more I have been thinking that death among animals (without souls) could quite possibly have happened even before the Fall of man.

1. God created all animals of all kinds. (Including Carnivores). Genesis 1:24-25 states "And God made the beasts [chayyah] of the earth after their kind, and the cattle after their kind.. and God saw that it was good. In many places in the Old Testament, the Hebrew word "chayyah" refers to animals that eat flesh. In Genesis 1:24 term seems to refer to an entire group of animals, contrasting "cattle" which are herbivores. This strongly suggests that there were already carnivores before the Fall.

2. the eco. system and overpopulation:
1.Unchecked reproduction would lead to nightmarish overcrowding in a matter of weeks or less.
2. Many organisms are obligatory predators.
3. Many animals have elaborate defense mechanisms against predators.
4. Countless small organisms are routinely killed as larger organisms eat and walk.
5. Many organisms die of accidental deaths.
6. For physical immortality, absolutely all aging would need to cease.
7. Physical immortality removes the need for reproduction.
8. Vital ecological cycles cannot work if organisms do not die.

3. Theologically this would still work: God killed the first animal to cover for humans sins, but it is a strecth to say he killed the first animal period.

The meat of either argument centers on the interpretation of these verses:

Genesis 2:16, which states that God told Adam not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, "for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." A New Testament passage sometimes offered as support for the position is Romans 5:12 which states, "Sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin."

Some assert that these verses indicate that no humans, animals, or plants died before before the Fall, and were created to be physcially immortal. Others allow plant death, on the grounds that God gave plants as food to us and other creatures (Genesis 1:29-30), or because plants are not conscious. Still others maintain that only humans were immortal before the Fall (Reem, 2005; Koukl, 2006). However, even if one interprets Genesis in a literal manner[1], when Biblical and scientific considerations are fully examined, the concept of "no physical death" is not well supported, and creates a host of theological, logical, and scientific problems. A more reasonable conclusion is that the verses in question refer to spiritual death, not physical death.

A lot of readings I will let you readfor yourself....

Did God create Carnivores on the 6th day?

It's all about teeth... (THis one looks at both sides of the argument and has got me stumped. )
I think that all three ideas are feasible.

No phyiscal death before the Fall?

No human death before the fall? ( I like this arguement as well.)


Sealed w Holy Spirt

Eph 1:13-14
13 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,
14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.

These two verses are encouraging to me. And I like to use them in the P of the "tuliP" argument.
(P is for
"Perseverance of the saints.") On this issue I agree with John Calvin.

The argument is that none who are truly saved can be condemned for their sins or finally fall away from the faith. The idea in sum is "once saved, always saved." And people who "fall away" from faith, were NOT ever truly saved in the first place.

Now this is a very controversal topic and again it is one of the non-essentials. What you think about this toppic in the end does not really matter, we are all going to live and get along together when we reach Heavan and have full understanding of the topic as God reveals these things to us.

I have recently read an interesting thought-provoking, but not convincing argument, "can the seal be broken?"
The more I read about their positions, the more I am confused by their understanding of Scripture...
Thet try to say that you can lose your salvation with one sin, but not all sins are of equal degree and then they try to examine scriptures and determine who is in Heaven and who is not due to their sins. King David is a good example. Based on his adultery is the "man after God's own heart" not in Heaven?

Some intersting reads, that is for sure.....


money is such a temporary thing

You know I have been thinking a lot recently about how money is not that great.

Really, its own purpose is to be spent in the end......

It is not fulfilling and it never will be. It is not suppose to be.

It is an earthly thing and it is helpful. Of course it is necessary, but it is not worth focusing our life and lifestyle around.

What does the Bible say:

1. Proverbs 13:22 "A good man leaves an inheritance to his childrens' children"

2. Proverbs 21:20 "In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil, but a foolish man devours all he has."

3. Proverbs 22:7 states that "The rich rule over the poor, And the borrower is servant to the lender."

4. Luke 14:28 "For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it."

5. Matt. 6:24 "You cannot serve both God and money".

God wants us to be responsible with our money. We need to save money. He does not want us in debt. And it is also important to point out that money should not and cannot take the place of God in our lives.

drunk on the Word!

Jer 23:9 Concerning the prophets: My heart is broken within me; all my bones tremble. I am like a drunken man, like a man overcome by wine, because of the LORD and his holy words.

This is a beautiful jewel. Imagine Jeremiah, as he is "drunk" on the holy Words of the Lord!

I wish more often that my heart was broken and humbled by the Scriptures. I wish that I were "drunk" on the Bible. Letting it impact my entire being!


New World Order Conspiracy

Has any one heard about this conspiracy?

An acquaintance that I had lunch with recently informed me about this crazy idea....that scary part is that he believes that the conspiracy is true. I was blown away by his beliefs and did not respond. In fact, I forget all the details mostly because I was weirded out.

My acquaintance believes that only a select few groups of really really rich people are controlling the entire world. And blah blah blah, something about President Bush, Skull and Bones blah blah blah and how America is going down the tubes with us even know it....

I am not informed enough about this conspiracy to say if I even think that this theory is feasible or not, but what I do know I am not convinced that it is true. Please tell me what you know and think...

So with many questions and some concern I began my own research:

"New World Order refers to a conspiracy theory in which a powerful and secretive group is alleged to be plotting to eventually rule the world via an autonomous world government, which would replace sovereign states and other checks and balances in world power struggles."

Okay, this is from Wikipedia. And best I can tell, relating it to theology and things I do know about, it does seem feasible especially relating to end time. (Especially for pre millennial dispensationalism eschatology). Say after Christ's second coming, the anti-Christ could form this One World Government of peace and unity.

As far as placing this eschatology theory together with this New World Order theory....I am not sure if they fit together, mostly because I am not a pre millennial dispensationalist and secondly because I am not convinced enough that this New World Order is actually happening in real life.

Sure the rich have a lot of control on things but they do not have world domination.

And on the topic of groups that world together to control the world...they never work!
Think about the UN. When has the UN ever done anything productive?

Skull and Bones is a senior or secret society based at Yale University, in New Haven, Connecticut. The society's alumni organization, which owns the society's real property and oversees the organization's activity, is known as the Russell Trust Association, and is named after one of Bones' founding members, General William Russell.[1] In conversation, the group is known as "Bones", and members have been known as "Bonesmen".[2] (Wikipedia again)

From a CBS News article:
“I think Skull and Bones has had slightly more success than the mafia in the sense that the leaders of the five families are all doing 100 years in jail, and the leaders of the Skull and Bones families are doing four and eight years in the White House,” says Rosenbaum.

A list of leaders who are members and other interesting conspiracies....

So what do you think, any need to be afraid? think it is legit?


Judgment and love Dilemma

There is a theological tension.
A tension within God during the OT covenant times!
We see in the Prophetic writings, an inner turmoil of God.
You see, God is compelled by his nature, both to judge sin and to save his beloved people.
It is an illogicality in theology!

God desires judgment with an intention to save!
He has an agony of decision, we see this in Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, and other prophets.
His own nature he demands judgment yet he will not judge because his is holy. He is love.

The resolution of this is the cross of Jesus Christ.
Where the Judge is judged.


"I will not return to destroy Ephraim: for I am God, and not man."—Hosea 11:9.

Hos 6:6 For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.
Hos 6:7 Like Adam, they have broken the covenant-- they were unfaithful to me there.

Matthew 9:12-14: "But go and learn what this means: `I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."