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Bible Altered by Homosexuals and Satan Worshipers?

In Rants on July 15, 2015 at 7:16 am

BibleI’m on summer holidays so I have the luxury to scan my Facebook feed before I get out of bed. This morning, my peace was disturbed by an incredible post. It said:

PAY ATTENTION PEOPLE!! I’m sure you know that NIV was published by Zondervan but is now OWNED by Harper Collins, who also publishes the Satanic Bible and The Joy of Gay Sex.

The NIV has now removed 64,575 words from the Bible including Jehovah, Calvary, Holy Ghost and omnipotent to name but a few…

The NIV and ESV and other versions have also now removed 45 complete verses. Most of us have the Bible on our devices and phones.

Try and find these scriptures in NIV or ESV on your computer, phone or device right now if you are in doubt:

Matthew 17:21, 18:11, 23:14; Mark 7:16, 9:44, 9:46; Luke 17:36, 23:17; John 5:4; Acts 8:37…you will not believe your eyes.

. . . There is a crusade geared towards altering the Bible as we know it; NIV and many more versions are affected.

I feel compelled to respond to these claims.

“The NIV has removed [some] words from the Bible.” From which “Bible” were these words removed? This is an important question, but the answer is not clear. I think it likely that they are talking about an older translation of the Bible–the KJV seems likely (the KJV is the standard of comparison at this site which uses similar numbers)..

I did a quick comparison between the NIV and the King James Version. The KJV contains “thee” 2736 uses of the word “thee,” 4599 uses of the word “thou,” and six uses of the word “pisseth.” Are these the words that the NIV has removed and are evidence of the “crusade geared toward altering the Bible as we know it”?

Translations do not come from previous versions of the Bible (paraphrases do and ought to be treated accordingly), they come from materials that are as close to the original sources as possible. These are translated into some language, like Modern English, Swahili or Spanish, etc.  One could accurately say that a Spanish translation of the Bible has altered 100% of the Bible, if by Bible, you meant the King James Version. Does this make the Spanish Bible less valid than the KJV? Does it make is a “crusade toward altering the Bible”?  My point is, the NIV did not add, take away, or alter any part of the King James Version of the Bible.  They translated different source material using a different philosophy of translation and wrote it is a different style.  It is completely appropriate to question the materials, philosophy and style of a Bible translation, but it is completely illegitimate to criticize its differences to other translations.

Let’s look at the specific words that were identified by the Facebook poster as having been removed:

“Jehovah” accounts for 7 of the 64,575 words that have been removed from the Bible (which I am assuming to mean the KJV).  It is necessary for us to understand where the name Jehovah comes from. One of the Hebrew names for God was the tetragrammaton YHWH which was Romanized to JHVH. The term “Jehovah” was likely created by cramming the vowels of another name of God, Elohim (or ELOAH), between the Latinized name for God. The God of the Bible was never referred to by anything remotely resembling Jehovah.  It is no more appropriate to call Him by Jehovah than it is to refer to me by the name Annette Funicello. The NIV uses the capitalized “LORD” to designate the name YHWH and the term “Lord” for adonai.  I think that these designations add clarity to the names for God and this is a good thing.

“Calvary” is the Roman name for Golgotha which is the Aramaic word for “skull.” Are we really arguing that we should use the Latin name rather than the Aramaic name for the place Jesus was crucified? How does dropping the Latin name in favour of the Aramaic name show that the newer translations of the Bible are being twisted by a malevolent homosexual agenda?

Holy Ghost was changed to Holy Spirit — is this scandalous? I imagine the change was made because the term “ghost” has different connotations that might create a lot more confusion to modern readers than the term “spirit.” Are we seriously arguing that this change is some subversive plot of Satanists?

The one time the term “omnipotent” is used in the Bible was changed to “Almighty” by the NIV. How do the forces aligned against the church benefit from this change?

Matthew 17:21 — Jesus has just cast out a demon that the disciples were having some trouble with and he says that “this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.” The newer translations of the Bible do not included this verse because the older and better manuscripts of Matthew do not include it. In Mark 9:29 which recounts the same story, Jesus said, “This kind cannot come out by anything but prayer.” It is likely that a later copyist of the book of Matthew added these words from Mark and also added the word “fasting.” The newer translation are likely closer to what Matthew actually wrote.

Matthew18:11 — The same issue as above. Matthew23:14 — The same issue as above. Luke 17:36 — The same issue as above.  Luke23:17 — The same issue as above, and again, the meaning of the text is not changed in the slightest.  John 5:4 — The same issue.  Acts 8:37 — The same issue.  Mark 7:16 — The same issue.

Mark 9:44 — The same issue here too, but an interesting difference. Older manuscripts have the words, “the worms that eat them do not die, and the fire is not quenched,” only in verse 48, but the newer versions repeat this line in verse 44 and 46 as well. The NIV goes with the older, thought to be more accurate, version, which only records these words one time in verse 48.  I find myself wondering, how the suggested malevolent agenda of Harper Collins is advanced by including this phrase one time rather than three.

There is some legitimate discussion about whether or not the translation philosophy of the NIV is the right one, but the accusations leveled against the newer translations of the Bible in the Facebook post that I read this morning are completely inappropriate.

The devil is attacking the church in many different ways, but we do nothing but serve his cause if we manufacture attacks where none exist.   The good people at Zondervan and the experts responsible for the development of the NIV have dedicated their lives to provide Christians with an incredibly powerful tool for understanding God’s word. That all these life times of effort can be brought into question by one post, which took about 10 minutes to write and then shared on Facebook 60, 631 times, is very concerning to me. How much does the devil delight in groundless attacks on Christians by other Christians?

There is no conspiracy to alter the Bible.  Harper Collins is only interested in profits–in order for that to happen all their small publishing companies need to make products people will buy.  Thus, they are interested in what the NIV people are interested in–the most accurate translation of the Bible that they can produce.

If you want to post anything on Facebook, complain that no room at all for conviction in a world governed only by profits.

 

“If atheism is a religion then not collecting stamps is a hobby.”

In Apologetics on July 2, 2015 at 3:01 am

Someone commented on a blog post, “If atheism is a religion then not collecting stamps is a hobby.”

To this another commenter replied,

That only applies if you don’t go to stamp collecting sites and explain why stamp collecting is stupid, produce podcasts about why stamp collecting is stupid, write books on why stamp collecting is stupid, sue because someone want to promote stamp collecting, or hold rallies to celebrate non-stamp collecting.

What the original commenter doesn’t understand is that atheism is a religion in the sense that it makes fundamental, and unprovable truth claims.  Religion generally arise out of the search for meaning and truth.  An agnostic avoids making a religious claim when she says that she doesn’t know if there is or is not a god. The atheist, on the other hand, makes a fundamental and unprovable truth claim that there is no God. This, in the sense that it is a belief about truth and meaning around which one orients one’s life, is a religious claim.

So you can see, the original commenter is making a categorical error. Not collecting stamps does not fall into the same category as not believing here is a transcendent being.

 

Some notes about Hollywood Films

In Books, Movies and Television on June 29, 2015 at 3:57 am

Movies and Rality

“Can’t we just watch it?!”

When watching a movie in class, many of my students complain when I stop it in order to engage in a discussion of what the movie is presenting.  My response to their “Can’t we just watch it?” is always, sure.  “Sure, this Friday night, in your living room.”  But to be truthful, I don’t believe that we should ever “just watch” a movie.  We need to be aware of what they are presenting as truth or reality.

I’ve written about movies before: R Rated Movies, Does Movie Violence Affect the Viewer?, Language, Sex and Violence–What will we Watch?, The Demonic and the Stupid, A Negative Times a Negative Equals a Positive.  Here are some notes that I don’t think I’ve yet posted:

Movies always show a hero who needs something.

  • What they need is often not what they think they need.
  • Friends, trials, even enemies help the hero to realize what they need.
  • In the end, the hero has an opportunity to take it.
  • It’s interesting to analyze movies on the basis of what the story tellers insist the hero needs.
  • In Hollywood it’s usually, it’s romantic love.

_____________________

Masculinity, Femininity, Love and Sex

  • Male heroes often have a problem with authority–they need freedom?
  • Masculinity in the movies is muscles, emotional restraint, dominance, aggression, sexual prowess and the capacity for violence.
  • Femininity in movies presents the woman as passive and finding her identity in the man. She is expected to be sexually chaste and resist the advances of the male.
  • Sex is a physical expression of romantic love. She was chaste until she realized that she was “in love,” and this is within the rules.
  • Love in Hollywood: Romantic love is passionate, irresistible and able to conquer anything, including barriers of social class, age, race and ethnicity, and personal conflicts.

______________________

Hopeful and Materialistic

  • We like things to wrap up nicely and leave us with a sense of hope for the future.
  • Hollywood films must be rational.  We need a knowable, physical cause for everything.