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Controversy
Houston’s First Baptist Church pastor Gregg Matte announced at the start of this year that he will no longer be preaching from the New International Version (NIV) of the Bible. The NIV has been the most familiar, best-selling Bible for decades; however, some Baptist pastors like Matte now say the NIV is no longer accurate after updates were made to the translation last year, including the adoption of gender-neutral language. The Southern Baptist Convention denounced the updated NIV last summer and asked its popular bookstore affiliate, LifeWay, to stop selling the 2011 version. Individual Southern Baptist congregations operate autonomously and may use whatever Bible translation they would like. The biggest issue with the new NIV was its incorporation of gender-neutral pronouns in places where the word-for-word translation would render a male pronoun. That was part of Matte’s concerns over accuracy, said Steven Murray, spokesman for Houston’s First. The pastor believes the updated translation has gotten further away from the original biblical texts in other examples, including using “servants” instead of “slaves” in the New Testament. Starting in 2012, Houston’s First will use the lesser-known and fairly new Holman Christian Standard Bible instead of the NIV during lessons from the pulpit and Bible studies. Members and guests are still welcome to use whatever Bible version they’d like. More here. What do you think? A bunch of hoopla about nothing, or a good decision based on truth? Would love to hear your thoughts.
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Trends
According to the Christian Post, the latest version of the popular NIV Bible translation has had its verses on homosexuality reworded, making them clearer in denouncing the practice, according to Dr. Douglas J. Moo for Wheaton Collage, a theologian who helped with the translation says. “The 1984 NIV rendering … did not make clear whether homosexual activity per se was being condemned or whether only certain kinds of ‘offensive’ homosexual activity was being condemned.,” said Moo. “The updated NIV makes clear that the Greek words here indicate any kind of homosexual activity. The updated NIV also reflects the fact that the key Greek word here refers to males.” According to Moo, other verses that were altered due to scholarship and to make the message clearer included Romans 1:26-27 and Leviticus 18:22. In Romans 1:26, the verse “even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones,” was changed to, “even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones.” While in Leviticus 18:22, the verse “Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman,” was changed to, “Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman.” One verse that appears to have been changed dramatically was 1Timothy 1:10, where the word “perverts” from the 1984 NIV was changed to “those practicing homosexuality.” “The same key Greek word used in 1 Corinthians 6:9 occurs here also, and so the reason for the change here was the same as the reason for the change in 1 Corinthians 6:9,” said Moo. The NIV 2011 version debuted amid controversy, with some Christian groups and individuals criticizing the translation for allegedly having too much “gender inclusive” language, similar to the TNIV translation of the Bible. Last year, members of the Southern Baptist Convention and the Committee on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood criticized the edition, saying the 2011 NIV “cannot be considered sufficiently trustworthy in its translation of gender language.” You can read more here. Thoughts?    
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