Your Translation Is Wrong!

This was originally a Facebook post. I figured I might as well put it here, too.

VERY CRITICAL ALERT!!!
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 and ESV 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 has also now removed 45 complete verses. Most Of us have the Bible on our devices and phones especially OLIVE TREE BIBLE STUDY APP.
•Try and find these scriptures in NIV and 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.
•Refuse to be blinded by Satan, and do not act like you just don’t care, Let’s not forget what the Lord Jesus said in John 10:10 (King James Version). There is a crusade geared towards altering the Bible as we know it; NIV, ESV and many more versions are affected,
.THE SOLUTION: If you must use the NIV and ESV, BUY and KEEP AN EARLIER VERSION OF the BIBLE. A Hard Copy cannot be updated.
All these changes occur when they ask you to update the app. On your phone or laptop etc.
Please spread the word…

Someone on Facebook who I won’t link to, but others abound with similar accusations.

With the risk of offending some Facebook friends, I have to finally deal with this one. It keeps coming up in various places, and here, at least, I want to answer it.

This is a purported “proof” that the NIV is corrupt. Let’s set aside the accusations toward Zondervan (the publisher), as it is Biblica (not Zondervan) that controls the NIV.

First, let’s recognize that the KJV that most people read is not the original KJV published in 1611. If it does not say, “feede”, “poore”, “bestowe”, for example, it’s not the 1611 “Authorized Version”. There are the 1760, 1769, 1873, 2005 (supposedly returning to the “true” 1611 with modern spelling) versions. If I understand correctly, the 1873 version is the one most people are referring to when they say KJV.

The KJV New Testament was translated using the 𝑇𝑒𝑥𝑡𝑢𝑠 𝑅𝑒𝑐𝑒𝑝𝑡𝑢𝑠, which was a compilation of texts gathered by Erasmus starting in 1516. This was the text that King James commanded be the only one used for the KJV, even though other manuscripts were out there. Erasmus (then King James) were the gatekeepers of the selection of manuscripts.

Other translations, not just the NIV or ESV (which is probably the most KJV adherent modern translation out there), use more than 𝑇𝑒𝑥𝑡𝑢𝑠 𝑅𝑒𝑐𝑒𝑝𝑡𝑢𝑠 to compile, compare, select, and then (ultimately) translate. It is this process that provides confidence in the base aspect of the translation. That the 𝑇𝑒𝑥𝑡𝑢𝑠 𝑅𝑒𝑐𝑒𝑝𝑡𝑢𝑠 had a single person decided which manuscript (including the likelihood that he could not get access to some in other countries) is actually one of the huge red flags when it comes to modern translations.
In the case of Luke 9:56 (chosen because they made a nice graphic about it), here is a short list of translations that match the NIV: the LEB (possibly the most scholarly conservative version), the REB, the CJB, the ASV (ties with LEB), NRSV, NRSVue, the Darby Version (from 1890!), the CSB, the CEV, the Douay-Rheims (from 1790!), ERV (1895).

The accuracy of the NIV or ESV isn’t really the issue. What we have is, for many, like rock music was in the 80s for certain Christians (I remember seeing album and book burning in the news). This isn’t about wrong translations. It isn’t about the NIV, per se.

I’m not sure what this person’s intent was (or those like them). I choose to think that they are trying to honor the Scriptures in this way. However, I believe this dishonors the Scriptures.

As a pastor, I get to wrestle deeply with the Scriptures, understanding that we Christians have many manuscripts that were transcribed with mostly minor differences. While these differences are big when taken by themselves, in the entire context of the Scriptures, they are small. I’m glad when scholars find an obscure manuscript, because it almost always affirms the New Testament that we have. It’s not something of which to be frightened, or to scare other people about.

My last thought, though, somewhat aligns with their conclusion. If you are a Christian, you should have at least one hard copy of the Bible. Not because the powers that be will change your Bible on the phone (though they can), but because it is a gift of God that is there (when in hard copy). When the power is out, your internet tanks, or should you (gasp) dare to disconnect from the monstrosity that the internet often is, a hard copy is there.

John 10:10 (KJV 1611) reads, “The theefe commeth not, but for to steale and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might haue life, and that they might haue it more abundantly.”

The fear that people such as this perpetuate steals and destroys. Fear is not from God.

And, finally, for all my non-Christian friends, yes, we Christians don’t agree on all things (think of your own family and friends). We do believe, however, that Jesus is the Promised One, the Messiah. It is through him, and him alone, that we will spend eternity with him, as we (try) to change the world into looking more like Heaven on Earth (though we are, admittedly, not doing well in that area).

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