Wit 'n Wisdom of Janice LaQuiere

Monday, November 20, 2006

The Bible Experience?

I first heard about The Bible Experience Thursday on Paul Harvey, and have to admit it interested me. I'm an avid fan of the audio Bible, and own many editions--despite that Paul Harvey and perhaps Zondervan made it sound like The Bible Experience is the first of its kind. ("Zondervan has published a new Bible--It talks." I've listened to the Dramatized Living Bible for 20+ years.) Naturally, I was excited and looked forward to experiencing the new technology and better recording of a new dramatized Bible release.

However, after reading about The Bible Experience, I do have some concerns...The translation is the TNIV, which as I recall there was a lot of hype about when it first came out. The questionable issues of the TNIV were addressed in WORLD magazine http://www.worldmag.com/articles/2917 and in an article two years later titled "The NIV's Twisted Sister" (Feb. 9, 2002) (There was also a backlash on TNIV from several other notable organizations, including Focus on the Family and the International Bible Society. (http://www.genderneutralbibles.com/timeline.php)

I also found it curious that this production it is performed by "an unprecedented ensemble of distinguished African-American actors" interesting, since most of the New Testament occurs in predominantly Jewish areas.

I'm generally not of a conspiracy theorist mind-set, and I enjoy the dramatized reading of scripture (and they do the drama very well in this production), but I can't help wondering if I'm being fleeced into accepting someone else's agenda that I would normally shy away from. Had the version been almost anything besides the TNIV, I'd be thrilled at the quality of the work.

While at first this may not seem important, we must remember that the Bible is not only to tell us about God's plan of salvation, but it's our main link as to understanding who God is. When we change the words of the Bible, even in small ways, we are corrupting the main path to our understanding of God. The more we translate the Bible through the eyes of our culture, the more likely we are to make God like us. When instead we should becoming more like Him.


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