Thursday, March 28, 2013

A Rose by Any Other Name?

The LORD knows I don't like controversy. 

I can debate topics all day long, but I simply do not relish being at odds with anyone. I'd much rather avoid issues that seem to lead into arguments that can not be settled peaceably.

However, a recent discovery keeps pushing me in that direction.

Bible Gateway no longer offers the NIV 1984 version of God's Word. 
They list the NIRV, the NIV 2011, and the  NIV-UK. 

"What's the big deal?" you might ask. 

At first I asked myself the same question and carried on as usual.

Until I was searching for the verse that calls us to keep our eyes on Jesus. 

I typed "author and perfecter" into the search box. 

Keyword search results 
0 results

I thought I'd lost my mind until I remembered the change mentioned above. 

No problem. I'll just look in my concordance and find 'author'.

Nope, 'author' isn't there. Okay, I'll try 'perfecter'. Ah, there it is. 

I opened my Bible to read Hebrews 12:2 and was blessed.

"Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."

The tidbit of frustration I'd felt took me back to Bible Gateway to see how it appeared in the NIV 2011 version. 

I was rocked.

"fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. NIV, 2011  (emphasis mine)

I checked a few other translations.

"Jesus, the author and finisher" KJV and NKJV

"Jesus, the founder and perfecter"  ESV

"Jesus, the author and perfecter"  NASB

I see an 'author' or 'founder' as a far superior position than a 'pioneer'. Yet this is how the NIV, 2011 describes my Lord, the Son of God, the second person of the Trinity, "Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death - even death on a cross!" Philippians 2:6-8

No matter how strong and brave all the pioneers of history are, they cannot lay claim to creating the world they explored and settled. They may have affected history, but they did not orchestrate its every event. The creation and maintenance of the world is the work of God and God alone. 

Christ declares His own position, far super to any 'pioneer', when He states, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6

I'm not a Bible scholar, but if this one comparison displays the kind of changes between the way the 1984 and 2011 versions of the NIV treat my Savior, I don't want anything to do with the newbie.

All gracious comments will receive gracious responses.


  1. I am with you. NIV is the version of the Scriptures that both Patrick and I are most familiar with. For each of our boys' first Bibles we've sought out 1984 NIVs because we feel the newer NIV versions are questionable, but we do worry that before too long it may be difficult to find 1984 NIVs, and then what will we do? Ah, well, I guess this, too, falls under the heading "tomorrow will take care of itself."

  2. I heard back from BibleGateway that Biblica (whatever that is) is the source that pulled all the NIV 1984 availability. I plan to do further research on that lead. BUT it is insidious and merely confirms my suspicion that there are ways for people to manipulate the versions of Scripture without people knowing or having any control to change it. I suggest that anyone who wants the NIV 1984 to go out and buy as many copies as you can afford right now.