Yesterday, I read that The Passion Translation had been removed from a popular website, Bible Gateway. Bible Gateway is a site that offers a wide variety of versions of the Bible. I use Bible Gateway frequently and appreciate the translation choices they offer, all the way from The Message across the spectrum of interpretations to Young’s Literal Translation. The removal surprised me.
My father-in-law spent 30 years in Central America as a missionary. He was raised on a farm in Pennsylvania and the farm-boy-turned-missionary went to Whitworth University in Spokane, Washington where he obtained a degree in biblical Greek. He was a very smart man who knew the Greek language well.
Many years ago, when his mission board was discussing adopting “an approved translation” it looked like the King James Version was about to win the nod. When it seemed like the translation censors were about to have their way, my father-in-law commented that if they were going to be that narrow in their thinking, they should require all the missionaries to use only the original Greek and Hebrew text as the approved version of the Bible. The room went silent for a moment. The folly of the proposal was realized when common sense spoke. The mission board wisely decided to leave translation selection up to the individual missionaries.
In reference to the decision by Bible Gateway to remove the Passion Translation, my father-in-law’s point would apply today. It would also apply to other issues than just what Bible a person likes to read. Whether we like one translation over another and have strong opinions about its integrity, that is really an individual choice. It appears the cancel culture spirit that has invaded our culture is knocking on the door of the Church. I propose we don’t answer that knock.
Be careful if you choose to align and agree with the spirit of cancellation. Tomorrow a decision might be made regarding your favorite Bible translation, or it could be a proclamation that the Bible is defined as hate speech because it calls out sin. That bizarre position was declared by prosecutors this week in Finland as reported by the BBC.
Agendas less than integrous are crafting the mindset of entire cultures. Attempts to prohibit the freedom of expression, and what you can or cannot read or believe, is coming to a nation near you.