[Personal Letterhead]

RE: Today's New International Version Bible                                                                11 July 2002

Dear Valued Friends and Peers:

        I am writing all of you in regard to the production of the Today’s New International Version [TNIV] of the Bible, and the heated conflict it has engendered. I have contacted some of you previously.

        As pointed out before, I have attempted to expand this debate beyond the more narrow parameters of the transliterational world—without much success. Up to this point, the informational hegemony in the Christian world of the International Bible Society and Zondervan has held sway. But in private correspondence with a senior member of the TNIV cadre, I was encouraged to “read everything I possibly can” concerning the conflict.

        In the past months, I have. Both pro and con. The results of my investigation have been posted here:

        TNIV: The Controversy ~
        [ http://www.salemthesoldier.us/TNIV_the_controversy.html ]

        There have been many TNIV and NIV translation issues brought forth and pointed out, debated back and forth by some of the most well-respected, educated, Christian scholars in America today. The few I have had contact with have been truly polite, concerned, and hospitable.

        Up to this point, I think I represent the broad majority of Christians in America who have “taken for granted” the Word of God. Although, over the last twenty-two years I have been a Christian and attending Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, and exclusively reading the authorized King James Version [KJV], I have dabbled in some of the other versions. As I pointed out to the TNIV proponent I mentioned earlier, I have found them somehow weak and attenuated, void of the “Power” in the heretofore standard of the KJV, thus I have left them abandoned. I had no reason, like I’m sure the majority of Christians in America today, to suspect any irregularities or suspicions—least of all, to investigate them.

        But no more. Even the most cursory of research and investigation demands a stand on the part of the believer and, indeed, the Church leadership in America, concerning the TNIV. I reaffirm my initial judgment that, “...The particulars involved are trifling with forces they clearly don’t understand. Secular humanism, cultural Marxism, and Post-modernist thought—outside influences—are evident throughout the context of this debate. The controversy surrounding this demonstrates that.”

        One Christian theologian, concerning Postmodernism, writes:

        “...Obviously, deconstruction has profound implications for theology, since ‘objective truth is to be replaced by hermeneutic truth.’ This means that sacred texts, such as the Bible, do not have a single ultimate meaning nor are such texts necessarily authoritative.”

        Being interpreted, “Yea, hath God said...?” (Genesis 3:1) It is this one ambiguity that is primarily evident throughout much of the transliterational commentary I’ve read. We seem to have come full circle in the experience of man, and are back at the Garden. No absolute truth.

        One glaring example of the way the translators have rewritten the text is I Corinthians 6:9. The KJV reads:

        “...Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind....” The Church has accepted this as referring to homosexuals. Yet, the TNIV reads:

        “...Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor practicing homosexuals....”

        Where did the TNIV translators ever come up with such an attenuated wording? Why didn’t they say “practicing” adulterers, “practicing” thieves, or “practicing” drunkards, or “practicing” slanders? Why just “practicing homosexuals”? It is referenced again in I Timothy 1:10

        This completely undermines the life-transforming, Born-again experience in the life of the seeker of Truth as well as the individual struggling with homosexuality. It implies in the mind of the reader that homosexuality, a life-style choice that many ex-homosexuals who have repented and given their hearts to the Lord will testify is thus, is accepted by the Lord. Just as long as they aren’t “practicing.”

        There are many other points, dealing with various critical doctrinal issues, which are diluted and blurred, to the point of being alarming. Many fail to see the correlation between the decline of Christianity’s influence in the social arena and American popular culture over the last thirty and forty years and the advent of these newer Bible versions. Many scholars who are proponents of the TNIV, as well as the NIV, are quick to portray those who are questioning the various aspects as “divisive,” “knee-jerk,” and “emotional.” Yet, these are shallow diversions from the credible and critical questions at hand; the meticulous criticism they are facing requisite due to their prominent positions and influence in the Christian community in America, and indeed, the rest of the world. The repercussions of the Church’s diluted influence in any society can be most severe.

        We expect our Christian brothers and sisters who serve as Police officers in our communities, states, and the nation, every day, to face and deal with the mindless violence we have seen in past decades going back all the way to the Vietnam War era, from the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, to the much publicized work place and high school shootings, to the Los Angeles, Seattle, and Cincinnati riots. Recurrent violence which shows a serious breach in the deterrence of the Holy Spirit in the nation, through the heretofore standard of the Word of God.

        I have spent much time talking to and corresponding with active duty Police officers; patrolmen and VICE cops who tell stories that would make you literally puke. These are the ones on the point of the spear in having to contend with the fallout of the Church’s diluted influence in the nation and world. Yet, I don’t feel it a stretch that this dilution be now traced back to these “newer” versions of the Bible which have held such influence in Christendom in America, accepted with little analytical investigation and criticism.

        The enemy is patient, cunning, and shrewd, utilizing the most clandestine of tactics; a conflict of attrition even the most vigilant have trouble resisting. However, if he has penetrated, through liberalism, cultural Marxism, Postmodernist thought, and humanism, the very vehicle—the production of the Bible—through which the Lord through His Holy Spirit communicates and interacts with His Church, we are certainly in the most dire of straits. This isn’t sensationalism, but stated through the prism of historical fact and Christian world history, from an objective assessment of the evidence at hand.

        True, the world is in rebellion against God and His Son—the Word of God, per John 1:1, yet we shouldn’t allow this same sedition within our own camp.

        Therefore, if you haven’t taken the time to research this, I suggest you do, as I was directed. This is an issue that necessitates a positional stand.

        Nevertheless, I’m asking the Church leadership to strenuously oppose this newer translation, as well as to more vigorously police the translations they are using now.

       My Respects and Regards,

       Michael A. Baker

       Michael A. Baker
       PO Box 6508
       Corona, California 92878-6508

       FAX: 909.736.7532


Chaplain Bill Rhetts ~ President
Inland Police Officer’s Coalition (IPOC)
P.O. Box 8668
Redlands, Calif. 92375

Mark L. Strauss
Associate Professor of New Testament
Bethel Seminary San Diego
6116 Arosa Avenue
San Diego, CA. 92115-3902

Wayne A. Grudem, Ph.D.
Research Professor of Theology and Bible
Phoenix Seminary
13402 N. Scottsdale Road - Suite B-185
Scottsdale, AZ 85254

Calvary Chapel - Costa Mesa
Pastoral Staff
3800 South Fairview Road
Santa Ana, CA 92704

Peace Officers for Christ International
3000 West MacArthur Boulevard
Suite 426
Santa Ana, CA 92704-6962

Shield of Faith Ministry
Harvest Christian Fellowship
6115 Arlington Avenue
Riverside, CA 92504

Harvest Christian Fellowship
6115 Arlington Ave.
Riverside, CA. 92504

Billy Graham Evangelistic Association
P.O. Box 779
Minneapolis, MN 55440

Zondervan Publishing
5300 Patterson SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49530

International Bible Society Headquarters
1820 Jet Stream Drive
Colorado Springs, CO 80921

Focus on the Family
Colorado Springs, CO 80995

Thomas Nelson Publishers
Nelson Pl
Nashville, TN 37214        

Traditional Values Coalition ~
California Office
100 S. Anaheim Boulevard, Suite 350
Anaheim, CA 92805

Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW)
2825 Lexington Road, Box 926
Louisville, KY 40280        

Numerous Private US Mail and Email Recipients

The author is host of:

Salem The Soldier’s Homepage ~
[ http://www.salemthesoldier.us/ ]