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LifeWay to keep selling updated NIV Print Email
Written by Christine D. Johnson   
Monday, 20 February 2012 11:26 AM America/New_York

LifeWay Christian Resources is to continue selling the updated New International Version (NIV) Bible in its LifeWay stores, despite an appeal to stop doing so.

Trustees of the Southern Baptist organization voted last week not to comply with a non-binding resolution approved by the denomination’s 2011 convention requesting LifeWay consider not selling the 2011 NIV. The resolution argued that the revised NIV, brought out last year, indicated the updated version was “inaccurate” and used “gender neutral methods of translation.”

Baptist Press (BP) reported that the trustee chairman, Adam Greenway, told the Feb. 13-14 meeting that LifeWay had received support for continuing to carry the 2011 NIV from R. Albert Mohler Jr. and Russell Moore of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; Jimmy Draper, former president of LifeWay; George Guthrie, professor of Bible at Union University; and Douglas Moo, chairman of the Committee on Bible Translation, which translated the new NIV.

“Messengers to the 2011 SBC annual meeting were encouraged to vote for the resolution based on incorrect information,” Greenway told trustees. As an example, the 2011 NIV has no gender-neutral wording for the names of God, he said, adding that it “follows translation methodologies that are embraced by the overwhelming majority of Bible translators in the world.”

But, Greenway pointed out that choosing to continue to sell the updated NIV is not an endorsement, BP said. “We endorse what we publish, and the translation we publish is the Holman Christian Standard Bible,” he told trustees. “We do not believe the 2011 NIV rises to the level to where it should be pulled or censored or not carried in our retail chain.”

“We are not giving a stamp of approval. ... We are simply saying from a retail perspective, we do not believe that we should cease carrying and make available to the public the 2011 NIV,” Greenway added. 

 Rainer also said that LifeWay’s decision to withdraw from a relationship with Susan G. Komen for the Cure because of Komen’s relationship to Planned Parenthood “was the right thing to do, even though we may sustain financial losses because of it. I regret the losses, but not the decision. As a result, people know they can trust LifeWay to take a biblical stand.”

Rainer noted that several options were being reviewed for use of the special pink Bibles that were removed from store shelves earlier this year because they promised a donation to Komen for every Bible sold. He assured trustees the Bibles would not be destroyed, but would rather be used to bring comfort to those suffering through breast cancer.