Monday, June 29, 2009
So I got my paper catalog from Christian Book Distributors today. My wife and I have purchased many books and resources from CBD over the years, especially during seminary (who could imagine getting an entire TDNT set for $99?). But I am thinking about kicking the CBD habit, because of their ugly bias. Let me explain.
On the front page of today’s paper catalog was a colorful box featuring the King James Kids’ Study Bible. First of all, the mere idea of a KJV kids’ Bible is absurd. No offense to the KJV-only crowd out there, but the KJV belongs in a college English literature classroom and not in the hands of little kids in church. Try explaining the meaning of 1 Samuel 25:22, 34 to a 7 year old (go ahead; click on the link and read those verses; I dare you!). Pandering to the KJV-only sects is spineless on CBD’s part.
On the other extreme, CBD often promotes the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible. In their annual Bibles catalog, an entire page is devoted to The New Oxford Annotated Bible (NRSV), the HarperCollins Study Bible (NRSV), the Wesley Study Bible (NRSV), and the New Interpreter’s Study Bible (NRSV)–none of which would qualify as remotely conservative or evangelical. The Oxford is basically a secular, non-religious resource.
But in all this, where is the Today’s New International Version (TNIV) of the Bible? You remember: the evangelical update of the all-time best-selling New International Version (NIV)? The translation that largely improved its predecessor? The one that was boycotted by a group of reactionary windbags who spoke without reading a word of it? Nope, the TNIV is not in the newest paper catalog. Not in the Bibles catalog. Not in any of their paper catalogs that I’ve ever seen.
So why, pray tell, would CBD promote the very conservative KJV Kids’ Study Bible and at the same the very liberal New Oxford Annotated NRSV Study Bible but completely shun the mainstream, evangelical TNIV translation altogether?
Unless someone out there has a better explanation, I’m left to believe that it’s just ugly bias against the TNIV and capitulation to those who called for its boycott. Maybe it’s time for a different boycott.