Have Mercy on Those Who Memorized the Classic NIV

And I’m one of them

Let’s say you memorized long ago New International Version (NIV) verses like Psalm 1:1: “Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.” But, 25 years later, your memory’s playing tricks on you: Is it “sit in the seat of jokers” or “sit in the seat of mockers”?

Better hold onto your battered, duct-taped NIV. Now that the re-translated NIV has been out for two-and-a-half years, the classic NIV has disappeared from stores, and now it has disappeared online. In late winter, readers who had relished electronic access at or discovered—poof!—that what they had grown up with was gone.

Readers asked Bible Gateway what happened, and received this answer: “The NIV’s worldwide publisher, Biblica, has requested that we remove the older 1984 and TNIV editions from Bible Gateway, and we are complying with their wishes.”

The Bible Gateway site states, “Older editions of the NIV are no longer available on Bible Gateway or any website, but the Committee on Bible Translation (who is solely responsible for the translation of the NIV) and Biblica (the worldwide NIV publisher and copyright holder) have designated the Wheaton College Archives & Special Collections as the official repository of historical documents related to the NIV.”

WORLD has followed the NIV’s battle against words like “he” and “man” since 1997. Much has changed since then: The once-dominant-among-evangelicals NIV no longer is, as competing versions—such as the English Standard Version—have emerged. The new NIV translation is not as biased toward “gender-neutrality” as previous replacements for the classic NIV, so the removal of the 1984 version is not as big a deal, except for those who have lived with it for years and loved it and memorized Scripture from it. So why frustrate them?

One hopeful sign is that a Bible Gateway FAQ on the removal of the older version has changed over the past month so it now reads, “At present the historical text is not available online, however, discussions are underway to determine if it will be possible to access previous editions of the NIV online for research purposes. When available, access will be in accordance with the Wheaton College Archives & Special Collections access guidelines.”

I hope to find out from Biblica (formerly the International Bible Society) what this means for memorizers who go back to Psalm 1:1 and are dismayed to find the emphasis on a brave and blessed individual is gone. The verse now reads, “Blessed are those” instead of “Blessed is the man.” This change also allows the “he” of verse 3 to become “they.”



South African Soldiers Killed in the Central African Republic

News 24:

Bangui – South African soldiers in the Central African Republic are seeking safe passage to the airport after taking heavy losses during fighting with Seleka rebels, Reuters reports.

The agency said at least nine SA soldiers were killed.

“I saw the bodies of six South African soldiers. They had all been shot,” a Reuters witness said. Later, he saw three more bodies in burned-out South African military vehicles.

Amy Martin of the UN’s humanitarian agency, OCHA, told the BBC World Service that the SA troops had retreated to their barracks and were seeking safe passage to the airport.

Seleka spokesperson Eric Massi said the rebels had broken through a line of South African soldiers during their push into the city.

Around 400 South African troops were deployed in the country as military trainers.

Regional peacekeeping sources said the South Africans had fought alongside the Central African Republic’s army on Saturday to prevent rebels entering the capital.

They took substantial losses and have asked for French support to load their troops and take off,” said the source.

Meanwhile, AFP reported on Sunday night that widespread looting had broken out in the CAR capital.

Homes, shops, restaurants and cars were all fair game for looters in scenes repeated across the city.

“There’s a lot of looting by armed men. They break down the doors to go looting and then, afterwards, the people come and help themselves too,” said Nicaise Kabissou, who lives in the city centre.

Massi had promised on Saturday that the rebel coalition “will have zero tolerance for any looting, exaction or settling of scores”.

But that warning went unheeded on the ground.



Anglican Ordinariate Secure

Leaders of the Anglican Ordinariate urged patience and restraint in light of statements by the Bishop of Argentina that Pope Francis did not favor the creation of a home for Anglicans in the Catholic Church.

George Conger reports:

In a note released after the election of Pope Francis on 13 March 2013, the Bishop of Argentina and former primate of the Anglican Church of the Southern Cone, the Most Rev. Gregory Venables, said Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio was, in his experience, “consistently humble and wise, outstandingly gifted yet a common man” who had been a friend to Anglicans in Argentina.

Bishop Venables said Cardinal Bergoglio “called me to have breakfast with him one morning and told me very clearly that the Ordinariate was quite unnecessary and that the church needs us as Anglicans.”

He later clarified his statement noting the cardinal’s comments were more an affirmation of Anglicanism than criticism of the Ordinariate.

The report from Bishop Venables sparked controversy in the British press and speculation Francis might adopt the different tone than his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI. A spokesman for the English Ordinariate denied any change was in the offing telling the Telegraph the comments were Bishop Venables’ not the Pope’s.

Following the resignation of Pope Benedict last month, Msgr. Jeffrey Steenson, Ordinary of the Chair of St. Peter, said: “We members of the Ordinariate are in a particular way the spiritual children of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI.  Throughout his years as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and especially as Pope, the reconciliation of Anglicans to the Catholic Church has been one of his principal tasks.”

He noted that “when Pope Benedict issued the apostolic constitution Anglicanorum coetibus in November 2009, he laid a permanent foundation for the Ordinariate, to be the means to reconcile Anglican groups to the Catholic Church and that this Anglican patrimony might be shared with the Catholic Church.  While the Ordinariate has been a special intention of Pope Benedict, it is now firmly established in the Catholic Church and will continue to serve as an instrument for Christian unity.”

Msgr. Steenson said the transition between Popes “should not greatly impact the work of the Ordinariate.  We should probably expect that the ordinations of our candidates could be delayed slightly, as the Pope must approve these petitions.”

Following the publication of Bishop Venables’ remarks Msgr. Steenson said he had received a number of inquiries from those “who are concerned about what our new Pope’s attitude may be toward the Ordinariates, occasioned by an anecdotal report from an Anglican bishop in Argentina.”

He reaffirmed the “real permanence and stability” of the Ordinariate within the Catholic Church, and added “but it is even more important to remember what it means to be Catholic, to have the full assurance that faith brings. Christ the Good Shepherd entrusted the governance of the Church to St. Peter and his successors. To be in communion with Peter brings a confidence we never knew as Anglicans. Pope Francis understands the pilgrim character of our communities and will be a wise and caring pastor to us,” Msgr. Steenson said.