Zondervan/IBS rewrite history...
If you're intentionally changing the text of the Word of God and breaking your promise not to do so, covering your tracks is small potatoes.
Back on May 27, 1997, a meeting was held in the board room at Focus on the Family's headquarters in Colorado Springs. At the invitation of James Dobson, two opposing groups sat down at a table to hammer out our differences. It took most of the day, but when it was over we had agreed on a set of guidelines for the translation of sex-marked terms in Scripture such as 'man,' 'woman,' 'brother,' 'sister,' 'he,' 'she,' and so on.
The first version of these guidelines was largely completed that day and, before leaving Focus on the Family, those in attendance had agreed to sign them. Shortly later, the Guidelines were released over the signatures of the following men present that day:
* Ken Barker, Secretary, Committee on Bible Translation; Exec. Com. of Committee on Bible Translation
* Timothy Bayly, Senior Pastor, Church of the Good Shepherd, Bloomington, IN; Exec. Dir., CBMW
* Joel Belz, Publisher, God's World Publications
* James Dobson, President, Focus on the Family
* Lars Dunberg, President, International Bible Society
* Wayne Grudem, President, CBMW; Professor, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
* Charles Jarvis, Executive Vice President, Focus on the Family
* John Piper, Senior Pastor, Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, MN; Member, CBMW;
* Vern S. Poythress, Professor, Westminster Theological Seminary
* Bruce E. Ryskamp, President and CEO, Zondervan Publishing House
* R. C. Sproul, Chairman, Ligonier Ministries
* Ron Youngblood, Member, Committee on Bible Translation; Professor, Bethel Theological Seminary West
Over the course of the next several months, some small changes were made to the Colorado Spring Guidelines, and by the time this second version was circulated, a couple of the original signatories declined to support the amended version.
The original Colorado Springs meeting would never have happened had World magazine not broken a cover story detailing Zondervan's plans to release a neutered update to their market-leading evangelical Bible standard, the New International Version. World broke the story on March 29, 1997 in a piece written by Susan Olasky titled, "The Stealth Bible." And as the title indicates, Zondervan has been sneaky from the very beginning--sneakiness has been the modus operandi of those producing and selling this Bible.
They have claimed their neutered Bible is more faithful to the text of the original Hebrew and Greek than all Bibles before it. It is not. It is androgynous gobbledegook.
They first made these changes in a Bible they issued for children titled the New International Readers Version, but when they issued it they failed to inform those purchasing it of the radical nature of its content. Even the preface failed to mention how they had neutered it. (Later they apologized for their secrecy.)
They led people to believe that those present at the Colorado Springs Meeting representing their side had been forced to sign the Guidelines, and were therefore not bound to an agreement made under duress. To anyone present at the meeting, this is laughable.
And now, the latest dissimulation. Zondervan has issued the following statement as a part of its marketing campaign for the just-released complete Bible called Today's New International Version:
In Chapter 7, our good readers will find a letter written by Zondervan making the following claim:
The Colorado Springs Guidelines (CSG) Some people have criticized Zondervan for publishing the TNIV, saying we've reneged on a contract we signed five years ago. Known as the Colorado Springs Guidelines, it set forth certain restrictions on Bible translation. We have not reneged on that contract. The president of Zondervan signed it in 1997 with the clear understanding of everyone in attendance that his signature was meant only to support Zondervan's commitment to continue publishing the NIV text without changes or updates (a commitment to which we are adhering). Zondervan clearly stated we could not adopt the guidelines beyond that because we already published two translations that conflicted with the guidelines (e.g. the New Revised Standard Version and the original New International Reader's Version). There is no basis for Zondervan to be criticized now for lack of integrity.
This is bunk. Speaking only for myself (although I'm sure every other person who opposed the neutering of Scripture at the Colorado Springs meeting would agree) I was under no confusion as to what Bruce Ryskamp was and wasn't agreeing to that day. Mr. Ryskamp made it quite clear that both Zondervan and the International Bible Society were then committing themselves to not continuing with any neutered version of the New International Version in the future. And they committed themselves to pulling from the market those neutered versions of the New International Version already being marketed--except, that is, versions being marketed jointly with other publishing companies who had no representative there and, therefore, could not be spoken for.
And it was for this reason that Mr. Ryskamp specifically said that he expected the New Revised Standard Version would stay in production.
But there never was any question that both the International Bible Society (in a press release issued the morning of our meeting at Focus on the Family) and Zondervan (by virtue of Mr. Ryskamp's signature and clear stated commitment to each of us seated around the table that day) that all future plans for the neutered version of the the New International Version would, as of that day, be repealed and never carried out.
So yes, Mr. Ryskamp and Zondervan, you have "reneged on that contract." Most certainly. Most clearly. Unequivocally.
But then, it would be foolish to expect that those willing to change the text of Sacred Scripture would be unwilling to break their word and then deny they were doing so.
Many things are just that simple, with no need of nuance.