“Homosexual” Lawsuit Against Bible Publisher


The following news item was of interest:

Zondervan faces $60M federal lawsuit over Bible, homosexuality
Wood-TV8, Grand Rapids – July 9, 2008

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Christian publisher Zondervan is facing a $60 million federal lawsuit filed by a man who claims he and other homosexuals have suffered based on what the suit claims is a misinterpretation of the Bible.

But a company spokeswoman says Zondervan doesn’t translate the Bible or own the copyright for any of the translations. Instead, she said in a statement, the company relies on the “scholarly judgment of credible translation committees.”

That is to say, setting aside whether the federal civil rights lawsuit is credible, the company says Bradley Fowler sued the wrong group.

His suit centers on one passage in scripture — 1 Corinthians 6:9 — and how it reads in Bibles published by Zondervan.

Fowler says Zondervan Bibles published in 1982 and 1987 use the word homosexuals among a list of those who are “wicked” or “unrighteous” and won’t inherit the kingdom of heaven.

Fowler says his family’s pastor used that Zondervan Bible, and because of it his family considered him a sinner and he suffered.

Now he is asking for an apology and $60 million.

“To compensate for the past 20 years of emotional duress and mental instability,” Fowler told 24 Hour News 8 in a phone interview.

He claims the company is misinterpreting the Bible by specifically using the word homosexuals. Fowler admits that every Bible printed is a translation, interpreted in some way, but he says specifically using that word is not a translation but a change.

“These are opinions based on the publishers,” he said. “And they are being embedded in the religious structure as a way of life.”

Fowler says he came across the discrepancy while researching a book. He says Zondervan Bibles published in the 1980s use the word homosexuals in the Corinthian passage in question, but earlier and later ones don’t.

24 Hour News 8 went to a library to do some research of our own, and found Zondervan Bibles published both in the 80s and post-2000 use the word homosexuals in the passage.

Some translations, like the New American Standard, use the word. Others don’t.

The (regular) American Standard version uses the phrase “abusers of themselves with men.” The King James says “abusers of themselves with mankind.” Still others, like the New American Bible, use the word “sodomites.”

Fowler says the idea that those phrases are another way of saying homosexuals is a misinterpretation as well.

The Zondervan statement says the company never alters the text of translations it is licensed to publish. http://www.woodtv.com/Global/story.asp?S=8644595

The reality is that in the USA unusual lawsuits do happen.

We in the Living Church of God believe that the Bible condemns all sex outside of marriage, but that all can repent. This is the 16th century KJV translation, essentially prepared for the old Church of England, of what Paul wrote;

9 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, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God (1 Corinthians 6:8-11, KJV).

The Rheims New Testament (also a 16th century translation) from the Catholic Church puts it this way:

9. Know you not that the unjust shall not possess the kingdom of God? Do not err, Neither fornicators, nor servers of Idols, nor adulterers, nor the effeminate, nor the liers with mankind, 10. Nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor railers, nor extortioners shall possess the kingdom of God. 11. And these things certainly you were: but you are washed, but you are sanctified, but you are justified in the name of our Lord JESUS Christ, and in the Spirit of our God (1 Corinthians 6:8-11, RNT).

The Bible (based upon just about any translation) condemns many practices, but allows for repentance. An article of possibly related interest may include Baptism and the Early Church.

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