Right now there is a thing circulating on Facebook which attempts to discredit the NIV Bible. There’s nothing new — this has been going on for years — but many people, including people I know well and longtime friends are sharing it.

The problem is not that it is based in untruths, but it’s based in half-truths; it’s an example of how people can twist the facts to say what they want them to say.

Let me say at the outset that if you continue to feel that strongly about supporting this anti-NIV propaganda, please note that Searchlight continues to sell and support the New International Version and other modern translations. Perhaps we are not the Christian bookstore for you, and if so perhaps it’s time to move on. I mean that…

…For the record the verse numbering system was created before we had the original manuscripts to work with that we had today. Those so called missing verses aren’t “missing;” rather they were originally published based on less authoritative manuscripts, some containing what are known as “scribal run-ons.” This is generally explained in footnotes in many different Bible editions which also omit those verses from their primary texts, but include them in the notes.

The New International Version was created by The Committee on Bible Translation for Biblica formerly known as The International Bible Society. Biblica licenses Zondervan to print, market and distribute the NIV for them. They each work in partnership on other resources such as Devotions Daily and BibleGateway.com.  Some of the very same respected translators have worked on other translations including the NLT and ESV.

Zondervan was purchased by NewsCorp subsidiary HarperCollins but operates with complete autonomy. Employees remain faithful to the original purpose of the company as established by Pat Zondervan. Nobody at NewsCorp or Harper tells Zondervan what to publish. On the other hand, having a large investment partner allows Zondervan and Thomas Nelson to do things they could never do on their own, such as the NIV 2011 revision or the massive switch to Comfort Print for all their Bible editions. It also means that Christian literature gets to places it normally wouldn’t: Airports, gift shops, mainstream bookstores and overseas markets.

Yes, not everything HarperCollins and its subsidiaries publishes is consistent with Christian values. But they are the current delivery system. Not everything on the UPS truck which delivers the Bibles to our store has my support either, but do I refuse the shipments because of other packages that are on the truck?

…On a personal level it grieves me deeply to see the Facebook post in question being shared by people who I considered friends. I am a point in our store’s history where I simply can’t deal with this argument much longer. I’m exhausted fighting the same battle. I would have hoped that in over 25 years in Northumberland we would have earned some trust.

If you shared or liked the post, I am so greatly disappointed that you would be caught up in its faulty logic and confrontational mindset. For everyone else, thanks for your continued trust and your willingness to rationally discuss those occasions where we’ve decided to carry authors and products which are seemingly on the edge. There’s always a backstory, and I’m always happy to explain why certain products were considered eligible for inclusion on our shelves.

Paul Wilkinson