This month our daughter turned 12 and she received a beautiful new Bible from her grandparents with her name inscribed in gold with a beautiful cross on the front of it. Her grandparents lovingly went to our local Christian bookstore to pick out a special Bible for her that she would love and that would guide her through this period in her life.
For her new age of 12, she is very mature for her age with a reading capacity of a college student. Her grandparents looked over several Bibles, consulted the store staff, and settled on a Bible from Zondervan called True Images.
It is a beautiful teen Study Bible with many inserts in it from teenage girls that are placed in certain areas of the scripture to help others understand how to use these scriptures in their lives. Good idea, right? My parents thought so and looked at several of them thinking that it was a good thing.
The Bible was then given to our daughter who immediately loved it and began to go through all of her new gift. On the way home from her grandparents, she began reading some of the inserts to me. Some of them seemed very beneficial, others dealt with topics that sadly enough, public school children deal with daily. That raised an eyebrow with me for our home though. Homeschool protects young tweens and teens from ideas or pressures of drinking, drugs and losing their virginity. All of which are constant topics on the inserts. We had to discuss several things before we even got home. Some of which I thought were good discussion topics. Others, simply taught her how grateful our family is for the ability to homeschool, which is also an important thing to learn.
The next day, our daughter brings me her new Bible. She was very shocked and wouldn't even read to me what she was looking at, she simply handed me her new Bible. Right after Psalm 135 there was an insert about the eating disorder Bulimia. The topic wasn't the problem, the swear word printed in it was. It took me a minute to get my mind around the fact that a "Christian" publisher had printed a swear word in a Bible. After discussing it, we put the Bible away until my husband came home.
Once my husband and I were able to discuss it, I contacted our local Christian bookstore where it had been purchased. The clerk that answered the phone listened and then put me on hold. I had been careful to speak softly and gently while expressing our disappointment. When she came back on the line, she asked for the page number and verified the information. She then asked if it was the topic we had an issue with and I emphasized what we didn't like. I also asked if the bookstore stood behind that type of language published in Scripture. Her attitude at that point became impatient and she put me on hold for the manager.
Now, when I say there was a swear word, I am not speaking of language used in Scripture that is misused out on the street. I am speaking of a word that is not in Scripture, but is used out on the street and sadly enough, I have even heard it used in some churches by some staff at times. I realize that many, especially young people, do not consider it to really be a swear word anymore, but that doesn't change the fact that it is and it should not be printed within the covers of Scripture.
Moving on....the manager was very friendly, and understood our concern, although she stated she also understood what the publisher was trying to do by "reaching" teens. My opinion is that if we have to become heathen to reach heathens, then we will face the same fate because Scripture clearly states that were are to be set apart.
Anyway.....the next day we went to the Christian bookstore to exchange our daughters new Bible even though her grandparents had written a dedication in it to her and she had written in it also. The store said that they would send it back to the publisher explaining the disapproval.
We then had the task of finding her another Bible. Most of them were published by Zondervan, the same publisher, and that was what we had a problem with. I have since heard from a credible source, but not verified myself, that while Zondervan is a "Christian" publisher, it is owned by an Australian atheist. This credible source is someone who's husband works with the Fire Bible and is currently editing it, so they are pretty much in the know about these issues, plus they are dear friends of ours and that is why I trust this source.
After looking through many Bibles, we settled on a Bible for younger girls. It still had some inserts in it, but none that were written by teenagers and none that dealt with drinking, drugs and losing their virginity. It was for ages 8 + and had a beautiful purple cover with flowers and the Scriptures were in purple letters.
I still have a problem with it though because it is from the same publisher. Zondervan is a big publisher and at that particular bookstore, there wasn't really any other Bible publishers to choose from. This will be the last book we ever get from Zondervan though. As long as they are printing filthy language in the Word of God, they will not be receiving any profits from us.
I broke the news to my dear parents last night about the exchange and the reason behind it. They were shocked to hear the news and greatly disappointed that we are no longer able to trust a long known "Christian" publisher or local bookstore to produce and carry 100% honorable items.
I am posting about this issue to warn you about it. The bookstore was not aware of this prior to us bringing their attention to it. The sad thing is, it is still on their shelves. Your bookstore may see things differently and remove them so your girls aren't exposed to the Scriptures being defiled. The picture above is of the Bible we returned, with a link to a description of it so you can be sure your daughter does not have this same Bible.
My main question to the bookstore staff was that if we don't allow this language in our home, why would we give our daughter a Bible with it printed in it? We also emphasized our disappointment that they would sell such an item and that they should research what they place in people's hands, especially the hands of children. Scripture is clear about leading children astray and the consequences of that.
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