Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Beware: Scripture Being Violated

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. 


  1. It is extremely sad for your daughters virtue, your parents trust, and your Mother heart to have to deal with this issue in a Bible. The questioning by the "clerk" at the store is so sad its laughable ~ "and you have a problem with this". Yes, we have a problem with this, surely you aren't the only parent who has complained. You taught your daughter a huge lesson in returning a book, even if its a Bible. I am glad ya'll found something appropriate for her that you could exchange it for. I am very thankful we also homeschool and don't have to deal with this garbage from the world on a daily basis but this does prove we have to be ever vigilant in our protection ~ Satan creeps in wherever he can.

  2. You are right about that Donna, wherever he can. Thankfully God gives us the strength to be ever vigilant because it sure does wear me out. And you're right about it being so sad it's laughable, which I probably would've done if I hadn't be so angry about it. Thank you for your support!

  3. Yikes! I'm so sorry that she had to return the bible. I volunteer in my church's bookstore and i'm finding that we have to carefully scrutinize every piece of material that comes into our inventory before we place it on the shelves. That INCLUDES Bibles. We recently had to return a whole shipment of NIV bibles because we realized how much of the language of the bibles were changed to reflect modern political correctness issues. It's sad that we have to even scrutinize the word of God, but that's part of why he granted us discernment in the first place. He knew that some people would try and change His words to fit their own agenda. Which is why it's so important that our children are well-read and literate. Otherwise how would they know that some versions of the Bible aren't appropriate for use?

  4. I'm concerned this new choice of ours may be one of the "new" NIV's you are referring to. If so.....we may be heading right back to the bookstore again. We prefer NKJV, but it is almost impossible to find one geared to girls with pretty covers etc. If you know of any, please let me know! If we had been the ones to purchase it, we would've simply gotten a NKV, but my dear Father likes the NIV and isn't aware of all the changes that are being made to it. Her next one however, will be a NKJV.

  5. It seems like I might have read an article about these types of bibles a few years ago. I decided then that the average teen study bible wouldn't be used in our house. My oldest is only 8 but I am glad I know these things ahead of time. It's a shame that it even has to be an issue. Is the new bible you bought her a TNIV? I know for sure that that translation is "gender neutral". And have your tried looking on christianbook.com for a NKJV? They have a very large selection.


  6. Oh my! I do not even like the idea of introducing such topics to young minds. I'm not so far removed from my teenage years that I do not remember how a show on diet pill abuse didn't "inform" me, but rather enticed me and taught me how to. The enemy is within our very gates.

  7. Thanks for sharing your story! This is appauling! I will not be buying any zndervan Bibles anyway, but good to know that I definately won't be in the future now. I would highly recommend Crossway! Its a great publisher and I have two Bibles from them and have seen no content such as that in them. But then again they are ESV study Bibles, so that it a little different. My family all have ESV and NIV Bibles that are from crossway and have had no problems.

    Praise God you were able to use this as a lesson for your daughter and hopefully a witness to the ladies at the store.

    In Christ,

  8. I have never owned a Bible that had any kind of "inserts." I would much much rather read a separate book with insights about the Bible, and look up the scriptures it references. But also, whenever I have looked at Bible "inserts" in a bookstore or someone's home, I have not gotten very far without finding something that twists the meaning of the scripture in some way that's annoying if not offensive. They strike me as a distraction at best.

    You mention the lack of Bibles in your preferred translation "geared to girls with pretty covers"--I think you might need to reconsider your priorities. The Word is the important part. It's easy to cut a piece of pretty paper into a foldover book jacket or even make a cloth one.

    As a developmental psychologist, I agree that bringing up difficult issues too often or in the wrong context can make them alluring and/or disturbing to a child. It's better to discuss these issues with your daughter separately, provide appropriate books for the information she does need, and avoid the "Let me tell you how lurid and shocking my life was before I found Jesus" type stories.

  9. Sharon, I want to thank you for bring this to everyone's attention! I am frankly shocked, but I realize I shouldn't be! this world is so full of evil, but it takes real discernment each day as we come across on thing or another that is encroaching on hearts and minds! I believe your daughter is growing well in the Lord and this will gird up her heart and mind against other tricks of Satan. I hope you will continue to link-up on 'EOA' Wednesdays! Thank you and warm blessings to you and your household.

  10. Thank you Becca for making the point about the "pretty" cover. You are absolutely right. We are currently looking at a different publisher for her NKJV that she will be using for church and other use. When we settled on her "pretty" purple covered Bible, I had a hitch in my heart about it and I should've listened to it. I can't stand shopping and then standing there while the store clerk (who thought I was nuts anyway) stood over us made me simply want to finish and leave.

    We are grateful to find out that it is not the new gender neutral Bible though.

    Amy~ The topics on the inserts could do just what you were referring to when you commented about the diet pills. I remember several times like that when I was a teenager.

  11. When I saw the link to your post, I definitely wanted to see your perspective. I bought this Bible to give as a gift to one of my girls, and after pouring through it, returned it back to the store. I also wrote a letter to Zondervan, requesting they cease publication.

    It is a terrible offense to include so many depressed looking girls and modern day slang in the midst of the Word. What an incredible distraction for any tween through teenage girl.

    Thanks for making this public. I think I shall need to do that as well. Maybe they'll take it off the market!

    By His Grace,


  12. Zondervam is owned by the big international publishing house HarperCollins who produce a very wide range of literature. The CEO of the Christian arm (Zondervam) is Scottt MacDonald an American.

    HarperCollins is owned by News Corporation which is owned by the Murdock family, now residences of the USA and Amercian citizens but originally from Australia. Murdoch himself would not have a clue what HarperCollins put in their books. Contact MacDonald if you want to complain. However News Corporation were the owners of the UK newspaper News of the World that have been caught phone tapping over a number of years and in trouble with the UK government. Murdock is a supporter of the Australian conservative party (Liberals).

    Back to the Bible, when I was a young girl I was given a KJV bible with a black cover, it's what is in the side that counts not the cover. Get your daughter to make a pretty bag or cover.

  13. I am sorry that this upset you and your family. But I can also see the possibility that the person who wrote this insert has a heart for lost and bulimic girls and was trying hard to reach them where they are at. Jesus came for the sick. We have to be about reaching out to the lost and hurting in this world. I know so many lost young ladies who could use these words. If only one was reached for Jesus by this insert, than that would be to the glory of God. You are obviously raising a wise and discerning daughter and that is so hard to do these days. But we live in a fallen world. I want my daughters (10 and 12) to understand issues such as bulimia so that they can pray and help the lost around them because sadly there are lost and hurting girl everywhere.

  14. After thinking about this more, I wanted to mention that you know you are doing something right because your daughter came to you when she saw this disturbing word/idea. It's clear she trusts you to guide her when she feels disturbed. That's so important!!

  15. Thank you Becca, I can't imagine her not being comfortable enough to come to me with everything. We are pretty inseparable, although the enemy has been known to try to build a wall between us every once in a while. On the rare occasion that we begin to be at odds with each other, we recognize it for what it is. She knows that is how the enemy will try to destroy her by coming between her and her parents in many forms.

  16. They have a teen study Bible called Axis that is made in NKJV and KJV I believe. its not specifically for girls but it is a good BIble and has the inserts and everything.

  17. Wow! What a shame that people are putting all this deception in with the Word of God and then calling it the Word of God. God said in Revelation 22:18 "If any man shall add unto these things...". I fear that man is trying to solve the world's problems and that our focus has been distorted just a little. While it sounds good that we would address issues such as bulimia, we are to present the Gospel and let the Holy Spirit do the work. Even Jesus used the Scriptures to deal with issues of the day! After the saving of man, then comes the growth. Jesus did not say we have to clean ourselves up first and then we can come to Him! NO, we need to let people know they come to Jesus just as they are!

  18. That is terrible. May I ask what "version" it was? We truly believe that a lot of this kind of thing is happening due to a forsaking of the King James Bible. What do you think?

    1. It was the NIV version. We like to stick with the King James, but this was a gift from her Grandparents. Since this ordeal, we visited another Christian bookstore. I talked to the clerk about it, showing it to her, and she was aware of it. She herself had home schooled her children and she said she always asks the customer if the home school or not. It makes a big difference as to what she recommends. That would've been helpful if the clerk in the other store had known that it does make a huge difference in what children are introduced to. The sad part is, that if it is noted that the child goes to a public school that he or she automatically gets put into the category of "crude language is acceptable".

      That brings up a whole other topic though, which I won't get into yet.

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    1. I agree whole heartedly with you. It always helps to study the culture and the original language to understand the Scriptures better. The "study" Bibles are no longer welcome in our home, especially concerning our daughter. We are surrounded by many wonderful people, some of who have been missionaries to Israel that really help us understand also. That in itself is a true blessing.

  20. We have stopped buying "Study Bibles" along time ago. The ones marketed for children and teens were the worst, because they assume things in our American culture that are NOT apart of my children's culture. The more we have learned in our own studies we have noticed even the commentary on many adult Bibles can really lead us astray because it is subject to the writer's understanding and docterine. So...we just stick with The Scriptures themselves. We are also learning the original language and use study resources that keep language and context as high priorities.

  21. Very good article, we need to be very aware of what comes into our home. A KJV plain looking Bible is the best yet.
    The only commentaries that we like are sold at vision publishers from Harrisonburg VA. They thoroughly screen all books, Bible and such like.


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