Friday, July 11, 2008

Lawsuit against Zondervan

According to WoodTV 8 in Grand Rapids, MI:

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.
The lawsuit centers on the translation of arsenokoitai in First Corinthians 6:9. Bradley Fowler, the man bringing the lawsuit, 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 wants and apology and $60 million for his “emotional duress and mental instability.”

According to A Greek Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature by Walter Bauer, William Arndt, and F. Wilbur Gingrich (a standard Greek lexicon) “arsenokoites” (arsenokoitai is a plural form) is “a male who practices homosexuality.”

Paul may have coined this word from two words that appear together in Leviticus 20:13 of the Septuagint (an ancient Greek translation of the Old Testament which was popular in Paul’s time). It says, “Whoever shall lie with a male as with a woman, they have both committed abomination, let them die the death, they are guilty.”

From a scholarly perspective, Mr. Fowler’s complaint is groundless. From a First Amendment perspective the lawsuit should be groundless as well. It is not only disturbing that Zondervan has to defend itself against such a frivolous lawsuit, but it should be a concern to all Americans who believe in freedom that Mr. Fowler wants the government, i.e. the courts, to rule on what is acceptable in a Bible translation. (Hat tip: Mitch H.)


professor ed said...

As a Christian and as an academic librarian, I too am deeply concerned about this (hopefully frivolous, legal action. When the U.S. opened the door to the concept of "hate speech" the dor to such action as this lawsuit swung wide as well. Gee, maybe we should revisit such Biblical statements as "And every one that heareth these words of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand" Mathew 7:26
After all doesn't this cast property owners who choose to live on our barrier islands, in a bad light?!

Alcamadus said...

You have to start questioning the militancy of these aggressive attacks, especially when they are based on extremely little.