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I Timothy 3:15

An NIV Cover-up

Yvonne S. Waite

From Bible For Today News Report
900 Park Avenue, Collingswood NJ 08108

I don’t know if you realize it or not but the New International Version publishers are down-right nervous! Why? Well, some of us have been telling its readers that Virginia Ramey Mollenkott (VRM) was an avowed lesbian for years; few took heed.

But lately, booklets like Carl Graham’s "The Proper Perspective on the Bible–Sodomy & the NIV" (BFT #2298/$1.50), and Gail Riplinger’s popular "New Age Bible Versions" (BFT #2335/$17.00) have sparked attention. People are noticing for the first time the sexual orientation of the "feminist" English professor who has authored eleven books and reads after mystics like Matthew Fox, calling herself religiously a "liberationist."

Dr. D.A. Waite warned years ago of her fondness of women and of her penchant for non-Biblical views in his analysis of her early work, "Woman, Men, & the Bible" which he drafted in 1977. (BFT #518/$4.00) In fact, he concluded after reading her book that she was not a "believer."

He wrote: "Virginia Ramey Mollenkott might very will be an apostate who has never been born again, but is only posing as a ‘sheep’ when in reality she is a ‘wolf’ in ‘sheep’s clothing.’" (pg.33)

Dr. Waite knew she was a practicing homosexual as far back as 1962-63 when they both taught at Shelton College in Ringwood, New Jersey–that’s when she told her classes it was all right to lie, a la Tom Sawyer. In fact, Arthur Steele refused to be president of that college unless this "Sophialator" were kicked off the staff!

Yes, he has a letter, dated November 27, 1978, from Bob Jones, Jr. saying: "We had a definite problem with her because she insisted on hobnobbing with a few girls when she was employed as a teacher here for one year in the fifties. In ‘78, I point-blank asked, ‘Virginia, "Are you a lesbian?’–an opportunity for her to end the rumors that trailed her. She refused to answer, claiming it would hurt her influence in both the "gay" and the "straight" camps. Her silence condemned her!”

In anticipating questions about Mrs. Mollenkott, NIV editor/corrector, Dr. Kenneth Barker, on September 12, 1993, denied: "There is a malicious rumor going about that a lesbian was one of the NIV translators. That is a bold face lie!... She was an English scholar... She made virtually no suggestions or proposals. She did not influence the NIV at all...Nothing–absolutely nothing–was known about her being accused of lesbianism!!...I must set the record straight...She was briefly involved in a minor way...She was known as a committed Evangelical Christian. Nothing was known about her lesbian abuse! Therefore, we cannot be held accountable for what happened years later."

Dear reader, that "ain’t" the way Virginia tells it! During a radio interview by Christian talk-show host, Joseph Chambers (BFT #2439/$4.00) she responded to the question, "Did you enjoy ‘your work’ with the ‘translating team,’ particularly for the NIV?"

Mollenkott replied:

"I worked mainly in solitude...They would send me big swatches of translations...many chapters at a time...perhaps several shorter books from the Old Testament or the New Testament...and ‘my job’ was to read them with an eye as to how this would communicate with the modern reader, and to indicate if I thought there were any infelicities in language that could be corrected...So, I would write notes all over manuscripts which I was sent, both praising phraseology that I thought was wonderful and raising questions or asking–for instance something I would typically write would be, ‘Would the Greek or would the Hebrew permit this word’ which would seem to me to be much more understandable or clear to a modern reader?"

This uncloseted lesbian translation consultant, who, by the way, also worked on the Inclusive Language Lectionary of the National Council of Churches, is listed in the NIV’s own ad as one of its "scholars". For sure, her name appears under a headline, "The Translators," along with "renowns" such as Gleason L. Archer, John J. Davis, Frank E. Gaebelein, Murray J. Harris, Everett Harrison, S. Lewis Johnsons, Walter C. Kaiser, Kenneth S. Kantzer, Arthur H. Lewis, Katryn Ludwigson, Allan A. MacRae, Merril C. Tenney, Bruce K. Waltke, Leon J. Wood, Ronald Youngblood, et al–How about that for eminence?

Then of course, we know that in 1972, the New York Bible Society lists VRM as a literary consultant. In 1982, she was enumerated as a literary consultant in "The Word of God," edited by Lloyd R. Bailey & published by John Knox.

Then Vantage Press claimed her as a literary consultant in the "NIV Story" by Burton L. Goddard. Behold: a letter sent to a friend from the International Bible Society (IBS) stated. "Dr. Virginia Mollenkott was not involved in the translation or editing of the New International Version text. Her role was very minor and short lived; in fact she was dropped from the project in early 1970, therefore could not ‘influence’ the translation work or slant the translation to fit her views."

Friend, does that jibe with a 1994 IBS letter to a NIV critic which said, "It is true that in the earliest stages of the translation work on the NIV (in the late 1960’s) VRM was consulted briefly and only in a minor way on matters of English style."

Looks like a cover-up to me...