Bible Gateway is a website that provides visitors with different Bible translations, devotionals, reading plans, and study tools. Recently, Bible Gateway removed a popular bible translation known as “The Passion Translation” from its platform.
This version of the Bible has sparked controversy since its first publication in 2017. Continue reading this post to find out all that there is about this issue.
TPT is an acronym that stands for “The Passion Translation.” There has always been a need to read the bible with God’s exact emotions appealing to us. This is what this Bible version promises.
It is a modern Bible translation that is easy to read and unlocks God’s passion while expressing his fiery love. TPT merges God’s emotions with life-changing truth to evoke overwhelming responses from each reader.
This version of the Bible was first published in 2017. It contained just the books of the New Testament along with Psalms, Proverbs, and Song of Songs from the Old Testament. The Lead Translator, Brian Simmons, is the Passion and Fire Ministries leader. Before now, he used to be a missionary linguist.
Simmons sees his role in publishing TPT as part of God’s calling upon him to bring His Word to the nations. The Passion Translation has enjoyed endorsements from several apostolic charismatic Christians worldwide. These individuals include Bobbie Houston of Hillsong and Bill Johnson of Bethel.
Why did Bible Gateway Remove The Passion Translation from its platform?
If you have this question on your mind, you are not alone. How can they remove a body of work that seems to capture God’s exact emotions in every verse from their platform?
Here’s what HarperCollins, the parent company of Bible Gateway, had to say.
“We periodically review our content, making changes as necessary, to align with our business goals.”
They are yet to provide any further explanation concerning the situation. When you visit the website, you will discover that this version has the phrase “no longer available” against it. Sources believe that this translation has several phrases that aren’t included in the original manuscripts. The translator defends this by saying these phrases were meant to express God’s exact tone and intentions in each passage.
BroadStreet Publishing Group, the publishers of TPT, confirmed Bible Gateway’s decision in a statement. According to them, the platform discontinued its license for TPT in January 2022. They further stated,
“While no explanation was given, BroadStreet Publishing accepts that Bible Gateway has the right to make decisions as they see fit with the platforms they manage.”
In response to the removal, Brian Simmons put up a post on his social media asking his followers to request the version’s restoration to Bible Gateway’s platform. According to him, the “cancel culture is alive in the church world.” Simmons has since taken down the post from his Facebook account.
Controversies Surrounding TPT
Not everyone endorsed or accepted The Passion Translation. Since its first publication, several individuals and bodies have refuted it as a Bible translation. Most of them regard it as a paraphrase since other bible scholars employed more rigorous standards in translating different versions.
According to the critics, a new Bible version should adhere closely to the source’s syntax, wording, and structure.
“There are just too many additions to the text that have no basis in the original—which is fine (sort of) if it’s self-consciously a paraphrase, but not if people think it’s a translation.”
Research shows that some of the passages in The Passion Translation are far longer than in other translations. A typical example is the Lord’s Prayer. Another review of the version by The Gospel Coalition journal criticized the translator for the overuse of “double translation.” It explains that he used multiple word meanings in some parts even when there were no evident “wordplay” intentions.
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