James Linzey, chief editor of the Modern English Version of the Bible produced by Charisma Media, says he was "shocked and disheartened" to learn that Bible Gateway had removed The Passion Translation from its database recently and that it was no longer available among the site's 90 English-language Bible versions.
Media outlets reported earlier this week that Bible Gateway had deleted the TPT translation, introduced in 2017 as a version designed to "recapture the emotion of God's Word." It is a version used by charismatic Christian preachers such as Lou Engle and Bethel Redding's Bill Johnson.
"Although I still support Bible Gateway, and I fully support Brian Simmons and The Passion Translation, this totally takes me by surprise," says Linzey, whose mother, Verna, was a popular Charismatic preacher and theologian before passing away at 97 in 2016. "I believe The Passion Translation is a credible rendition of the Word of God. [TPT translator] Brian Simmons is a very commendable Christian and did fantastic work with The Passion Translation."
In a statement, TPT's publisher Broadstreet Publishing says they were given no explanation for the translation's removal. Bible Gateway informed Broadstreet Publishing of the decision to discontinue its license last month.
Christianity Today reported that Bible Gateway's parent company, HarperCollins Publishing, said, "We periodically review our content, making changes as necessary to align with our business goals."
"I would not be surprised if Bible Gateway did get some backlash for removing it," Linzey says. "I don't think Bible Gateway did anything wrong, but I would not have made that decision if I were in their shoes."
Simmons said this recently on his Facebook page, "You can't carry an offense and the cross at the same time. One must be laid down."
"I think I know what he meant by that statement," Linzey says. "He is not going to walk a fence, but he is going to continue to bear the cross of Christ. I admire him deeply for that."
Simmons told Charisma Media there was no prior notice that this decision was being considered and that no appeal was being considered at this time.
"Broadstreet Publishing accepts that Bible Gateway has the right to make decisions as they see fit with their platforms they manage," Simmons said.
Shawn A. Akers is the online editor for Charisma Media.
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