Monday, August 5, 2013

Let's Turn a Non-Decision into a Good Decision!

Dear Readers,

I encourage each and every one of you this morning to sit down and write a letter in your own words to our Synod President regarding the issue of Bible translation.

I urge you to tell him that you supported his effort to have our synod produce a truly Lutheran Bible in English, and that you very disappointed that the recent convention was persuaded by other leaders not to pursue this very worthwhile project.

In addition, please tell him of your total and complete dissatisfaction with the so-called "New" New International Version, aka NIV 2011, and that you desire that our Northwestern Publishing NOT use this translation in any publication of any kind ever.

If you want to, go ahead and make a suggestion as to which other translation you would like to see used.

Please copy the VP of Publishing at NPH, Rev. John Braun, and your own district president. Indeed, if you are so inclined, copy ALL the district presidents.  All addresses you will need are copied below directly out of the WELS Yearbook.

If you would like to share your letter with other readers, email a copy here to us at Intrepid Lutherans, and we'll publish them on the blog as we get them.

Please to this TODAY, so you don't forget!

Thank you and God bless you all!

Pastor Spencer


Rev. Mark Schroeder
N16 W23377 Stone Ridge Dr.
Waukesha, WI  53188

Rev. John Braun
1250 N. 113th St.
Milwaukee, WI  53226

Rev. Jon Buchholz
1821 E. Apollo Rd.
Phoenix, AZ  85042

Rev. Charles Degner
326 N. 9th St.
St. Peter, MN  56082

Rev. Douglas Engelbrecht
249 E. Franklin Ave.
Neenah, WI  54956

Rev. John Guse
716 Song Bird Way
Woodstock, GA  30188

Rev. Theodore Lambert
6027 Peregrine Ct.
Bremerton, WA  98312

Rev. Peter Naumann
620 9th St. W
Mobridge, SD  57601

Rev. Donald Patterson
1719 Fort Grants Dr.
Round Rock, TX  78665

Rev. Herbert Prahl
S8441 Michael Dr.
Eau Claire, WI  54701

Rev. David Rutschow
527 63rd St.
Downers Grove, IL  60516

Rev. John Seifert
907 Mattes Dr.
Midland, MI  48642

Rev. Donald Tollefson
40 Coleman Rd.
Long Valley, NJ  07853

Rev. Earle Treptow
2610 S. Wadsworth Blvd.
Denver, CO  80227



Rev. Paul A. Rydecki said...

I don't think any of the people above will be at all interested in my letters or my recommendations, but for our readers, my hands down recommendation is the NKJV.

Daniel Baker said...

But what if you didn't support his effort to have our synod produce its own translation? lol If I had I definitely would have spoken up in support of it. Albeit I almost did anyway, just because of how ludicrous the arguments against it were.

Pastor Spencer said...

Daniel, that's fine. I understand. To all out there with Daniel's concern. So, ok, maybe you didn't and don't support a "WELS translation" so to speak. Still, you can certainly oppose the NNIV, and let that be known by the President, your DP, and NPH. That is worth a letter all by itself!

Anonymous said...

I would back the NKJV over a WELS Translation. Now the NKJV didn't even make the final three recommended for NPH to use. Is anyone willing to explain why the NKJV/Textus Receptus is/was such a nonstarter for the TEC?

Lee Liermann

Anonymous said...

Pastor Spencer,

Could Intrepid Lutherans print the Bible translation resolution that was approved at the convention? I understood the approved resolution limited the translation choices to three, the 2011 NIV, the ESV and the HCSB. But I've heard a lot of discussion that implies that any and all translations are acceptable. I can understand where that discussion comes from, based on statements made by Wendland and others, but what does the approved resolution say?

Writing a letter advocating one translation and opposing another has reduced effectiveness if the addressee can hide behind an approved convention resolution that limits translation options.

I might add that I wrote to all of the TEC members early on in the 2011 NIV saga, and was never given the courtesy of a reply from any of them. In fact, of all of the synod leaders I have ever written to, on this or any other topic of doctrinal concern, only synod President Schroeder has given the courtesy of replying to my messages. I think this speaks volumes to the attitude of synod leadership (excluding President Schroeder) towards lay people and their concerns.


Rev. Paul A. Rydecki said...


Per your request...

Pastor Spencer said...


The Resolution is printed below. Note that NIV11, ESV, and Holman are indeed mentioned specifically. However, note also that the TEC found that "all the precious truths of our faith are clearly taught in ALL the translations we have considered.” (emphasis mine) No list was given of ALL those considered. I would certainly doubt, for example, that the New World (JW) translation was considered. But if one drew the conclusion that most, if not all, other translations are "acceptable," for WELS members, I don't see how that could be wrong. Of course, acceptable for what use is a whole other question.

And yes, President Schroeder should be commended for answering almost all inquiries directed to him. It is unfortunate that our other leaders to not always make similar efforts.

Floor Committee 21: Translation Evaluation Committee (TEC)

Subject: Option 2

Reference: Book of Reports and Memorials, pp. 69-78; 211-215 (memorials 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 29, 30)

Resolution No. 1

WHEREAS 1) we strive to follow the direction found in Ephesians 4:2-3, "Be completely humble and gentle; be patient bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace" and in Philippians 1:27, "Stand firm in one spirit, contending as one man for the faith of the gospel”; and

WHEREAS 2) the TEC evaluation of the "Review of the 102" noted that each of the three translations (NIV2011, ESV, HCSB) "has some generally recognized strengths" but also "some generally recognized weaknesses" (BORAM, p. 73); and

WHEREAS 3) the TEC concluded that “As a committee we are convinced that all the precious truths of our faith are clearly taught in all the translations we have considered” (BORAM, p. 77); and

WHEREAS 4) the TEC has produced a four-part Bible study for congregational use to help lay people become more familiar with translational issues; and

WHEREAS 5) it is apparent that no consensus has developed in the synod for the use of a single translation, as is evident from the memorials submitted to the synod from a broad sampling of the districts that dealt with the translation issue; and

WHEREAS 6) Northwestern Publishing House (NPH) will be able to use NIV84 for current published products and may be able to continue to use it for some future products; therefore be it

Resolved, a) that the synod in convention adopt the second option of the TEC report, that WELS does not adopt a single Bible translation for use in its publications at this time but use an eclectic approach; and be it further

Resolved, b) that we encourage NPH to choose whichever translation it deems best for a particular publication; and be it further

Resolved, c) that all the congregations in the WELS be encouraged to use the four-part Bible study that the TEC produced; and be it finally

Resolved, d) that we, as members of the WELS standing firm in one spirit, contending as one man for the faith of the gospel, fix our hearts on this one unshakable truth: the Word of our God endures forever.

Pastor Joel Gaertner, chairman
Pastor Mark Gabb, secretary


Rev. Paul A. Rydecki said...

As noted in the post I linked, Resolved (b) was specifically amended to open up NPH's choices beyond the three that were studied. (I watched the streaming of that portion of the convention.)

Karissa Tilbury said...

The argument that appeared repeatedly to support the synod’s decision to use an existing translation dealt with the time and burden that an independent translation would impose on the faculty at MLC and WLS. As a person who is currently a PhD student, I get a little bit of an insight into life as a professor. Professors outside of the synodical training system are juggling research funding, course development, writing and reviewing publications, training undergraduate and graduate students, and serving on several committees. Professors are busy people and they learn how and when to delegate to their senior graduate students. Why don’t we hold the professors in the synodical training schools to the same standards? As students progress through their academic careers, their budding careers are fostered through various tasks that are delegated by their advisors. Currently I believe that the synodical training is sufficient, but I think we can strive for improvements. Seminary students are essentially equivalent to graduate or professional (medical, dental, law etc.) students, therefore we should ensure the rigor of their training matches other graduate and professional training programs. The seminary has resurrected the senior thesis project, which is a promising first step, but it could easily be altered to be a culmination of four years of mentored research that is useful for the synod and its members. Clearly the projects will all be different as not all men training for the pastoral office have the same skill sets, but one can imagine those gifted with language abilities could participate in the translation efforts. This example provides additional ‘free’ hands to work on the translation project and at the same time ensures that we are grooming the next generation of language professors within the synod. The same professor-mentored research projects could be applied to the continual education programs offed by the seminary, to permit influence from experienced pastors in the field.

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