Leia e avalie.
Posted by Kevin A. Wilson – Blue Cord: January 20, 2007
A few weeks ago, I was trying to practice my PHP skills, so I decided to write a plugin for WordPress. The plugin was supposed to allow me to type something like [ESV=Leviticus 3:16] and have the plugin automatically replace the reference with the actual verse. The only feed I found was the English Standard Version, so I decided to use their service.
I got the plugin to work perfectly. After finishing it, however, I was at the ESV website and I noticed their terms of service. Most of it was pretty standard, but I did find one problematic section:
This service is available for use only by individuals and non-commercial organizations that use the service in ways consistent with the historic Christian understanding of doctrine and the Bible, as summarized in the following foundational doctrines. (See our statement of faith.)
. The Bible is the inspired, inerrant Word of God.
. There is one God, the Creator of all things, who exists eternally in three persons–Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
. Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man; he died on the cross, rose from the dead, ascended to heaven, and will come again.
. Salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.
Most of this I can affirm with no problem. The inerrancy clause, however, means that I cannot use the service. I contacted them directly and asked for clarification, and they responded by saying that I do have to accept inerrancy in order to use the feed service.
I have no problem with the ESV people setting up guidelines for who may use their service. After all, I can imagine they wouldn’t want to provide the feed for people who are mocking the Bible or using it for other non-Christian activities. And, since it is their service, they of course have the right to set up any guidelines they want.
It seems to me, however, that limiting it to people who subscribe to inerrancy is limiting its use unnecessarily. For one thing, inerrancy is not a part of “the historic Christian understanding of doctrine and the Bible,” even though they claim this is the case. Do they really want to draw the circle so tightly? The Bible is a big boy; it can take care of itself. I don’t think it needs them to protect it from people who accept the inspiration and authority of the Bible but don’t hold inerrancy.
They have other guidelines that would allow me to cut and paste the ESV into my site, and those guidelines are not as restrictive. And I do have the ESV for Logos, so I could cut and paste with no problem. But if I am going to go to the trouble to open up Logos, I am going to cut and paste from the NRSV, which is a better translation anyway.
The long and short of this is that you will not be seeing the ESV automatically quoted on my website. However, if you are interested in the plugin and can abide by their guidelines, I would be happy to share it with you.