Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Michael W. Smith is facing backlash for seemingly endorsing the controversial The Passion Translation (TPT) of the Bible.
The translation has faced controversy since it launched in 2015.
According to The Christian Post, the TPT website included an endorsement from Smith, but as of June 1, the endorsement was removed from the site.
The initial endorsement from Smith called The Passion Translation is a “gift to Bible readers.”
“It is a beautiful marriage of powerful accuracy and readable, natural language. The vivid wording strips away the centuries, reminding me with every phase that each prophecy, letter, history account, poem, vision, and parable is God’s Word to me today just as much as it was to the original audiences,” Smith said, according to the statement.
The statement added that the translation “encourages, convicts, teaches and comforts.”
When his endorsement was shared on social media this week, Smith faced backlash for the comments. It’s likely what led to the removal of his endorsement.
Smith has not commented on the issue.
Meanwhile, the TPT site includes endorsements from other pastors and church leaders.
“The Word of God is our collective and yet deeply personal love letter from above. It positions you and me within proven, godly wisdom and gives precious insight into the heart, nature, and goodness of God,” said the former co-senior pastor at Hillsong Church, Bobbie Houston.
“I have loved the individual books published thus far from The Passion Translation and look forward with great anticipation to adding the entire New Testament with Psalms, Proverbs, and Song of Songs to my own private (and public) reading,” Houston continued. “With my husband, Brian, and our Hillsong church family, I know these pages will bring to life the One whose name is Jesus – whose passion is humanity and whose heart is for you.”
TPT has faced controversy over the years. Most recently, Bible Gateway removed the translation from its site.
The TPT website states, “There is no such thing as a truly literal translation of the Bible, for there is not an equivalent language that perfectly conveys the meaning of the biblical text except as it is understood in its original cultural and linguistic setting.”
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Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.