COPYRIGHT AND SELLING YAHWEH’S WORD IS ETHICAL
COPYRIGHT AND SELLING YAHWEH’S WORD IS ETHICAL
BUT THERE IS A MORE EXCELLENT WAY
Yeshua instructed his disciples before sending them out in Luke 10; we read in verse 7, “Remain in that same house, eating and drinking what they provide, for the laborer is worthy of his wages.”
Paul had a lot to say in explaining how he and Barnabas lived: 1 Corinthians 9:3, 7-14, “This is my defense to those who examine me: . . . 7Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat its fruit? Or who tends a flock and does not drink milk from it? 8Do I say these things based on human authority? Does not the Torah also say this?
9For it is written in the law of Moses (in Deuteronomy 25:4), “Do not put a muzzle on an ox when it is treading out the grain.” Is it really the oxen that Yahweh cares about? 10Is he not speaking about us? It was written for us, because the one who plows should plow in hope, and the one who threshes should thresh in the expectation of sharing in the harvest. 11If we sowed spiritual things among you, is it too much for us to reap material things from you? 12If others exercised this right from you, do we not have even more? Nevertheless, we did not claim this right. Instead, we endured everything rather than be a hindrance to the gospel of Messiah. 13Do you not know that those who serve in the temple get their food from the temple? Do you not know that those who serve at the altar share in what is offered on the altar? 14In the same way, the Lord commanded that those who proclaim the gospel should get their living from the gospel.”
The apostle Paul understood that Yahweh was speaking about humans in Deuteronomy 25:4 and quotes it again in 1 Timothy 5:18, “For the scripture says, “You shall not put a muzzle on an ox while it treads the grain,” and “The laborer is worthy of his wages.”” Paul affirms in 1 Cor. 9 and 1 Timothy 5 that it is not only ethical, but ministers actually have the right to gain financial reward when we work in the ministry. Our creative work, like books, CDs, DVDs, movies, music, and even Bibles is automatically copyrighted the moment we create it. And it is ethical to sell these items as fund raisers for our ministry or to make wages for ministers, or to recover the costs of production. We simply choose like Paul and Yeshua, we’d rather endure all things rather than be a hindrance to the Gospel.
Paul sums up his thoughts in 1 Corinthians 9:15-18, “But I have not claimed any of these rights. And I do not write this so something might be done for me. I would rather die than anyone deprive me of this boast. 16For if I preach the gospel, I have no reason for boasting, because I must do this. And woe be to me if I do not preach the gospel! 17For if I do this willingly, I have a reward. But if not willingly, I still have a responsibility that was entrusted to me. 18What then is my reward? That when I preach, I may offer the gospel without charge and so not take full use of my right in the gospel.”
I have found a better way to release my creative works to the people. It’s called a “Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license.” This license locks my works open and free and legally freed for eternity, so my friends in the mission fields all over the world may take my work and with complete legal freedom, “translate, adapt, build on, revise, redistribute, and use the resources as though they were their own, without restriction” (Tim Jore, TCC, page 154). If you are interested in learning more about the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license, go to their website: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0
Tim Jore, in his free and legally freed ebook, The Christian Commons, explains this concept thoroughly. His ebook is available at: https://unfoldingword.org/tcc/ Unfoldingword.org is the creator of the Unlocked Literal Bible, which I am using as a base to create my Son Of Man Sacred Name Bible, which is released under the same Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 license. I believe this is the higher ground of Christian missions in the 21st century. Attribution-ShareAlike licensing can take the Gospel of Messiah faster, farther, cheaper, and better than the old paradigm found in the paper/print publishing based world that believers have used over the last 500 years. Copyrighted material may be sold, but Attribution-ShareAlike licensed works may also be sold. At least NOW, today, in the 21st century digital world, we have a choice on how to release our creative works. You may copyright your materials if you want to, but I believe we have chosen the more excellent way with the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike licensing.
Now I want to share some stats with you that I find fascinating and calculated myself. unfoldingword.org is a great Bible translation website, but I’ve come across another translation website: https://theseedcompany.org, they state that for every $35.00 donated, they can translate 1 verse of Scripture. Well, in my endeavor to create my Son Of Man Bible e-Sword module, I discovered that there are over 31,150 verses in any given Bible. So, the cost of translating 1 Bible costs about $1,090,250.00. So, I’ve learned from Tim Jore at the Christian Commons and from others at unfoldingword.org that there are approximately 7,000 languages in the world. So, to fulfill the discipleship mandate to preach and make disciples of all people groups, it will only cost about $7,631,750,000.00 to translate one Bible into each of those 7,000 different languages. So, I’m now trusting Yahweh for an $8,000,000,000.00 donation to finish the Bible translations into 7,000 languages. I asked the Lord if I could use the remaining $368,250,000.00 in our ministry!! So, I ask you all to believe with me!!
Numbers 6:24-26 “May Yahweh bless you and keep you. 25May Yahweh make his face shine on you and be gracious to you. 26May Yahweh look on you with favor and give you peace.”’
Gene Benjamin II
August 8, 2017 AD