On September 1, 2009, Zondervan, Biblica (formerly known as the International Bible Society) and the Committee on Bible Translation announced a revision of the New International Version of the Bible. The new revised NIV will be available in 2011. According to the joint announcement, the new revision will mark the first complete update of the NIV since 1984.
At the same time, Zondervan announced that with the publication of the revised NIV in 2011, they will cease selling the TNIV. The TNIV is a controversial translation of the Bible released in 2001 which was met with wide rejection among evangelicals because of its gender-neutral language.
I have written several posts in which I discussed some of the weaknesses of the NIV. I even wrote a post in which I compared the NIV and the TNIV (check the links below). To me, the biggest problem with the TNIV was the many changes this translation made in the Hebrew text in order to employ a gender inclusive language to address the cultural constraints of our American society and its reluctance to use words such as “father,” “son,” “brother,” and the masculine pronouns “he,” “him,” or “his.”
I am quite aware that in the twenty-first century our society expects people to use inclusive language in order to include both men and women in whatever is being said or written. However, when a Hebrew verb is changed from the singular to the plural, such a change creates inaccuracies in interpretation of the text and it provides a false understanding of what the text is trying to communicate to the reader.
I can assure you that the Committee on Bible Translation will have a difficult time in accommodating the many different views and desires of the evangelical world. If the translators of the revised NIV follow the same principles adopted by the translators of the TNIV, the revised NIV will suffer the same fate as the TNIV and it will open the doors for the ESV to become the Bible of the evangelical world.
Posts dealing with the NIV:
Emeritus Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary
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