BREAKING NEWS: NIV to be updated!

I just received from Zondervan a letter announcing that the NIV Bible is to be updated in 2011. The announcement is at this website. Here are some extracts from the full text of the announcement:

The global board of Biblica today announced its intention to update the New International Version (NIV) of the Bible, the first time it has been revised since 1984. The Committee on Bible Translation (CBT), the independent body of global biblical scholars solely responsible for the translation of the world’s most popular Bible, is slated to finish its revision late next year, with publication in 2011. …

“We want to reach English speakers across the globe with a Bible that is accurate, accessible and that speaks to its readers in a language they can understand,” said Keith Danby, Global President and CEO of Biblica. …

“As time passes and English changes, the NIV we have at present is becoming increasingly dated. If we want a Bible that English speakers around the world can understand, we have to listen to, and respect, the vocabulary they are using today.”

BBB readers and friends have their opportunity to contribute to the new edition, as explained by Douglas Moo, chairman of the Committee on Bible Translation:

The CBT also reiterated its longstanding openness to receiving input from both external scholars and regular Bible readers.
“The CBT has always proactively sought peer review from qualified biblical scholars, linguists and English stylists and it continues to do so,” said Moo. “Every suggestion presented in writing to the CBT before the end of this calendar year will be considered for the 2011 edition of the NIV Bible. The CBT also values the feedback it receives from NIV Bible readers – be they scholars or not – on the comprehensibility of the text as we continue in our efforts to create a translation that offers English speakers across the world accurate understanding and unobstructed access to God’s unchanging word.”

I understand that this new edition is intended to replace both the 1984 NIV and the 2005 TNIV. I hope to be able to confirm this soon.

UPDATE: There is also an article about this in USA Today, a rather strange article I thought, which concludes with the following:

The T-NIV will be taken off the market when the new Bible is released.

For the 2011 edition, more than a dozen scholars will “review every single gender-related decision we have made and make sure we are putting God’s unchanging word into English people are actually using,” says Douglas Moo, chairman of the Committee on Bible Translation.

Gender issues aren’t the only areas for re-examination, says Moo. “In the 1984 NIV when Paul says (in 2 Corinthians 11:25) ‘I was stoned,’ we changed it to ‘pelted with stones’ to avoid the laughter in the junior high row of the church.”

While the committee has always called on scholars from numerous faiths and disciplines, they’re also now calling for input from the general public at a special new website, NIVBible2011.com.

“I can’t predict what will happen with gender usage. My guess would be we made a lot of the right decisions for the T-NIV but every one of those is open for consideration. We may even be returning to what we had in the 1984 NIV,” says Moo.

Well, I certainly hope they don’t return to what was in the 1984 NIV, which includes clear gender-related errors like this one. But I would be very surprised if they do. Nevertheless I’m sure there will be a lot of wrangling over the next two years about whether to follow NIV or TNIV on debatable matters.

50 Comments

  1. Posted September 1, 2009 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    They should add editions with apocrypha/deuterocanonicals, as ESV has done. I’ve suggested this on the NIV site.

  2. Posted September 1, 2009 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

    Name suggeston: Today’s Even Newer International Version.

  3. Posted September 1, 2009 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

    I now have confirmation from Zondervan that

    Following the release of the 2011 NIV, we will cease to produce new 1984 NIV and TNIV products.

    Apparently that information was included in a webcast which I have not seen. I think it may have been on the new website when I first saw it, but I didn’t watch it and now it has disappeared. Does anyone know where I can find this?

  4. Posted September 1, 2009 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

    Well, I certainly hope they don’t return to what was in the 1984 NIV, which includes clear gender-related errors….

    I’ve used the issue of gender and translation to inaugurate an idea I’ve had for a while: “God Didn’t Say That,” a blog about mistranslations of the Bible.

    I’ll be grateful for feedback.

  5. Posted September 1, 2009 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

    Joel, that sounds a great idea. Do you have a URL? I can’t find it by following your personal link.

    Scott, I’m sure they have seen this suggestion, but of course for most evangelicals these books are unimportant.

    David, perhaps we can start a competition for the best new name. But I suggest a separate post from you to get this started.

  6. Posted September 1, 2009 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

    See also the discussion of this new edition at This Lamp.

    I liked this comment there, by Jerry B:

    Fantastic news! Looks like the publishing folks have listened to those saying (I’m in this group) that it was time for a reboot on the TNIV. Great translation, horrible market execution. The commitment to stop publishing a 25 year old version is also wonderful news. Now I hope they don’t buckle and take a step back in translation and exclude over half the population of the world.

    Indeed it will be fantastic if the new NIV is in fact a light revision of TNIV. And I wouldn’t be surprised if that is what Biblica, the CBT and Zondervan have in mind. They just don’t want to get in trouble by announcing that now.

  7. Posted September 1, 2009 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

    Joel, that sounds a great idea. Do you have a URL? I can’t find it by following your personal link.

    Argh. I forgot to include the link. Sorry.

    Here it is:

    GodDidntSayThat.com

  8. Posted September 2, 2009 at 12:16 am | Permalink

    Someone actually sent me an email about the news.

  9. Posted September 2, 2009 at 2:04 am | Permalink

    Re: a name for the 2011 NIV revision, my own suggestion would be to keep it NIV. Most Bible versions (including the KJV) have undergone periodic revisions while retaining the same title. Often the revisions are so minor that many readers do not notice them. Revisions for the NLT, however, have been major and are noticed by readers. Yet Tyndale has, wisely, I believe, kept the NLT name.

    I am glad to see this change for the NIV. I hope that the needed revisions will be met with greater acceptance than the TNIV itself was.

  10. Posted September 2, 2009 at 3:10 am | Permalink

    I also agree that leaving the name simply as NIV is the best. The update or revision can be noted on the title page.

  11. Posted September 2, 2009 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    TC, someone sent me an e-mail too. But mine wasn’t “titled They Killed the TNIV” like yours, so I guess it was from a different source.

    Wayne and Nathan, I think they have actually said the update will just be called NIV. So anything about new names is probably just a matter of light-hearted speculation. But I suppose if they get a really good suggestion they might change their minds.

    Joel, thanks for your link. This is an interesting new blog, which I have just subscribed to (but the feed link on your home page doesn’t work with Bloglines).

  12. Posted September 2, 2009 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    Peter: Which link doesn’t work?

  13. Posted September 2, 2009 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    Joel, the problem was with the “Entries RSS” link which points to http://goddidntsaythat.com/feed/, which yesterday was not recognised by Bloglines. But I suspect that this was a temporary error, as Bloglines now does seem to recognise this feed.

  14. Posted September 2, 2009 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    I got the sense that Moo only meant that any particular change in the TNIV is open to reversion to the NIV rendering if the criticisms offered against it are decisive enough in the minds of the committee (with no alternatives that do the job any better) but that most of them will probably be kept or improved beyond either the NIV or TNIV renderings.

  15. Posted September 2, 2009 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    Jeremy, that’s how I read it too. See my reflections on my own blog.

  16. Posted September 2, 2009 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

    I’m worried that Bible Wars 3 is on the horizon. Just read Lig Duncan’s piece at: http://www.cbmw.org/Blog/Posts/Ligon-Duncan-Responds-to-NIV-Annoucement

    I get the impression that unless the NIV2011 follows the Colorado Springs Guidelines to the letter there will be more silly websites and books written by otherwise great men who unnecessarily divide evangelicalism. Why oppose the translation of Scripture in the language spoken by common people?

    I’ve blogged my fears here: http://restlessandreforming.blogspot.com/2009/09/more-bible-wars-on-horizon.html

  17. Posted September 2, 2009 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

    Nick, I am actually impressed by how moderate Lig Duncan’s response is. He may hope for a major change of heart and direction from CBT, but his closing words show that he doesn’t really expect it:

    There is every indication that the CBT aims to be true to its own translation philosophy, whatever the feedback of egalitarians or complementarians may be.

    Yet he commits CBMW to “review [the update] for the larger Christian public with rigor and charity”. Some of the comments on TNIV from CBMW and friends were decidedly lacking in charity. I really hope they will do better this time, even if the new version disappoints them.

    So, as I see it, there is a reasonable chance that renewed Bible wars will be averted, and that Carson’s words which you quote in your post will be proved right – except about that the TNIV will have been renamed the updated NIV.

  18. TSO
    Posted September 3, 2009 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    I just hope the new NIV will be honest & not slanted. The Greek word for tradition, paradosis, occurs thirteen times in the New Testament but the English word tradition occurs only ten times in the NIV — i.e. only when it is presented in a negative light.

  19. Posted September 3, 2009 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

    Did you know that the TNIV is missing an important word, and that missing word makes Jesus into a liar? Check out this short video to see for yourself: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7oWuQbgmjY

  20. John
    Posted September 4, 2009 at 3:39 am | Permalink

    A ton of English and English expressions came into the language via the rather literal KJV. Some things still exist in English purely because of the KJV. The KJV has pulled stuff into the language, and kept it in there. You know, if everyone switched back to using literal translations, there wouldn’t be any issues about how to translate sarx (flesh), because it would be understood. There are enough Christians that we don’t have to be entirely passive about language, we can define the language. Christians understand what “justification” is, because its in all our bibles. Not because we use it in every day conversation and understand it. If bibles were to stop using that word, it would probably start to drop out of the language entirely, except in its negative sense. No action in English can be passive. It is always partly taking from the common pool of the language, and partly contributing towards the language. Christians shouldn’t be afraid to subtlety push the language where we need it to go. Technical language is a good thing. Not necessarily for everyone. Handing tracts out in the street can’t have technical language. But in the Church it is a good thing.

  21. Posted September 4, 2009 at 4:05 am | Permalink

    No, Bibles aren’t the only place where you see discussions of justification. Biblical studies will also still have it. I see it regularly in philosophical literature, although the sense there is a little different. We talk about whether your beliefs are justified or whether you actions are morally justified. In political discussions, you’ll regularly hear people talking about whether a policy is justified by a certain argument or set of facts. It’s a common enough term in English, and I hear my introductory philosophy students use it in ordinary speech all the time.

  22. John
    Posted September 4, 2009 at 4:21 am | Permalink

    “In political discussions, you’ll regularly hear people talking about whether a policy is justified”

    But that is a different sense. In that case it means “have grounds or reasons for”, not “become righteous”. Obviously the meaning is related, but it is not the same. There is also the negative sense “he tried to justify himself”, which is also not the same.

    In fact who other than Christians uses the word the way the bible means it in normal conversation?

    I just picked that word, because it was the first one that came to me. Similar arguments could be made for many other technical words.

  23. Posted September 4, 2009 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    John, I’m afraid language just doesn’t work the way you want it to. If you ask most people, even most who call themselves Christians (but excepting the minority who really study their Bibles), what “justification” means, their answers will be more like what Jeremy says, a different sense of the word. So when they read “justification” in the Bible, they will completely misunderstand it. Similarly with “flesh” which is being discussed elsewhere. Humpty Dumpty may have tried to redefine words to mean what he wanted them to mean, but it just doesn’t work.

    So I am glad that the NIV updaters have committed themselves to using English as it is actually used by speakers as a whole worldwide, not some artificial dialect preferred by a small number of Bible students. The latter group will anyway never be happy with NIV, but they are well served by versions like NASB – and would be well served by ESV if it actually followed its own principles in its translation of words meaning “man” and “human being”.

  24. Posted September 4, 2009 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    Ah, but would the original readers have been better off? Did Greeks use justification-language the way Paul did? I’m not sure Jews even did. James certainly didn’t. Was there some universally-understood sense of flesh the way Paul uses the term? Not remotely. Paul’s original readers had to figure out what he meant by context and by comparison with the Hebrew scriptures. If we insist on translating in a way that does that work for people, then it runs the risk of short-circuiting the normal way we do interpretation (which can be fine in a particular instance if the translator gets it right but does rob much of biblical language of its rich connections with terminology and theological background). On one level, all translation has this problem, but I think the so-called more dynamic translations have much more serious problems in this direction, even if the so-called literal or functionally-equivalent ones run other risks and have different problems. I’m not saying any of this as a partisan of one translation or translation philosophy. I’m just trying to resist the notion that one translation philosophy is the right one and is automatically a better reflection of what the Bible says (in particular the more favored translation philosophy here, but I’d be as strongly against anyone favoring the ESV, NASB, or whatever with such language).

  25. Posted September 4, 2009 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    Jeremy, you may have a point. But this isn’t really the place to discuss overall translation philosophy. The CBT has made it clear that they plan to revise NIV according to the same principles and philosophy which they have used in the past. They won’t take much notice of proposed changes which go against those principles. Those who prefer more formally equivalent Bible translations already have several to choose between. They shouldn’t expect NIV to become something it never has been and never will be.

  26. John
    Posted September 4, 2009 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    “So when they read “justification” in the Bible, they will completely misunderstand it.”

    Well, TNIV won’t help since it uses justification.

    NLT avoids that, instead saying “made right” (as opposed to wrong perhaps?), and “right relationship” (nice, but not actually what the word means), and occasionally “declared us righteous” (seems biased towards forensic theology, for better or for worse). Not to mention that the NLT is completely incapable of rendering the same word twice the same way.

    If Christians don’t understand English, kick their pastors, lobby for dictionaries and interpretive notes in bibles, but don’t dumb down the text.

  27. Posted September 4, 2009 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    John, if Christians, and interested non-Christian Bible readers, don’t understand pseudo-English technical terms, use proper modern English in translations, don’t kick their pastors (if they have them), or clutter up their Bibles with unnecessary interpretive notes.

    Perhaps the NIV update should drop the word “justification”.

  28. Posted September 4, 2009 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    No, John, I want a translation which when ordinary people read it they understand correctly. I don’t want one where they read Romans 3:24,26 as meaning that when they sin they are justified, i.e. did the right thing, in doing so. Do you want a Bible which encourages people to sin? I value correct teaching over the laziness of simply copying a word from a translation 400 years old and denying that English has changed since then.

  29. John
    Posted September 4, 2009 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know why anybody would interpret any translation that way Peter.

  30. Posted September 5, 2009 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    DWDaniels —

    Watched your video, you say “according to the Scholar’s bible”. What bible were you talking about? To the best of my knowledge the Scholars Version was never published in a brown leather (though I might be mistaken).

  31. DWDaniels
    Posted September 7, 2009 at 4:57 am | Permalink

    Re: “Scholar’s Bible” comment:

    To CD-Host: You heard “According to the Scholar’s Bible.”

    When I read your comment, I kept trying to think what it was to which you were referring. Then I understood. I was saying, “According to THIS CALLER’S Bible” :)

    I can *totally* see how you could have heard what you did. I apologize for any confusion.

  32. D. Ustinov
    Posted September 8, 2009 at 2:09 am | Permalink

    We should have a choice to keep buying the 1984 edition. Evangelicals are the ones that bought the NIV not liberals. Evangelicals are going to be less apt to buy a gender inclusive edition. Think about this, Evangelicals have about four bibles average per household, liberal (so called) christians have 1 bible per household. This should tell you that the 2011 will never sell like the 1984.They keep trying the same gender inclusive junk (two times already)and they never learn. Remember coca cola in 1984, what happened there. I will go to the NKJV if they will not let us continue to let us have the NIV. Usually in life you do not tamper with a good thing.

  33. jason g.
    Posted September 8, 2009 at 2:14 am | Permalink

    They say the language is becomming dated, but I speak the exact same english as I have back in 1984, do you ?

  34. John
    Posted September 8, 2009 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    “I speak the exact same english as I have back in 1984, do you ?”

    Didn’t you get the Memo?

  35. Posted September 8, 2009 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    It doesn’t take detailed knowledge of linguistics to know that languages change. Even individual speakers do change how they speak. Hardly anyone uses the word ‘intercourse’ nowadays for ordinary conversation. I’ve been listening to the Narnia books on CD, and it’s amazing how often he uses the word ‘queer’ to mean something like “strange”. Like it or not, you can’t use that word that way anymore and expect to be understood by most English speakers. Most people know what it used to mean and would know what C.S. Lewis meant, but anyone using it that way now will be initially expected to have meant something else entirely.

  36. Posted January 6, 2010 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    Woo Hoo!!! Down with the “sinful nature” and back to the “flesh”!

  37. Bradford
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 3:54 am | Permalink

    Basically what I got from this website, that The Holy Word of God is blemished due to “gender mistakes”….. wow… I only use the NIV for reference, but I think the Femenist evangelicals need to get a grip on the reality that God placed in front of us, God said this is how it should be, and that is how I am going to live, the “gender inclusive” is just taking out parts (more so than the NIV already has) that make the man higher than the woman…. 1 Tim 2:12 says women shouldn’t teach men in church, so women shoudln’t teach men in church, 1 tim 3:1 says that a preacher must be the husband of one wife, so guess what only men should preach and they should only be marriead to one person… stop trying to overturn the holy order God has put us in…

  38. Posted January 21, 2010 at 4:11 am | Permalink

    Except that the TNIV doesn’t render those passages in that way at all.

    I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. [I Tim 2:12, TNIV]

    Here is a trustworthy saying: If anyone sets his heart on being an overseer, he desires a noble task. 2 Now the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach [I Tim 3:1-2, TNIV]

  39. Posted February 10, 2010 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    Months after the announcement of the 2011 NIV, I am still skeptical as to the wisdom of Biblica/Zondervan’s decision. On the one hand, I see the point several have made of improving the NIV, and sticking with a single New International Version. However, while the NIV and TNIV have both been available, it seems like we’ve had the best of both worlds. Back on the first hand, though, I will admit that leaving the NIV in its 1984 form seems stubborn. So clearly, I can’t make up my mind! I guess one of the things that bothers me most is how much time and money were spent promoting the TNIV, only to drop it all, after only a few years. I hope that the CBT doesn’t backpedal too much on the choices they made for the TNIV. I’m still unclear on how much the 2011 NIV will reflect the changes made in the TNIV. And, despite their claims of full transparency, the CBT is still playing it pretty close to the vest. There haven’t been any updates on their site since the announcement was made in September.

  40. Posted February 10, 2010 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    Cory, I thought rather little money had been spent on promoting TNIV. I see that as the major reason why it has not broken into the big league – although of course the boycott by some did not help.

  41. Posted July 27, 2011 at 2:04 am | Permalink

    Wow, first time I’ve seen this site. I’ve been told that the Bible is the ‘Word of God’. So, it really shouldn’t be that hard to understand, unless the ‘Bible’ has been changed, which seems to be what you are all talking about. And who gave you authority to change the Word of God? And do you have God’s permission? And which version of the Holy Bible is the word of God? Because they not only use different ‘translations’ but sove versions are plainly just the opposite of the other.

    Sounds like a bunch of people trying to make changes to justify (hmmm, is that the wrong word, their own personal opinion.

  42. Posted July 27, 2011 at 2:53 am | Permalink

    thebishopsdesk —

    I’ve been told that the Bible is the ‘Word of God’. So, it really shouldn’t be that hard to understand,

    Why not? Lets assume you tried to have a conversation with a termite, would you expect the termite to understand what you were trying to say?

    And who gave you authority to change the Word of God?

    Change it from what to what?

    And do you have God’s permission?

    Me, yep. I have a signed and even notarized certificate as final authority on all matters of translation. I was upset I actually wanted layout rights and didn’t get them. Wayne, has me beat he’s fully licensed to release multiple bibles. Suzanne got permission from God’s wife, regarding the rights to update all versions.

    And which version of the Holy Bible is the word of God? Because they not only use different ‘translations’ but sove versions are plainly just the opposite of the other.

    You got that right. And not only that there are issues of differences regarding the original Hebrew/Aramaic/Greek because of different sources, differences about which aspects to emphasize. Maybe you might want to rethink the idea that there is going to be a simple answer to your question.

  43. Posted July 27, 2011 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    No, thebishopsdesk, unlike CD-Host I don’t have God’s signed certificate. So I suppose I’d better change the Bible back. But back to what? The 1984 NIV? But who gave permission for that? KJV? Those translators had the king’s signed permission, but he wasn’t God. Or back to the original Hebrew and Greek? Then you would have a point – but can you read them?

    No translation is the Word of God. They are just human translations of the Word of God. But God provided us with the ability to make these translations, and biblical justification for doing so. So let’s do them to the best of our ability, and as best as we can into natural modern forms of every language.

  44. Posted July 27, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    You seem to miss the point.

    other posts declare ‘Breaking News’ And then state something about as new as ‘Hollywood Actress has an affair!’ That’s news? So, someone doesn’t like the ‘current’ version, so they come out with a ‘new and improved’ version, like some kind of new soap.

    My whole point is this: Who and what originally wrote the Bible? I am not asking who ‘translated’ it?, or who ‘revised’ it? The answer is, of course, Prophets of God, book by book. Then later, men, Inspired? by God, joined the books together. And in both the Old Testament, and the New Testament, they are not placed in ‘chronilogical order’, but according to someone’s thinking the best order to study. Somewhere I read: The wisdom of man is foolishness with God.

    Just about every version that I have read indicates that the ‘Prophets’ talked with God, in a language that they, the prophets, could understand. Then, the prophets were commanded by God to write what they have learned.

    So, if I (being God) were to want to talk to a termite, and how do you know that as God I don’t, I would have no problem doing so. Where is your faith? We have some of the writings of prophets of olden time, not the ‘original’, but somewhat reliable copies, So, instead of nit-picking over the meaning of each word, we would try to understand the ‘message’, we would be a lot better off.

    What is the message? That each living human being has the right and more than right, the duty to ‘talk with God’ personally. Most of the prophets did that, and so can you with enough faith. Try it. You’ll like it.

  45. Posted July 27, 2011 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    So, someone doesn’t like the ‘current’ version, so they come out with a ‘new and improved’ version, like some kind of new soap.

    Yep. That’s how they all came out. I assume you are KJV guy. What do you think the context was in the early 17th century. Lots of new translations being done by breakaway factions, the KJV being one of those. It just had a big budget.

    Who and what originally wrote the Bible? … The answer is, of course, Prophets of God, book by book.

    Not quite that easy. First off you are ambiguously using bible here, before there was a bible. You want to talk about specific books. Those books were part of collections. Those books within the collections had variations that were cleaned up mostly in the 3rd century. And there was tremendous arguments about which books should or should not be in the collection.

    And in both the Old Testament, and the New Testament, they are not placed in ‘chronilogical order’, but according to someone’s thinking the best order to study

    Actually no. They are organized by type. The Pentateuch, Historical, Psalms and Writings, Prophets, Gospels, …

  46. Posted July 27, 2011 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    So, instead of nit-picking over the meaning of each word, we would try to understand the ‘message’, we would be a lot better off.

    This blog is about translation issues. Its all about the nit-picking. Its not designed to teach religion or deepen your faith at all.

    Most of the prophets did that, and so can you with enough faith. Try it. You’ll like it.

    I have it was fun. What does that have to do with translation?

  47. Posted August 1, 2011 at 12:35 am | Permalink

    Sorry, I guess I had the wrong Blog. I knew you were talking about ‘Translating’, but I thought that meant conveying the true message in more understandable words, not changing the message by ‘Interpreting’ it.
    I guess that’s kind of what happened with the Pharisees. Instead of studying the words of the Moses and the other prophets, each new generation of ‘Scholars’ did their ‘Nit-Picking’ to ‘Interpret’ what the prophets said, until the time of Christ. When the subject of the writings of the prophets stood before them, they didn’t recognize Him.

    “It is not designed to teach religion, or deepen your faith at all.”

    You have succeeded. You are not teaching religion or deepening anyone’s faith. But that was always the purpose of the writings of the prophets. That was why the prophets ‘talked with God’. That’s why the prophets taught that the people should ‘talk with God’.
    I said: ‘Most of the prophets did that, and so can yu, with enough faith. Try it. You’ll like it’.

    “I have. It was Fun.’

    Was it ‘fun’ when Moses talked with God? Or Isaiah? or Jonah? or Malachi? Or John the Baptist? or Paul? or Peter? No, CD-HOST, you have not tried it, or you would not have said it was fun. To talk with God, one needs to be humble, one needs to be obedient to the teachings of the Savior, one needs to become ‘righteous’, and then one needs to be willing to DO whatsoever He commands, with no regard to personal gain, or wealth, or glory or even life itself. I said, ‘you’ll like it’, because what greater love can you feel than to know that God trusts you enough to give you an assignment. and if you love the Lord, you’ll like it!

    ” What does that have to do with Translation?’

    That was just about the STUPIDEST question I have ever heard.
    You are talking about receiving an answer to your prayers. The perfect, flawless, undeniable exact meaning of the scripture that you are concerned about ‘translating’, getting the answer direct from God, Himself, and you ask ‘what does that have to do with translation?’ It has this to do with translation: It renders ‘translation’ totally unnecessary. You, then, will have become a ‘prophet’, and like all prophets, you must write what you have received as the Book of CD-Host. NEW SCRITPTURE. Unless you have so little faith as to think that perhaps God, the Creator of all things has now become impotent, incapable of communicating with man. If I were you I think I would be on my knees asking for forgiveness. I don’t care which ‘Version’ of God’s Word you read, but if you will study it, you will find He says: Ask, and you will receive. He is not a liar.
    I will be praying for you.
    Am I missing something here?

  48. Posted August 1, 2011 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    Thebishopsdesk, I have approved your comment, but please in future steer a bit further away from sarcasm and personal attacks on other commenters.

    No one here is talking about “changing the message”, but everyone about “conveying the true message in more understandable words”. However, we can only convey that true message if first we understand it, both the individual words and the way they are put together. Sometimes, where the meaning is uncertain or disputed, that does require the kind of detailed exegetical work which you call “nit-picking” – and it also requires prayer for God to help the translator, not by revealing new Scripture but by clarifying the meaning of the old one.

  49. Posted August 1, 2011 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    A point of clarification here. CD-Host wrote:

    This blog is about translation issues. Its all about the nit-picking. Its not designed to teach religion or deepen your faith at all.

    That is CD-Host’s personal opinion. It is not the view of the BBB team, or which CD-Host is not a part. The first and third sentences are true, but not the way I as a team member would have put the matter.

  50. Posted August 1, 2011 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    thebishopsdesk said:

    Sorry, I guess I had the wrong Blog. I knew you were talking about ‘Translating’, but I thought that meant conveying the true message in more understandable words, not changing the message by ‘Interpreting’ it.

    But to convey that message in understandable words requires the translator to interpret it! Otherwise how will they know what to convey?

    I think that it is definitely true that some translators spend more time interpreting the original text than others do. Many people see that as a bad thing, and think that it is better for the reader to interpret more than the translator. I can’t disagree with that, but I don’t think it reflects reality. Unfortunately I think that all of us readers of the Bible could stand to spend more time and effort to carefully study and interpret the scriptures. But we don’t.

    Which is better?
    – if the reader avoids expending energy to study the Bible, is it better for the translator to avoid interpreting or should they interpret it more so that such a reader’s simplistic reading of the Bible will at least result in them understanding the right message?
    – if the reader does expend lots of time and energy to study the Bible, is it better for the translator to avoid interpreting the Bible, or should they also expend energy to carefully translate the Bible (which will also mean that this careful reader will not end up with a subtly wrong interpretation based on dodgy translation)?

    I believe that whether our Bibles are read and studied carefully or not, the best results will always be achieved when the translators carefully interpret the source texts. But of course we also need to be encouraging everyone to have their thinking caps on when they read their Bibles!


17 Trackbacks

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  6. [...] is writing about this so I might as well get on the bandwagon.  I’ll credit the hat tip to Better Bibles Blog.  I’m pretty sure that’s where I read about it first.  I’ll let you go there [...]

  7. By New Leaven on September 2, 2009 at 12:17 am

    It’s Time to Say Good-bye to the TNIV…

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  10. [...] the NIV Bible is to be updated in 2011. Straight away I reported on this, with little comment, in a post at Better Bibles Blog. Today, in the freedom of my own blog, I would like to make some reflections on this [...]

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  13. [...] this is an issue which the CBT is bound to revisit in their renewed discussions in preparation for the NIV 2011 update. And since their chairman is “not sure that [he] agree[s]” with the NIV and TNIV [...]

  14. By Dumnezeu nu a spus asta : Agape Christian Church on September 19, 2009 at 4:30 pm

    [...] BREAKING NEWS: NIV to be updated! (Better Bibles Blog) [...]

  15. [...] the Upcoming NIV Revision Thursday, September 3, 2009 By Jason A. Staples Word is out (see the Better Bibles Blog, for example) that an updated version of the NIV will be released in 2011. Mark Goodacre (and a [...]

  16. [...] is out (see the Better Bibles Blog, for example) that an updated version of the NIV will be released in 2011. Mark Goodacre (and a [...]

  17. [...] year I was one of the first bloggers to comment on the announcement of the NIV 2011 update, first briefly at Better Bibles Blog and then in more depth here at Gentle Wisdom. See also my post the following month about Bill [...]

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