Everybody 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 for the details.
To be honest, though I’m obviously pretty intensively interested in Bible translation, having written a book, and created a web site on the subject, I’m getting a bit weary of new translation projects. Zondervan has already done a rather poor job of supporting and marketing the TNIV, so what’s to say that this new version is going to do that much better?
More importantly, though I’m aware there are flaws in all English translations, that’s simply a symptom of the fact that there are, and always will be, flaws in any translation. I don’t see anything added to the process that will actually make more people satisfied with translations. Any time a committee does the work, individuals such as myself will find something to complain about.
It seems to me that there is a bit of excess in English Bible translation and marketing. I don’t want to target any translation committee for being the “excess,” but my question is how much better things will get with each new translation.
If the NIV revisers use gender neutral phrasing in their revision, they will become the target of the same folks who criticized the TNIV. If they don’t, the audience for which the TNIV was intended are unlikely to appreciate the new version.
So, folks, just how much further along will we be in Biblical scholarship when this new version is published? How much will the kingdom be advanced?
I think I need to add here a quote from Eddie Arthur on Kouya Chronicles:
So English, a language which already has more scholarly translations of the Bible than you can shake a stick at, is to get yet another translation. No doubt the publishers will also make a small fortune.
Meanwhile, there are still two thousand languages spoken by two hundred million people without a word of Scripture. Our priorities are all messed up!
I love Bible editions. I have a fair collection of them. But I am wondering more and more whether some portion of our Bible translation and marketing process is a symptom of some of the things that are wrong with the western church.