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New Revision of NIV Announced

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.

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  1. Chris says:

    The 1984 NIV is easily understandable; this “revision” to make it even more “understandable” is a crummy excuse. People who wish to corrupt the Word of God (albeit slowly, if necessary) have crept in, and I DO realize the strength of language I just used. It’s my conviction that this all simply points to political correctness…call it whatever…and the spiritual warfare going on here must be heavy. The NIV has been targeted I think, due to the fact it’s the most widely used version. The TNIV has failed; I’ll never buy their new & improved “politically correct” 2011 revision. It makes me angry that so fine a translation would be intentionally corrupted. It’s one thing to have typo’s when making a translation; it’s a completely different matter when you wish to alter the Word of God for the sake of “political correctness”, of your own free will.
    Sincerely, Chris

  2. Mindy says:

    Have you heard about the American Bible Society’s Bible challenge for kids? It’s perfect for a Sunday school class project with the goal of raising money for the U.S. military to have Bibles. Check out this website: http://www.truthfortroops.americanbible.org/ for project ideas!

  3. CD-Host says:

    I think this has far more to do with the fact that NIV sales are starting to slip and the momentum is going towards the NLT taking the NIV’s slot. Chris’ comments are indicative of the problem with the TNIV brand name. So they change brand names make minor revisions and address the criticisms head on. Zondervan wasn’t ready for being targeted for a right wing smear campaign since they see themselves as part of the right. This time around they will be ready.

  4. Patricia says:

    By this revision we will be losing the true meaning of these words. How and why they were written and what they meant to be so long ago. Not just that, but we lose the true beauty of these most amazing words. I say that changing the word in the Bible only goes to lesson all that it stands for.

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