Home > Uncategorized > A New, New International Version is Coming: Proceed with Caution!

A New, New International Version is Coming: Proceed with Caution!

September 17th, 2009
Marketing Advertising Blog — VuManhThang.Com

41TMGrdi-uL._SS500_Word has been circulating for a couple of weeks or so about a new edition of the New International Version translation. While many hope it will correct the severe problems caused by Today’s New International Version, the word is now that in fact it may only exacerbate those problems and will remove  as an option the original NIV edition, which is used by many still. This raises the distinct prospect/possibility that by 2011, the New International Version’s original edition will no longer be available and will instead be replaced by a version that advances the gender-neutral agenda of the TNIV and may well introduce a whole host of other problems. Here is an excerpt from a secular article on the NIV’s new version:

The top-selling Bible in North America will undergo its first revision in 25 years, modernizing the language in some sections and promising to reopen a contentious debate about changing gender terms in the sacred text. The New International Version, the Bible of choice for conservative evangelicals, will be revised to reflect changes in English usage and advances in Biblical scholarship, it was announced Tuesday. The revision is scheduled to be completed late next year and published in 2011.

Dr. Gene Edward Veith raises an important alarm and posts a caution that is well worth our attention:

We blogged about how a Zondervan editor thinks the handling of the TNIV was a mistake, but, as some of you pointed out, he may have been referring more to mistakes of marketing than of mistakes of translation. Other news reports are suggesting that the new TNIV will have even more gender-inclusive language:

The New International Version (NIV) of the Bible is going to begin its first revision in over 25 years, according to the Associated Press. The changes that will be made will be to make the language more modern, meaning the text will reportedly have more gender neutral and inclusive language. It is expected that the revisions will be completed in late 2010 for publishing in 2011.

The most controversial aspect of the revision is the inclusion of gender neutral language. This new version will not have all gender references removed, only those where the translators feel that the original text did not intend to be gender exclusive. One example, according to the AP, would be changing “sons of God” to “children of God.”

See also this. Creating one impression with Christian publications and another with secular publications is not a good sign.

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  1. September 17th, 2009 at 08:11 | #1

    I noted at the time of the announcement that Zondervan seemed to be telling contradictory stories to conservative and liberal audiences. I suppose all this has been predictable since Zondervan was acquired by Random House, though I’d hoped that wouldn’t be the case.

  2. Kaleb Axon
    September 17th, 2009 at 08:12 | #2

    What is CPH’s agreement with Zondervan? Will they stop CPH from distributing its editions of the original NIV?

    Not that this affects me anyway…I was never a fan of the NIV to begin with. Take a careful look at Hebrews 11:1 and see if the NIV defines faith the same way as the other translations. It doesn’t.

    McCain: Zondervan will happily continue to receive the royalty we pay to them for use of the NIV. The question we have at this point is if they will allow us to continue to use the “original” version of the NIV after the new version comes out in 2011. They may well say, “No” and if that is the case, whether or not we can continue to publish the Concordia Self-Study Bible, remains an open question.

  3. Christine
    September 17th, 2009 at 09:27 | #3

    This past Sunday my Pastor was promoting the ESV and the fact that TLSB uses the ESV translation.

    The congregation had been using the NIV for the past ten years.

    I don’t care for the NIV in any form.


  4. Paul
    September 17th, 2009 at 10:17 | #4

    You’re right to warn people about the NIV, and about its future replacement. Some passages certainly reveal an Arminian/Calvinist (somehow they manage both!) bent, and some of the decisions about when to neutralize the gender will undoubtedly be made more as a concession to culture than as an accurate reflection of the original thought.

    That said, one must read every translation critically. The archaic language of the ESV is hardly the English equivalent of Koine Greek, nor does it reflect Luther’s care to make the German Bible speak the language of the people of his day. No one talks like the ESV reads, and I’m not just referring to theological terms that simply have to be learned. I challenge Concordia to make its next giant leap (following LSB and TLSB) a better translation of the Bible, so that the excellent notes of the study Bible can accompany a translation that, by itself, communicates better to its English readership. (Beck’s translation wasn’t a bad start!)

    I know the arguments against creating some kind of “sectarian” translation, but I think the argument about giving God’s people (and those who are yet to become his people) the best possible translation of God’s Word overrides that concern.

    In the meantime, I thank God that LCMS, WELS and ELS pastors are equipped with the original languages, enabling us to compensate, in our preaching and teaching, for the flaws in English translations.

  5. Steve Newell
    September 17th, 2009 at 10:50 | #5

    Zondervan is part of NewsCorp, thus their focus is on sales not on faithfulness. If one looks at the various products that Zondervan produces, it’s like going to a church pot luck dinner, in that they have many products that are contradictory to other products and don’t fit together. There is no coherent theology to what they produce.

    Public corporations can make really bad theological partners.

    McCain response: Zondervan is owned by the Ruppert Murdoch media empire.

  6. Bruce Shaw
    September 17th, 2009 at 18:20 | #6

    ‘McCain response: Zondervan is owned by the Ruppert Murdoch media empire.’

    which is why I have a tendency not to use Christian educational materials etc using the NIV. There are other good to great translations available so why shouldn’t I support organizations (media empires) whose overall product mix is more in keeping with historical Christianity.

  7. Ryan R Mueller
    September 17th, 2009 at 19:32 | #7

    My sweet-heart (I married her; she’s stayed with me (Praise God for his miracles)) bought me a Thompson Chain Reference Study Bible in King James Version. I’ve since read many arguments against the KJV but somehow I still like it. When in doubt I can always check other translations or read commentary on a given passage. The archaic language, though maybe modern and plain in its time, now seems to me poetic in nature. When I started memorizing scripture I used the KJV, so when I read other translations like the NIV or NRSV et al I can see differences. Maybe in the final analysis I need to buy a copy of The Lutheran Study Bible. Maybe the notes and the translation will hit that sweet spot that other Bibles have missed. Too bad about the NIV. Attempts to cater to all sometimes make one irrelevant to all.

  8. Christine
    September 18th, 2009 at 08:33 | #8

    The archaic language of the ESV is hardly the English equivalent of Koine Greek, nor does it reflect Luther’s care to make the German Bible speak the language of the people of his day. No one talks like the ESV reads,

    Huh??? I dunno, but the “standard English” of the ESV is pretty much what I was taught in school. Having grown up on the RSV makes the ESV very familiar.

    As for Luther, it seems to me that his primary motive was to give the people a vernacular translation instead of the Latin version. In translating the Scriptures into German Luther also gave the German people a “unified” German language in which to read the Bible. There was no modern state of “Germany” at the time, various regions spoke different dialects.

    It’s been a while since I’ve perused Luther’s German Bible but am now motivated to do so again.

  9. September 18th, 2009 at 11:41 | #9

    Thanks for posting the Washington Times article, Pastor McCain. I had not read that one yet. I have been following this story for a couple days now with some interest. Although I have never really been a big fan of the NIV, news about the translation is always important, as it continues to be the number one bestselling translation, according to most of the numbers I’ve seen.

    I find much of Biblica’s position on this new update a bit confusing. Here we have a company that spent a great deal of time and money in order to convince the buying public that the TNIV was a great translation. And now they have completely dumped the TNIV. Meanwhile, despite their pleas of “transparency,” they seem to be playing the issue of gender language rather close to the vest. Gender language, after all, was the BIG issue that divided evangelicals on the TNIV. I’ve seen responses by conservatives to Biblica’s announcement, ranging from cautious hopefulness to outright optimism. Somehow, though, very few people seem to have reacted to this announcement with the hysteria that met the TNIV, even though it seems like much of the gender language in the 2011 NIV will be equally liberal.

    It will be very interesting to see how this plays out. The more I look at the issue, the more comfortable I am with the ESV (particularly in its proper setting, The Lutheran Study Bible).

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