Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Death of a Bible Translation

The TNIV, which was suppose to be the successor to the very popular Protestant NIV translation, has been given its last rites. According to the Christianity Today Blog, another revision of the NIV will be published sometime in 2011. One must remember that the TNIV was only published in 2002! (Wow! Not even the NAB translation committee has done that quick of a revision, and that is saying something!) It also appears that the TNIV and NIV will not be published after 2011. Having the TNIV compete with the original NIV since 2002 was already a mistake, perhaps they have learned their lesson.

Claiming that there are "mistakes" in the TNIV, primarily it seems around its use of inclusive language, many in the bible-blog world are not too pleased.

For more info, these are some fine blogs to look at:

New Epistles
Better Bibles Blog
New Leaven
Scripture Zealot
Biblica

6 comments:

Michael said...

This is a shame, the TNIV is better than the NIV by orders of magnitude, unfortunately Zondervan was never fully behind the TNIV, and even before it was released it was the object of a rather mean spirited disinformation campaign by its opponents. For example, it has been claimed the TNIV 'removes masculinity from the Bible' despite the fact that it actually contains more masculine references than the ESV, which is supposedly the 'more conservative and less politically correct' Bible translation

Anonymous said...

I think this is great news and is probably the clearest sign yet that the tide is at last turning against the unacceptable use of "inclusive language"
in Bible translations. It shows the folly of following the passing fashions and ideologies. The publishers of TNIV have accepted that they have betrayed the trust of their mainly evangelical readers who quite rightly expect an accurate translation of God's Word. I wish Catholics had a similar passion about sacred scripture - after all the Church teaches that every word of scripture is divinely inspired. By unacceptable i mean changing the divinely inspired text by altering words from the gender specific terms used in the original texts, or changing singulars to plurals, adding in words that are not in the originals etc. The editors of such Bibles are sometimes misleading in their claims that they are merely correcting an inbuilt bias in the English language. The truth is that the gender speicfic terms are for the most part in the original divinely inspired texts. It is true that sometimes the original text can be more accurately translated "one" rather than man or he but that's about as far as it goes. The Conservative Evangelicals and Baptists in the US who are buying most Bibles these days have realised this and they're not having it. For them, the Bible truly is the Word of God and should not be tampered with to satisfy passing fads. This is why the English Standard Version has become so popular - its an RSV update but without the baleful influence of feminist ideology on the text that is found in the NRSV. Even the otherwise excellent New Jerusalem Bible is blighted - especially in the Psalms by it. But what's really worrying the Publishers of the TNIV is the growing popularity of the superb New Holman Christian Standard Bible which is now outselling the ESV and looks set to topple the NIV as Bible best seller. Needless to say it doesn't use inclusive language, that is it accurately translates the original text. Incidently, it surprises me that no mention of this version seems to appear on your blog. All things considered, it would easily make my top three best translations of the scriptures available today-except that for us Catholics its an incomplete bible as it lacks the Deuterocanonical books. (The other two would be Revised Standard Version and despite some reservations the New Jerusalem Bible. I don't include the excellent ESV because its so close to RSV anyway.(About 80%)
It surprises me how often i read positive comments about the NRSV on Catholic blogs. I discourage people from it as much as possible. The best Bible for Catholics remains the RSV.Thank God the vatican has stepped in to prevent inaccurate gender neutered versions (New American Bile, New RSV)to be used in the liturgy. Sadly it looks as if Us Catholics are still going to be stuck with the wretched New American Bible in the liturgy though in an altered form to make it acceptable/accurate. I use the Oxford Annotated version of the RSV published back in 1977 as my main or you could say "control" text. I have many translations of the Bible though i tend to prefer versions in the Tyndale/King James/Rheims-Challoner traditon. The best of these remains the RSV, but if anyone wants to try a modern version which is a completely fresh translation i strongly recommend the New Holman Christian Standard Bible(as long as you realise its not a Catholic Bible in the sense that its incomplete). This version is both readable and very accurate, though as with all translations its not perfect.

Michael said...

"I think this is great news and is probably the clearest sign yet that the tide is at last turning against the unacceptable use of "inclusive language" "

Given that the people who have attacked the TNIV generally have absolutely no problem with translations like the ESV and the NLT, and that these translations use as much or more 'inclusive language' as the TNIV I frankly find that interpretation a little hard to swallow.

It doesn't prove anything expect that mean spirited campaigns of disinformation can be very successful, even among Christians who ought to know better.

newepistles said...

Michael, the duplicity in their opposition to the TNIV is unfathomable. It comes from their ignorance about bible translation methods.

Anonymous, the HCSB is a good translation but unfortunately I don't think Holman will ever come out with deuterocanonical books.

Anonymous said...

The opposition to the TNIV is nothing to do with misinformation or scholars who don't understand methods of translation. Jack Lewis, author of the classic English Bible from King James to NIV (possibly best book ever on history/evaluation of English Bible Translations)and a highly respected scholar estimated that 30 per cent of the changes made from NIV to TNIV were due to the inclusive language policy and it was mostly around this that the whole argument was raged. Lewis's own albeit brief discussion of this version can be found in the article A Look at Today's
New International Version
of the Bible
by Jack P. Lewis (just google it if you want to read)

Michael said...

So tell me, if the opposition to the TNIV has nothing to do with 'disinformation' then why is it that the TNIV was criticized for 'removing masculinity from the Bible' and the ESV is considered to be the 'conservative opposition that upholds traditional masculine English' despite the fact that the ESV actually contains FEWER masculine references than the TNIV?

Rick Mansfield at the 'This Lamp' blog has done an excellent job cataloguing all of the evidence of the unfair 'smear campaign' against the TNIV go check his blog, Google (or Bing if you prefer) 'This Lamp Blog' to find the links.