NIV Update Discussion Links

As someone who uses the NIV translation as my main Bible for reading and teaching, I was very interested to see what would come of Zondervan's announcement that they would be updating the NIV text. The text is now available, even though you can't buy updated NIV Bibles until sometime around Spring 2011. To see how the NIV update translates any passage, you can look it up at the Bible Gateway.

The new NIV is said to keep about 95% of what we now know as the NIV (from 1984). So this is more than a minor revision, but not really a new translation either. A few years ago, Zondervan tried doing this same kind of thing and releasing it as a new translation, the TNIV. The TNIV was heralded by some, but also heavily criticized for going too far in some places with how it translated gender-specific original wording into gender-neutral English. (ie. man, or mankind may have been translated as people; sons may have been translated as children; etc...) The TNIV was not widely successful.

So this time there is no "new" version. After next year, Bibles printed under the NIV name will have the NIV 2011 text rather than the 1984 text. Some of the TNIV changes have been kept, some have been discarded. They have tried to stake out a middle ground on the gender-neutrality question. Here's a brief video from highly respected New Testament scholar Doug Moo talking about the NIV update.

I'm still evaluating the NIV 2011, but there has been plenty of discussion about the update, so here is a rundown if you'd like to see how the conversation is looking at this point:

  • Bible Gateway is also hosting a blog called Perspectives in Translation to address some of these prominent translation issues from both sides. The articles are short, but may be somewhat technical. However, don't let that deter you from taking a look. I think most anyone interested in Bible translation could benefit from it.
  • Denny Burk has a couple of posts on the release and a few different translation issues:

The Release of NIV 2011

The NIV on Romans 1:17 (links to some discussion that may be somewhat technical)

The NIV on 1 Timothy 2:12

I expect a lot more discussion to follow. I look forward to it as I consider whether to continue using the NIV as my primary translation.

UPDATE: Trevin Wax posts The NIV 2011 Forces a Choice at his excellent blog, Kingdom People.

blog comments powered by Disqus