Wednesday, September 2, 2009

BREAKING NEWS: NIV to be updated!

I (Peter Kirk) just received from Zondervan a letter announcing that the NIV Bible is to be updated in 2011. The announcement is at this website. Here are some extracts from the full text of the announcement:
The global board of Biblica today announced its intention to update the New International Version (NIV) of the Bible, the first time it has been revised since 1984. The Committee on Bible Translation (CBT), the independent body of global biblical scholars solely responsible for the translation of the world's most popular Bible, is slated to finish its revision late next year, with publication in 2011. ...

"We want to reach English speakers across the globe with a Bible that is accurate, accessible and that speaks to its readers in a language they can understand," said Keith Danby, Global President and CEO of Biblica. ...

"As time passes and English changes, the NIV we have at present is becoming increasingly dated. If we want a Bible that English speakers around the world can understand, we have to listen to, and respect, the vocabulary they are using today."

BBB readers and friends have their opportunity to contribute to the new edition, as explained by Douglas Moo, chairman of the Committee on Bible Translation:
The CBT also reiterated its longstanding openness to receiving input from both external scholars and regular Bible readers.
"The CBT has always proactively sought peer review from qualified biblical scholars, linguists and English stylists and it continues to do so," said Moo. "Every suggestion presented in writing to the CBT before the end of this calendar year will be considered for the 2011 edition of the NIV Bible. The CBT also values the feedback it receives from NIV Bible readers – be they scholars or not – on the comprehensibility of the text as we continue in our efforts to create a translation that offers English speakers across the world accurate understanding and unobstructed access to God's unchanging word."

I understand that this new edition is intended to replace both the 1984 NIV and the 2005 TNIV. I hope to be able to confirm this soon.

UPDATE: There is also an article about this in USA Today, a rather strange article I thought, which concludes with the following:
The T-NIV will be taken off the market when the new Bible is released.

For the 2011 edition, more than a dozen scholars will "review every single gender-related decision we have made and make sure we are putting God's unchanging word into English people are actually using," says Douglas Moo, chairman of the Committee on Bible Translation.

Gender issues aren't the only areas for re-examination, says Moo. "In the 1984 NIV when Paul says (in 2 Corinthians 11:25) 'I was stoned,' we changed it to 'pelted with stones' to avoid the laughter in the junior high row of the church."

While the committee has always called on scholars from numerous faiths and disciplines, they're also now calling for input from the general public at a special new website,

"I can't predict what will happen with gender usage. My guess would be we made a lot of the right decisions for the T-NIV but every one of those is open for consideration. We may even be returning to what we had in the 1984 NIV," says Moo.

Well, I certainly hope they don't return to what was in the 1984 NIV, which includes clear gender-related errors like this one. But I would be very surprised if they do. Nevertheless I'm sure there will be a lot of wrangling over the next two years about whether to follow NIV or TNIV on debatable matters.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Read The Books of The Bible in 2009

Today I was invited to "attend" an event on Facebook. I accepted. The event is to join with others in reading the Bible through in a new format during 2009 and discussing it. The format is The Books of The Bible (TNIV text) which we have previously blogged about. This format removes chapter and verse divisions which can hinder us from hearing the text as closely as possible to how the original hearers did (they didn't have chapter and text divisions either). This format arranges the Bible in a more chronological order than the traditional order found in Catholic and Protestant Bible versions. And it arranges the Old Testament more closely to how the books of the Hebrew Bible were arranged.

I invite you to join me at this event. Those of you who are already members of Facebook can attend the event by going to this Internet address:

If you are not a member of Facebook, you can join for free during a short sign-up process. I do not know if you can attend the event from another website if you are not a member of Facebook and do not with to become one. But I can let you know if there will be any way to attend outside of Facebook.

Here is the invitation from The Books of The Bible folks:

Read The Books of The Bible in 2009: Genesis

Join us in reading and discussing the books of the Bible in 2009! We're starting with Genesis, and we hope you'll join us for as many books as you'd like--hopefully all of them.

We'll be using an edition of the Scriptures called "The Books of The Bible" that the International Bible Society has specially formatted for reading with greater understanding and enjoyment. The text is in a single column, and there are no chapters or verses or section headings. The book of Genesis in this format can be downloaded free as a PDF file at

(To find out more about this edition, visit You can order a copy of the complete Bible at

To take part in this event, read through the introduction to Genesis (pp. 5-6) and the book itself (pp. 7-71) any time between January 1-14. Take a break wherever you want along the way. (At an average adult reading speed, it should take about three hours to read the whole book.) Join in the discussion with your questions, comments and observations. What is it like to read Genesis as a continuous narrative? What strikes you as you read? What bothers you? What would you like explained (if possible)?

The discussion of Genesis will be led by the Rev. Dr. Christopher Smith, a consulting editor for "The Books of The Bible."

We look forward to reading and discussing Genesis together! (Please pass this invitation along to others--we'd love to have them join us, too.)

Event Info

Time and Place
Start Time:
Thursday, January 1, 2009 at 12:05am
End Time:
Wednesday, January 14, 2009 at 11:55pm
Wherever you like to read

Sunday, December 21, 2008

TNIV top Bible

Blogger Byron has the TNIV at the top of his list of Bible versions he uses most.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

TNIV on the BBC, and at ETS

The Bible Experience, based on TNIV, has made it into this BBC report on alternative Bibles. The wording in the Lord's Prayer "You're the Boss, God, and will be for ever, innit?" is not from TNIV, but from one of the other featured versions, The Bible in Cockney.

TNIV also features to a large extent in the Evangelical Theological Society talk by Mark Strauss on "Why the English Standard Version (ESV) should not become the standard English version", which has been published at Better Bibles Blog, in 13 parts listed here.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Thoughts on 1 Corinthians 15:21 & Hebrews 2:6

Greetings Mike,

Welcome to this blog. Let me state upfront that I am a layman. I make my living in the electrical utility business. I am the formally uneducated member of this forum. I am not a scholar. I do all my study in English though I do have many foreign language tools and use them a lot. If I misstate anything about the original languages, Wayne or someone else will come to the rescue and correct me. I say all that to encourage everyone that reads this sight that you don't have to be scholar to determine if the TNIV is a trustworthy translation. I'm at a disadvantage compared to our other contributors here in these areas. However, I'm glad to be a member of this forum as a lay representative.

You stated . . .
Where it changes man to human. So instead of getting a parallel between the first man, Adam and Jesus (obviously also a man) we get something that for me seems a bit more mucked up.
The TNIV is not the first Bible to do this with 1 Corinthians 15:21 nor is it the first with Hebrews 2:6.

In 1 Corinthians 15:21, similar language is used in the:
  • New Revised Standard Version
  • New American Bible.
In Hebrews 2:6, the list is even more expansive:
  • Contemporary English Version
  • Good News Translation
  • The Message
  • New Century Version
  • New Living Translation (in the front half of the verse only)
  • New Revised Standard Version
None of these draws as much attention as the TNIV probably because the TNIV has the greatest potential to influence the Evangelical community. Also, only the NRSV has similar changes in both passages as the TNIV has.

1 Corinthians 15:21

I don't think any parallel is "mucked up" by the TNIV. The first rule I would advise anyone of in dealing with the differences in the TNIV and other translations is to never read a Bible verse. Always read at least a paragraph or more. For brevity's sake, let me just include the next verse . . .
21For since death came through a human being, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a human being. 22For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.

The Holy Bible : Today's New International Version. 2005 (1 Co 15:21-22). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

Verse 21 speaks of a human being (singular) through which death comes and a human being (singular again) though which the resurrection comes. Verse 22 makes it clear who each of those humans are. Adam is the human through which death came and Jesus is the human through which the resurrection comes.

Along with the concept of never reading a single Bible verse, I'd like to recommend what can be called the paraphrase test. Many people are concerned about the choices in translating gender accuracy. Just because a word is masculine in Greek (or Hebrew) doesn't mean that it applies to males only. It sounds like you've been reading on this a bit and so you are probably aware of this. The paraphrase test is a great test particularly for people, like myself, who are not scholars. When we see man used, even the non-scholar can recognize that sometimes this references the human race, sometimes it refers to males (i.e. a gender reference). With the paraphrase test, use males in every passage in which there is a question and see how if it makes sense. Most of the time this clears up the problem. I'd encourage you to read the entire paragraph from verse 20 through verse 28. The male-ness of Adam and the male-ness of Jesus is not the issue. It's their humanity that it is the issue. This can be seen in theological issues. When he speak of Jesus as the God-man we usually define him as fully God and fully man. The point of calling him fully man is that we are pointing out that he was fully human. The theological point isn't that he is fully male. Jesus didn't come to redeem only males, but both males and females. Thus, it's better to describe him as fully God, fully human.

Hebrews 2:6

Hebrews 2:6 can be solved in similar fashion. First of all, read the context. I would encourage you to read all the way from 2:5 to the end of the chapter. Is Jesus' male-ness the issue, or is it his humanity that is the issue? I think it becomes obvious that his humanity is the issue here.

The Greek in this passage even bounces back in forth in its gender use. In verse 14,
παιδία (children in English) is in the neutral. In the very next verse it tells us he will free those who were held in slavery (look at a TNIV or even the very formal NASB). Those is the Greek word τούτους, which is masculine.

One other bit of research a person can do in this passage is look at the Old Testament passage which is being quoted. It is Psalm 8 in this case. Since the TNIV is what is in question here, let's look the Psalm from the NASB . . .
1 O Lord, our Lord,
How majestic is Your name in all the earth,
Who have displayed Your splendor above the heavens!
2 From the mouth of infants and nursing babes You have established strength
Because of Your adversaries,
To make the enemy and the revengeful cease.
3 When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,
The moon and the stars, which You have ordained;
4 What is man that You take thought of him,
And the son of man that You care for him?
5 Yet You have made him a little lower than God,
And You crown him with glory and majesty!
6 You make him to rule over the works of Your hands;
You have put all things under his feet,
7 All sheep and oxen,
And also the beasts of the field,
8 The birds of the heavens and the fish of the sea,
Whatever passes through the paths of the seas.
9 O Lord, our Lord,
How majestic is Your name in all the earth!

New American Standard Bible : 1995 update
. 1995 (Ps 8:1-9). LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.
It is clear to me that in Psalm 8, man is a reference to humanity, i.e. the human race, not just the males. Thus, I have no problem with the TNIV rendering of the quote in Hebrews 2.

This is a good point to stop and let you comment or ask questions.

Grace & peace to you.

questions from a visitor

My wife and I returned home a couple nights ago from two weeks of travel. This morning I transferred my email messages received on the trip to my desktop computer. Among the messages I discovered the following questions from a visitor named Mike:
Hi everyone, I somehow stumbled on this blog from the accordance web forums, to Rick's site, to this site.

And a long story short, I had been noticing on Bill Mounce's blog how he seems to praise the TNIV for it's adept translation. I know all the hoopla over the gender issues and why I would say (IMHO) I don't agree with some of them. But I am curious about specifically:

1 Corinthians 15:21 (which also seems to have a similar oddity in Heb 2:6)

Where it changes man to human. So instead of getting a parallel between the first man, Adam and Jesus (obviously also a man) we get something that for me seems a bit more mucked up.

I have, for the life of me, tried searching the entire internet (though I probably fell a little short) and so that is where this email is coming from. The site is all about worthless unless I just want to read it - while not bad, it doesn't seem to retain the various "question verses" any more.

I'm just curious to your understanding (or any available material one why this was done that way) for these verses. I also tried searching the blog but couldn't find any instance of this being addressed - my apologies if it was.


Let's answer Mike here on this post to benefit others, as well.

Friday, October 3, 2008

NIV vs. TNIV in the Minor Prophets

You'll want to read Mike Aubrey's analysis of revisions the TNIV made to the NIV in the Minor Prophets.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Craig Blomberg on recent CBT meetings

Craig Blomberg has just blogged on the recent meetings of the CBT in his post titled Demystifying Bible Translation and Where Our Culture Is with Inclusive Language. The CBT meets annually to consider further revisions to the TNIV.