In translating the NIV, the CBT held to certain goals: that it be an Accurate, Beautiful, Clear, and Dignified translation suitable for public and private reading, teaching, preaching, memorizing, and liturgical use. The translators were united in their commitment to the authority and infallibility of the Bible as God's Word in written form. They agreed that faithful communication of the meaning of the original writers demands frequent modifications in sentence structure (resulting in a "thought-for-thought" translation) and constant regard for the contextual meanings of words.I like those goals which the CBT has had for the NIV and continues to have for the TNIV: Accurate, Beautiful, Clear, Dignified. The ABCD acronym is clever.
As I have studied the TNIV, I have found it to be accurate. In fact, it has been made more accurate than the NIV. These aren't just promotional words from the CBT or Zondervan. There are plenty of specific examples in the TNIV text which demonstrate a greater accuracy than the NIV, even though the NIV is an accurate translation. Some of these examples have been cited by Craig Blomberg and Mark Strauss in their articles about the TNIV. We will note other examples on this blog as time goes on.
I think it's fair to claim that the language of the TNIV is beautiful. Of course, literary beauty is somewhat subjective, "in the eye of the beholder." But most of us can at least spot language which jars us, which is so unnatural or uncommon or ungrammatical that it is ugly. TNIV wordings never strike me as being ugly. I sometimes prefer an even more natural wording than one found in the TNIV, but it's never because of a lack of beauty in the TNIV text.
Clear, now this is one of my hobby horses for Bible translations. I recognize that there are parts of the Bible which are not clear. I don't think we should make them clearer than they were in the original texts. But so many Bible translations are less clear than the original, and that is a pity. The TNIV is, on the whole, a good, clear translation.
Finally, dignified. This is a translation parameter that I have not given much thought to over the years, perhaps because my focus has been translating the Bible for people groups who do not yet have a translation in their language. But for languages such as English, where we have many Bible versions to choose from, there is a real place for having translations which sound dignified. Many Bible readers and congregations want to use a translation which has a good literary sound, more elevated in diction than a translation which is targeted for lower reading levels. The TNIV does have the same moderately formal sound that the NIV does. That makes both versions good as pulpit Bibles for public reading in church.