Monday, May 28, 2007

Skeptic becomes sold on TNIV

Kristy has been Frustrated by Bibles. She's been searching for a version she could trust and feel comfortable with. She blogs:
One of my problems lately has been an over-awareness of translation. I could feel the interpretation of the translators working under the surface of the text, and it made me skeptical. How could I be sure that the translator hadn't been fidgeting with the meaning of the text? I knew this was a problem, and I wanted to make sure that I could trust as much as possible whatever version I bought.

On a whim, I decided to investigate the TNIV. I heard horrible things about it, but I wanted to make sure it was as bad as I heard. To my surprise, of all the translations that I had read, it was the one that made me feel the least skeptical. I really have no idea why that was. I started reading Luke, and I looked up and found myself at chapter four, sucked into the story. I was surprised, but I was sold, so I skipped off to Borders to claim a copy.

Read the rest of her post to find what happened.

6 comments:

anonymous said...

I'm mystified by ythe title for this post. Kristy planned to buy a TNIV, but after concluding that Zondervan made the worst Bibles, she decided to buy a NRSV. Shouldn't the title of the post be: "Believer cannot find an acceptable copy of TNIV, and becomes sold on NRSV."

Of all the Bibles on the shelf at Borders, the ones published by Zondervan were the worst. There were by far many more pop-up boxes and section headings per page than any other publisher I picked up. I was greatly disappointed. Since the TNIV is only published by Zondervan, I walked out of Borders with a Catholic edition of the NRSV. It was better than the rest, but I was still settling.

Wayne Leman said...

Yes, Anon. You make a good point. The title of my post comes from Kristy herself who said:

"I was surprised, but I was sold, so I skipped off to Borders to claim a copy."

She became sold on the text of the TNIV. But she just could not find an edition acceptable to her at Borders.

The harshest criticism leveled at the TNIV since it was published has been about its text. More recently, people like Rick Mansfield who are already sold on the text of the TNIV, but are much more adept at judging Bible formats and bindings than I am, have been interacting with Zondervan to try to get better editions of the TNIV.

Sorry for mixing apples and oranges in my post.

Do clothes make the man? Well, probably not, but they can sure make the man look better.

MissionalGirl said...

i completely understand why kristy chose as she did...i settled for a basic thinline edition...i'm holding out for the reference edition coming out and since i dont want another study bible...zondervan hopefully is listening to concerns about the quality of bible formats and editions that they've released so far...

R. Mansfield said...

Wayne said, "people like Rick Mansfield who are already sold on the text of the TNIV, but are much more adept at judging Bible formats and bindings than I am, have been interacting with Zondervan to try to get better editions of the TNIV."

Yes, but I've been interacting with them for over a year, and I feel that I've yet to have any direct influence.

Although I was shown early proofs last year of the TNIV Reference Bible and made numerous suggestions, not one of them was followed.

Wayne also said, "Do clothes make the man? Well, probably not, but they can sure make the man look better.

It's more than just clothes here. The TNIV was released with the 18-34 crowd exclusively targeted. A lot of the editions were "cool" looking, and fine for reading, but none were suitable for preaching or teaching out of because of the small typesize, with the possible exception of the thinline XL.

You know, here's an example. I like the TNIV Strive Bible for Men. I've used it quite a bit in our men's ministry at church. Recently I got the leather edition of it I like it so much. It's got a lot going for it because it's not a thinline Bible, it has a single-column text. But the downside is that the text itself is too stinkin' small! I could never use it as a primary teaching Bible. It hits almost all my checkboxes, but like a lot of these Bibles it seems that something's missing.

The TNIV Reference Bible looks like it will be a good solution to some of these woes assuming it doesn't come out as a thinline (I've still heard nothing, almost a week to the day that I was told I'd hear something the next day).

And I imagine I'll use the TNIV Reference as my main TNIV, but even then, I still need a wide margin if I'm ever truly going to make the TNIV my primary Bible.

Peter Kirk said...

What a contrast with Crossway who seem so willing to produce custom editions of ESV. I much prefer TNIV to ESV, but the ESV certainly has the edge on this kind of thing.

anonymous said...

The Reformation Study Bible is published by Ligonier, not Crossway. Nonetheless, Crossway is certainly open to customer suggestions and feedback.