Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Bible Experience - Another Reminder

While I have not checked out The Bible Experience, Wayne has and he liked what he heard. I do like audio Bibles. I like memorizing whole chapters and audio Bibles are fantastic for that. This is especially true if you have a 45-minute or longer ride to work as I do.

Before attempting to memorize, I read the passage along with the audio to note any differences. Just as scribes have made scribal errors, so readers make errors on audio Bibles. Once I note any differences, I proceed with memorizing with the audio version.

I plan on picking up the MP3 version. CBD offers it for $49.99 plus shipping. Not a bad price in my mind. Scheduled date for release at CBD is October 17th. I'm looking forward to it.

Whatever translation you use, I cannot recommend an audio version too much. Taking the Bible in by another sense, and hearing it read by another person other than yourself, can often bring things to your attention that you may not have noticed before.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Zondervan promotes a less precise and less readable Bible?

This is, I see, post number 100 at TNIV Truth. I would like to celebrate this milestone by posting a link to a post by ElShaddai Edwards (yes, his real name), Gen-X Bible thumper seeks TNIV… In this ElShaddai endorses TNIV but regrets the limited choice of editions available, most of which seem to be targeted at the younger generation. He surmises that in the view of Zondervan, as someone just older than the target 18-34 age range,
Presumably, I should be using the less precise, less readable and less advanced, but more popular, uh… traditional, NIV.
Surely not! I am quite a bit older than ElShaddai and happily using TNIV, but then I am not as fussy as he is about the look and feel of my Bible. Indeed here in the UK none of us are as fussy as many Americans seem to be, partly because we don't have the chance - there are far fewer Bible editions available here, although still plenty of choice. But I share ElShaddai's frustration that Zondervan and others are continuing to promote NIV despite their claims that TNIV is better. If they really believe that TNIV is “more precise” and “reflects the most recent advances in biblical scholarship” (but this text is from an IBS site, not a Zondervan one), they should instead gradually phase out NIV, keeping just a few editions in print to satisfy continuing demand (and fulfil their Colorado Springs promise), and promote TNIV as their preferred Bible for all.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

TNIV revision suggestions service ready

There is now a service in the margin of this blog for accepting your suggestions for revisions for the TNIV. Please be as professional and gracious as possible when submitting suggestions. Please base your suggestions on sound biblical scholarship, translation theory, or your sense of proper literary English. Be sure to include the Bible book and verse reference for any wording you are discussing. Include only one verse per post. You may post suggestions as often as you like.

Before you post, check to see if the TNIV team has already addressed a concern that you have about a verse. If they have, do not submit your suggestion for that verse.

Avoid any suggestions about motivations for TNIV translation wordings.

Suggestions will be moderated. Suggestions which follow each of the submission guidelines will be forwarded to the TNIV CBT (Committee on Bible Translation).

The links for this service appear immediately below the daily TNIV Scripture verse in the blog margin.

Sunday, September 16, 2007


New Testament scholar Scot McKnight has just posted Colossians on his Jesus Creed blog. Literally, he posted Colossians, the entire book. The Bible version he chose to post is the TNIV, which he likes to use, including in books he has authored (see the Bookshelf of this blog). A number of biblical scholars have been finding out how good the TNIV is.

I highly recommend his blog post. I have already commented on it. You might want to also.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Does this melt your heart?

In several passages in the Old Testament there is a Biblical Hebrew idiom which literally refers to the heart of someone melting. For example, notice this TNIV translation of Is. 13:7:
Because of this, all hands will go limp,
every man’s heart will melt.
Now read the next English sentence which I could easily have uttered on four occasions:
When I first saw my newborn granddaughter in the hospital my heart melted.
The wording "my heart melted" is an English idiom. But it has a very different meaning from the Hebrew which refers to a heart melting.

I haven't fieldtested literal translations of the Hebrew idiom, but I suspect that many current English readers will assume that a wording in an English Bible referring to a heart melting means what I meant when I referred to my heart melting in the hospital nursery, namely, I felt in awe, very joyful, deeply touched.

The TNIV is a good translation. It has far fewer wording issues like this one, compared to some other English Bible versions. But it can be made even better. Fortunately, the CBT is a good group of biblical scholars who not only want the TNIV to be accurate but to have good English. I doubt that they would want misleading English which is what we have with a literal translation of the Hebrew idiom in Is. 13:7 and similar passages (e.g. Josh. 2:11).

I am compiling a list of problem wordings in the TNIV for the CBT. The CBT requests revision suggestions by the first of each year so that they can organize them for their annual meeting which is in the middle of the year. I invite you to send me your suggestions for improving the TNIV, and I will forward them to the CBT. I am also trying to make available a website facility where we can click on Bible reference buttons and enter our suggestions that way for the CBT so that they are easier for the revision team to access the material. I will keep you posted if and when that facility becomes available.

In the meantime, keep reading your TNIVs. It's a good translation. And I trust that your own heart will be moved, if not melted, as you read it. And when you come across a wording that you think could be better, let us know so that the TNIV can become even better.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Sunday, September 2, 2007

The Beauty Behind the Mask: Rediscovering the Books of the Bible

That latest post at The Books of The Bible Blog notifies us of a new book, The Beauty Behind the Mask: Rediscovering the Books of the Bible, by Christopher R. Smith. This book gives background and rationale for The Books of the Bible, recently published by IBS, as described on
Christopher R. Smith is a member of the team that worked with the International Bible Society to develop this new edition. In this book, he traces the history and effects of the traditional elements that have shaped the customary presentation of the Scriptures. He describes how the new format was developed to help overcome these effects. And he explains how The Books of The Bible can be used effectively for personal devotions, group studies, sermon preparation and the other disciplines by which we apply the teachings of God's word to our lives. The Rev. Dr. Christopher R. Smith is pastor of the University Baptist Church of East Lansing, Michigan. He has a B.A. in literature from Harvard University, an M.A.T.S. in church history from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D. in theology from Boston College. His articles have appeared in such publications as The Journal for the Study of the Old Testament, New Testament Studies, Novum Testamentum, and Vigilae Christianae.
I have added Smith's book to this blog's TNIV Bookshelf (right margin). I also pushed the 1-click button at to order my own copy.