Sunday, October 14, 2007

The TNIV translator vs. the TNIV boosters

Iyov continues the discussion about whether the TNIV is more or less literal than the NIV in his post The TNIV translator vs. the TNIV boosters. I have emailed Mark Strauss and Gordon Fee, co-authors of "How to Choose a Translation For All Its Worth," in which they speak to this point (cited in Iyov's post), to find out more definitively whether they think the TNIV is more or less literal than the NIV. (UPDATE: Mea culpa: Iyov actually quoted from the earlier book, updated since publication of the TNIV, which Fee co-authored with Douglas Stuart, "How to Read the Bible For All Its Worth.") Both Fee and Strauss are also members of the CBT which has revised the NIV to become the TNIV, although Strauss became a member after the TNIV was published. He has, however, followed issues concerning production of the TNIV very closely and will be part of future TNIV revision decisions (toward which each of you can also contribute).

And you, too, can weigh in on this issue, both in comments to this post, as well as in a new poll which I have just put in the margin to this blog.


Iyov said...

Actually, the book I quoted was How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth by Fee and Douglas Stuart.

I haven't read the Fee-Strauss book.

Jeremy Pierce said...

Well, the gender-inclusive changes are clearly less literal under the popular understanding of what counts as literal. Craig Blomberg counted all the other changes to see which were more literal and which were less literal, and the majority of them were more literal. I don't remember if it still comes out to e majority when you factor in the gender changes, but the gender changes were a very small percentage of the total changes, so I imagine it still might come out to be more literal on the whole.

Jeremy Pierce said...

I should have read all the recent posts before commenting.

From Blomberg's paper, it seems to me that just under 1/3 of the changes are gender-inclusive, and about 3/4 of the other 2/3 them are in a direction that's more literal. That means that about half of the changes are more literal even if all the gender-inclusive ones are less literal (and he explicitly says that it's not all of them). That means more of the changes are in the more literal direction, even accounting for the gender-inclusive ones.

Admin said...

When I was doing my comparisons of the TNIV and NIV, I didn't include the gender inclusive references in my estimation. I just compared the other readings. Pretty much I found that whenever there were changes, I found them being more literal. As I read the TNIV, I like the fact that it doesn't eliminate the passive tense, for example like the NLT. I was reading Romans 8 last night and wonder if "sons of God" doesn't convey "children of God" misses completely though.

I wish the old NIV would be updated to the TNIV text without all the gender inclusive translations. I guess I wish there were some middle course between the Old NIV and current TNIV.

Wayne Leman said...

Admin wrote:

I wish the old NIV would be updated to the TNIV text without all the gender inclusive translations. I guess I wish there were some middle course between the Old NIV and current TNIV.

That idea has been in my mind, also. In fact, I mentioned it to the CBT.

Of course, I would want to keep the gender inclusive language where almost everyone agrees that the text is referring to both males and females, as in Rom. 12:1 (even the HCSB and ESV, which follow the CSG footnote the gender inclusive wording there).

What are some specific passages where you would prefer not having gender inclusive language? Let's examine them to see if the TNIV gender inclusive language is in error in those passages. This is an important enough topic that I would like to make a blog post out of it.

R. Mansfield said...

Obviously, it was a mistake to say that the NIV text was frozen. That was a bow to pressure that wasn't thought through very well.

There's no room for a median text between the NIV and TNIV, and the CBT knows it which is why they won't agree to it. If there were a median text, it would even further harm the chances of the TNIV from gaining acceptance.

The only thing I and a lot of others hope for is a more concerted effort to transition from the NIV to TNIV. Why Zondervan or IBS would release NEW editions of the NIV at this point is absolutely beyond me. It makes no sense. They should be gradually replacing all NIV texts with TNIV editions, but that is not happening.

A very interesting survey to make (and it could be easily done on is to compare how many new editions of the NIV are slated for 2007 vs. new editions of the TNIV. The results would be shameful.