Thursday, January 31, 2008

TNIV Added to Logos Base Packages

Logos has just upgraded all Logos users who have a base package with the NIV to get a free copy of the TNIV.

From Logos employee Phil Gons' blog:
Logos just released a new round of base packages labeled ND. No, that’s not an abbreviation for anything. They serve merely to distinguish the various versions of the base packages. The previous base packages were OC, the ones before that were QB, and the ones before that were RA. You can upgrade from your current OC package to the corresponding ND package for free (you pay only for the media and shipping). They’ve added the TNIV and NIrV to all of the base packages that include the NIV (i.e., all but Christian Home and Original Languages).

This is a fairly significant move since for the longest time, Logos actually kept a disclaimer on its TNIV add-on page as if it were a dangerous pack of cigarettes. Then in March of last year, Logos suddenly did the right thing and dropped the disclaimer

Who would have thought that less than a year later, the TNIV would be standard fare in many of the base packages! Logos, you've come a long way.

For more on the Logos upgrade that includes the TNIV, go to

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Keeping Up with Harran

Folks often overlook one of the other new features of the TNIV--that is, the revised spelling of certain proper names. The TNIV breaks with traditional spellings--or more precisely, Anglicized spellings--for certain names leftover from the KJV and other English translations.

For instance, Evil-Merodach is now Awel-Marduk and Succoth is now Sukkoth. Such changes are welcome for the sake of accuracy, but will no doubt frustrate some who attempt to look up certain individuals and places in Bible dictionaries and other reference works, at least until Zondervan and other publishers updates their references to reflect the spellings found in the TNIV.

There is a listing of revised spellings at the back of every edition of the TNIV.

Recently, while teaching in Genesis at church, one of the new spellings caught my attention:

"Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot son of Haran, and his daughter–in–law Sarai, the wife of his son Abram, and together they set out from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan. But when they came to Harran, they settled there." (Gen 11:31 TNIV)

Note the geographical location, Harran, traditionally spelled with only one R. Why the change? Does the Hebrew justify the change in spelling? Well, no and yes. Technically, there is only one resh in ‏חָרָן, however the Hebrew Haran/‏חָרָן is actually a Hebrew rendering of
the Akkadian harranu. More importantly, the change brings the spelling into line with the city of Harran in modern-day Turkey, which is almost universally believed to be the same city as the Haran/Harran mentioned in the Bible.

And as a consequence, now there is a slight distinction between Haran, the brother of Abraham and Harran, the city where Terah traveled with his family. Although the two names are in the same context in Genesis 11, the person and the place do not have anything to do with each other (and are spelled differently in Hebrew). In fact, Haran, the brother of Abraham and son of Terah died before the rest of his family left Ur.

No other major translation that I know of besides the TNIV has updated the spelling of the biblical Haran/Harran to match that of the known city.

However, there is one more interesting aspect to the change in spelling that caught my attention. When I looked at the maps at the back of my TNIV Reference Bible, I noted that the spelling in the maps had NOT been updated!

I'm assuming that the maps used in the back of TNIV Bibles are the same ones used in NIV Bibles, but one would think that Zondervan would want to update them to reflect the spellings of the TNIV. Leaving them the same can only cause confusion.

One final interesting tidbit about Harran. According to the Wikipedia article on Harran, legend has it that this is the location where Adam and Eve first stepped when they were first expelled from the Garden. Granted it's just legend, but isn't it fitting that it was in Harran where Abraham first heard his call from God to go to the promised land? From the point of expulsion and alienation from God, the journey began to enter into God's rest. I find this very appropriate--regardless of how one spells the location.

CORRECTION: As pointed out by Elshaddai Edwards in the comments, the Revised English Bible also includes the spelling, Harran. Upon further checking, I have also discovered the spelling Harran in the recently published New English Translation of the Septuagint, although it should be noted that the spelling of the city's name in the LXX is Χαρραν.

UPDATE: Some TNIV Bibles do have the updated spellings, specifically the TNIV Study Bible for one. Also, Zondervan has looked into the matter with the TNIV Reference Bible and will include a newer, updated set of maps in a later printing.

The Bible Experience so far

Rick Mansfield and I are both listening through the The Bible Experience - an audio dramatization of the TNIV. I've enjoyed it very much so far. Rick apparently does too. In fact, Rick has already written a review for the portion he has listened to - the Pentateuch. Check out Rick's review.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

TNIV revision suggestions submitted

Well, it was a lot of work but our TNIV revisions suggestions were submitted to the TNIV team on time, by the deadline of Dec. 31. This project was very successful. Several people submitted suggestions. Some submitted many. Often they were things in the translation which I had not noticed. Thank you very much to each person who submitted suggestions, especially those who worked many hours on this project.

All suggestions are posted now on the TNIV links website. Included there are suggestions submitted in previous years, as well as a file with suggestions made during this new year, 2008.

You are welcome to submit a revision suggestion whenever you find a wording in the TNIV which you believe can be improved.

A few days ago I received a box from IBS (International Bible Society), which holds the copyright to the NIV and TNIV. In it were several nice gifts: copies of TBOTB (The Books of the Bible) (the TNIV in a more chronological order than the traditional biblical order, and without verse and chapter numbers), teeshirts with the phrase DE-VERSIFY on them, and a copy of the book Beauty Behind the Mask (about the TBOTB). There was also a note from Glenn Paauw, one of the men on the TBOTB team at IBS. He thanked me for promoting the TBOTB on this blog. I intend to share the gifts in the box with those who submitted the most number of suggestions for revision of the TNIV during 2007.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Read With Me Through the TNIV

Every year I read through a different translation. While I've done some research on the TNIV debate, I have not read the TNIV cover to cover. I am doing that this year.

Come with me on the journey. Here's the link over at my blog to what chapters I'm reading each day. I'll try to post every week what chapters I am reading. I will also attempt to point out differences between the TNIV and NIV that stand out to me.