Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Out: TNIV In: NIV Revisions

Let’s hope that the revisions to the NIV don’t create the kind of controversy that the creation of the TNIV caused. Below the article I have re-posted a couple of short videos from John MacArthur and Rob Bell that define the controversy in a nutshell.

By ERIC GORSKI, AP Religion Writer

The top-selling Bible in North America will undergo its first revision in 25 years, modernizing the language in some sections and promising to reopen a contentious debate about changing gender terms in the sacred text. The New International Version, the Bible of choice for conservative evangelicals, will be revised to reflect changes in English usage and advances in Biblical scholarship, it was announced Tuesday. The revision is scheduled to be completed late next year and published in 2011.

"We want to reach English speakers across the globe with a Bible that is accurate, accessible and that speaks to its readers in a language they can understand," said Keith Danby, global president and CEO of Biblica, a Colorado Springs, Colo.-based Christian ministry that holds the NIV copyright.

An effort earlier this decade to create a separate version of the NIV that used more gender-inclusive language in an attempt to reach a younger audience fell flat with groups that felt it crossed the line.

That edition, Today's New International Version, will cease publication once the new-look NIV is released, said Moe Girkins, president of Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Zondervan, its North American publisher.

"Whatever its strengths, the TNIV has become an emblem of division in the evangelical Christian world," Girkins said.

It was the TNIV that ushered in changes from "sons of God" to "children of God," or "brothers" to "brothers and sisters." In Genesis I, God created "human beings" in his own image instead of "man."

Many prominent pastors and scholars endorsed the changes. But critics said masculine terms in the original should not be tampered with. Some warned that changing singular gender references to plural ones alters what the Bible says about God's relationships with individuals.

The Southern Baptist Convention passed a resolution saying the edition "has gone beyond acceptable translation standards."

"We fell short of the trust that has been placed in us, We failed to make a clear case for the revisions." (Keith Danby, global president and CEO of Biblica, a Colorado Springs, Colo.-based Christian ministry that holds the NIV copyright.

Should culture tell us what the bible is allowed to say?

The first clip is an audio clip from John MacArthur's sermon entitled "Assorted attacks on the Bible." Clear warning is given to not only those who would adapt the bible to fit culture as well as those who would consider studying from such translations as the Today's New International Version.

This second clip is from what looks like an unscripted commentary from Rob Bell. Bell is an enthusiast on the TNIV and hands them out to everyone that comes to his church.

Now you be the judge.