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Tuesday, November 22, 2005

About the TNIV: Not One Point or Iota

Gordon Tisher of Balafon recently blogged on problems he sees in the attacks on the TNIV.

Among blogs there have been far more posts negative about the TNIV than for it. Typically anti-TNIV posts repeat claims made by others, often originating with Wayne Grudem, who never points out that what he considers "errors" in the TNIV are considered as exegetical options within the community of biblical scholars. What Grudem calls "errors" can only be considered real errors if one begins with his theological, ideological, and linguistic presuppositions, especially the linguistic theory of male representation which he and Vern Poythress connect to the doctrine of a masculine hierarchy and promote in their book, The Gender-Neutral Bible Controversy: Muting the Masculinity of God's Words

Well, let's get back to Gordon Tisher's post. Gordon addresses these anti-TNIV claims:
  • Tampering with Scripture, including, ironically, Revelation 22:18-19.
  • Culture is influencing translation.
  • The Slippery Slope: translating “πατηρ” as “parent” might lead to referring to God as “parent” instead of “father”, and to referring to Jesus as female.
  • They’ve taken a lot of masculinity out of the Bible — it’s not as much a man’s Bible any more.
It's a fairly lengthy post, but worth the read, if you want to hear another viewpoint about the TNIV which has not gotten as much press or blog coverage as that of Grudem and those who repeat his arguments.

I wouldn't agree with everything that Gordon says, especially his ad hominem characterizations of those who do not like the TNIV, but he makes some important, as well as entertaining, arguments. If nothing else, Gordon's post should call us not to simply accept the claims against the TNIV, even if they are made by public figures who have a significant following. We must test all things (including arguments in debates about Bible translations) and hold on to that which is good (1 Thess. 5:21).

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At Tue Nov 22, 10:57:00 AM, Blogger R. Mansfield said...

Can someone clarify for me whether pater is ever translated as "parent" in the TNIV when in reference to God? I was under the assumption that this was NOT the case, but was unclear after this blog and Tisher's. I bought a copy of the TNIV a couple of weeks ago, but have not given it a thorough examination yet.

At Tue Nov 22, 12:03:00 PM, Blogger Wayne Leman said...

Can someone clarify for me whether pater is ever translated as "parent" in the TNIV when in reference to God?

Never. It is brought up as part of the slippery slope argument, but slippery slope arguments, especially when there is no evidence to support them, are themselves too slippery to be considered legitimate argumentation.

At Tue Nov 22, 12:32:00 PM, Blogger R. Mansfield said...

I agree. I didn't think this was the case, and in fact, would have been very surprised if this was done by the TNIV translators. Seems like now, just like in the the late nineties with the inclusive NIV in Britain, that the issue gets distorted from human inclusive language to that of inclusive language for God.

At Tue Nov 22, 01:54:00 PM, Blogger Joe said...

I can only say that from my early years as a Christian I began reading translations other than the one Jesus used (KJV?), and learned a lot from them.

Some were obviously converstional, some were "scholarly," most were somewhere in between, but I still liked to read them for their different perspectives.

One I read early on (but don't any more) was the Good News Bible. I also read the New English Bible, the Revised Standard Version, the original Living Bible and lots of others. In fact any I can get my hands on.

For the last several years I have used the NIV, and would be interested in TNIV.

I'm not really afraid of whether the translators seemed to have "demasculinised" the translation, God is who he is regardless.

Any way, I really enjoy your discussions and read this blog almost every day.

Thanks for your good work.

At Sun Nov 27, 08:12:00 PM, Blogger Ted Gossard said...

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