For myself, I don't understand why Dr. Grudem is so intent on trying to convince people that the TNIV is not a faithful Bible translation. The TNIV actually is an accurate translation. Its translation committee is the same group of highly qualified biblical scholars who produced the NIV. What Dr. Grudem and his followers call "inaccuracies" in the TNIV are translation wordings for which there are legitimate differences of interpretation among Bible scholars. Many of the so-called "inaccuracies" are actually wordings which a majority of scholars would consider to be preferred over the wording choices Dr. Grudem advocates. For instance, Dr. Grudem believes that the huioi (theoou) of Matthew 5:9 should be translated as "sons (of God)" rather than "children (of God)", as it is in the KJV, and most recent English Bible versions. I believe that a majority of Bible scholars consider that Jesus was referring to both males and females in this Matthew 5:9 of the Beatitudes.
In my opinion, a translation wording should only be called "inaccurate" if it can be demonstrated that it is actually in error. I have kept up with the campaign against the TNIV and from all that I have read and heard, there is not a single verse in the TNIV that I am aware of which can be demonstrated to be translated erroneously. I, personally, would prefer some wordings in every Bible version, including the TNIV, to be different, but I definitely cannot call the TNIV an unfaithful or inaccurate translation.
But repetition of the same claims by Dr. Grudem, on websites, in books, in debates, and on radio talkshows, has convinced many people that the TNIV is a bad translation. Many people believe things if they are repeated enough or if those who say them are sincere. And Dr. Grudem is definitely a sincere man in his crusade against the TNIV. When he speaks about problems he perceives in the TNIV there is an evangelistic fervor in his voice that makes his claims sound even more compelling. But Dr. Grudem never lays out all the exegetical arguments for and against the translation wordings he disagrees with. He does love God and the written Word of God but differs from many other biblical scholars in how some words of the Bible should be translated.
My sincere hope for this Better Bibles blog is that we might do more than keep saying the same things about which there are honest differences of opinion. Instead, I hope that this blog can be a place where people are encouraged to think clearly about differences of opinion about Bible translations. And my prayer is that we would do so with grace toward those with whom we might disagree.
(HT: Funky Dung, via email)
Categories: Bible translation, TNIV, Wayne Grudem