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Thursday, April 27, 2006

Preacher Mike on the TNIV

Yesterday Preacher Mike blogged on the TNIV. Mike addresses a number of the widespread misconceptions about the TNIV. Here's one:
Yesterday after class a couple students came up and said that at their church they’d been told to get rid of their TNIVs because the translation gets rid of the male language for God.
Mike corrects the misunderstanding:
Let me be clear: the TNIV does NOT get rid of the male language for God.

It does, however, make some changes (just one of many areas where improvements are made over the older NIV) that reflect differences in the way Greek and English deal with gender.

For example, I have one brother and two sisters. In Spanish I could say I have three hermanos. Even though “hermano” is the word for brother, in the plural it can include brothers and sisters. But even though in Spanish I could say I have three hermanos, I wouldn’t in English say I have three brothers.

Similarly, when Paul writes to the “brothers” in a church, he isn’t just addressing the males. So in Today’s NIV it comes out as “brothers and sisters” (unless, of course, the context suggests a male audience).
Mike concludes his post:
Despite what a few have said, the TNIV isn’t an attempt to create some gender neutral society. It’s an attempt by people who love scripture to translate scripture accurately in this generation. Spend a little time at their website, and you’ll get a feel for the devotion the translators had to this communicating God’s message. If you want to check out more about their decisions of how to handle language related to gender, there’s a great explanation here. As he explains, one day we’ll realize that this was a tempest in a teapot!
As I have read and listened to the TNIV opponents and studied their lists of supposed "inaccuracies" in the TNIV, I am led to agree with Mike. There is little genuine substance to the claims of inaccuracy in the TNIV. One can have differences about how to translate some passages in the TNIV, but there are very few, if any, translation wordings that can objectively be considered inaccuracies. The public has been misled by a powerful campaign, itself inaccurate, when judged by sound biblical scholarship, against the TNIV.

Is the TNIV my favorite translation? No, it is not. But it is a good, accurate, trustworthy translation. It is clearly a needed update to the NIV. Would I preach from the TNIV and recommend it to others? Yes, gladly.


At Thu Apr 27, 09:47:00 AM, Blogger R. Mansfield said...

I like the TNIV the more I use it. As I've said before, I've been teaching out of the HCSB at church because it's in the Sunday School literature (and I genuinely like the HCSB). But tonight, as I go to teach a NT Survey class to a group of what is essentially business majors, I think I'm going to take the TNIV. I assume that most of them will have the NIV. If I walk in there with the HCSB, I run the risk of losing them when we look at passages together; yet the TNIV would be close enough that they could follow along.

At Thu Apr 27, 10:22:00 AM, Blogger Wayne Leman said...

Rick, I found it very easy to use the TNIV to follow along as an NIV was read.

At Fri Apr 28, 07:00:00 AM, Blogger Ted Gossard said...

Yes. Our church uses the NIV and my TNIV matches it well, though at places the changes are interesting.

I think the biggest need for the TNIV, is simply exposure. I have seen railing against the TNIV dissipate when those who are against it, are exposed to it.

It's a shame, when recommendations are made against it, by those who have no first hand knowledge of it.

Thanks Wayne, for this post.


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