Better Bibles Blog has moved. Read our last post, below, and then
click here if you are not redirected to our new location within 60 seconds.
Please Bookmark our new location and update blogrolls.

Monday, July 10, 2006

TNIV Study Bible

Zondervan is about to release a study edition of the TNIV Bible. It is already listed on amazon.com in hardback, leather, and several sizes. The latest CBD catalog also includes this new study Bible.

Now, if R.C. Sproul would produce a TNIV Reformation Study Bible, parallel to the ESV Reformation Study Bible, and if Focus On the Family would promote a TNIV Study Bible, it might not be long before the TNIV would break into the top 10 in Bible sales at Christian bookstores. Hey, while we're dreaming, perhaps CBMW would produce a Biblical Manhood and Womanhood edition of the TNIV. I suspect that if we inserted TNIV renderings of verses cited in Biblical Foundations for Manhood and Womanhood, ed. by Wayne Grudem, that book promoted by CBMW would teach the same things as it does with citations from other English versions.

What do you think? Did I awaken too early this morning and I'm still dreaming?! Yeah, I think so. But hey, aren't some dreams interesting?!

22 Comments:

At Mon Jul 10, 09:32:00 AM, Blogger R. Mansfield said...

I tell you, the unfair maligning of the TNIV simply makes me want to support it more. I bought an NIV Study Bible in hardback years ago for reference, and I may have to get a copy of the TNIV Study Bible simply in support of the version. I added the TNIV search to my webpage after my experience in the bookstore the other day.

 
At Mon Jul 10, 09:59:00 AM, Blogger son of abraham said...

Wayne wrote: Now, if R.C. Sproul would produce a TNIV Reformation Study Bible, parallel to the ESV Reformation Study Bible ...

Wayne, the interpretive comments in the Reformation Study Bible often presume a certain rendering of the text, usually a rather literal rendering. That's why the NKJV and ESV were used in it. These are essentially literal translations. But the NIV and TNIV are comparatively loose translations, and less suitable for the kind of detailed theological exegesis that is presented in the notes of the Reformation Study Bible. So it's not likely that you will see an edition of this study Bible with the TNIV. It's not because of some blind prejudice against the TNIV. It's because versions like the TNIV are likely to diverge from (or at least fail to support) the traditional Protestant exegesis presented in the notes.

 
At Mon Jul 10, 10:37:00 AM, Blogger R. Mansfield said...

It's because versions like the TNIV are likely to diverge from (or at least fail to support) the traditional Protestant exegesis presented in the notes.

C'mon... If the TNIV Study Bible is anything like the NIV Study Bible, there will be LOTS of "Traditional Protestant exegesis" in the notes. And don't forget the countless commentaries, including the SBC's New American Commentary that use the NIV as its base.

Obviously Wayne's post was tongue-in-cheek, but the Reformation Study Bible will never have the TNIV in any edition not because it wouldn't lend itself to the notes (it certainly would)but because the editors have bias against it.

 
At Mon Jul 10, 10:48:00 AM, Blogger anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At Mon Jul 10, 10:50:00 AM, Blogger M. J. Mansini said...

I tell you, the unfair maligning of the TNIV simply makes me want to support it more.

Goodness sakes... thankfully for you, you already have a large collection of Bibles, because otherwise, with sentiments like this, you would have a lot still left to collect. :D

These are essentially literal translations.

I love this term. It is so loose, it is ironic. "Essentially" literal is like saying, "Basically" he is a girl. You would think that people so intent on "literalness" would at least tighten up their definition. "Essentially" will change, and what can be designated as essentially literal now will slowly change over time. Don't think that I think the ESV was supposed to be dead literal though, they utilized the RSV, so it is obvious that "essentially" is the best way to say it.

You couldn't say "The ESV: Somewhat less literal than the NASB, but more literal than an NIV", naw, "Essentially Literal" sounds better!

 
At Mon Jul 10, 10:54:00 AM, Blogger M. J. Mansini said...

Anon said,

It is thus possible to make an electronic study bible with the TNIV text and the Reformation Study Bible notes.

I just wanted to say, I do this frequently myself. Although, I usually can only do so for a limited amount of time, studying using my computer is fun, although annoying since I already have to spend so much time studying using my computer for University.

Real printed books are my haven. I like to surround myself with tons of books and read/study for hours.

 
At Mon Jul 10, 10:57:00 AM, Blogger M. J. Mansini said...

Wayne said,

Hey, while we're dreaming, perhaps CBMW would produce a Biblical Manhood and Womanhood edition of the TNIV.

Would this be kind of like an TNIV or NRSV or God's Word translation produced by and with KJV Only notes? I'm sure not dreaming of something like that. It would be like a Chevy Nova (KJV Only) with a Viper engine (TNIV/NRSV/GW).

All fun and jokes of course!!!

 
At Mon Jul 10, 11:40:00 AM, Blogger son of abraham said...

Rick Mansfield wrote: Obviously Wayne's post was tongue-in-cheek, but the Reformation Study Bible will never have the TNIV in any edition not because it wouldn't lend itself to the notes (it certainly would)but because the editors have bias against it.

That's a reckless statement, Mr. Mansfield. If the publisher has never issued an edition with the NIV text, what makes you so sure that the absence of a TNIV edition can be attributed to some special hatred of it on the part of the editors? Over the years, many conservative scholars have expressed the opinion that the NIV is insufficiently literal for some purposes, and the TNIV is even less literal than the NIV. So there's your explanation for the absence of a TNIV edition. But you prefer to attribute bad and petty motives to the editors. Are you aware of the fact that the Old Testament editor of the Reformation Study Bible (Bruce Waltke) also served on the committee that produced the TNIV?

 
At Mon Jul 10, 11:53:00 AM, Blogger R. Mansfield said...

Well, I was speaking in generics trying to avoid naming specific names, but my statement was referring specifically to Dr. Sproul's well-known disapproval of the TNIV.

I never used the term "special hatred." Nor did I say that the editors had "bad and petty motives." That seems to border on hyperbole. I simply used the phrase "bias against." I believe that a certain bias against the TNIV is demonstrable or the original post we are responding to wouldn't be possible in the first place.

And excluding the inclusive gender renderings, in my reading of the TNIV, I find it to be slightly more literal than the NIV.

I don't feel I said anything reckless at all, but was keeping within the same bounds of Wayne's friendly sarcasm in the original post.

 
At Mon Jul 10, 12:28:00 PM, Blogger son of abraham said...

anonymous wrote: I read a few chapters just now and thought that they worked reasonably well together on the small sample I tried.

I'll give you one example of what I was talking about. In Romans 1:5 Paul speaks of "the obedience of faith," a phrase which joins obedience to faith in a theologically significant way. Obedience belongs to faith. And so the Reformation Study Bible points out that this phrase indicates that obedience "flows from faith" and that faith "implies obedient submission." However, the TNIV has here "faith and obedience," placing one thing next to the other without indicating the genitive relationship in the Greek. The translation is not literal enough for the comment. I don't doubt that I could find many examples of this if I were to spend a day hunting for them.

 
At Mon Jul 10, 12:46:00 PM, Blogger anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At Mon Jul 10, 01:38:00 PM, Blogger son of abraham said...

mansini wrote: You couldn't say "The ESV: Somewhat less literal than the NASB, but more literal than an NIV", naw ...

What a smart aleck. Actually, I could say that of the ESV, and I often have said it; but you should have noticed that in my sentence I was speaking of both the NKJV and the ESV, and in general I don't think it's true that the NKJV is less literal than the NASB. In many places the NKJV is more literal than the NASB. So I used the phrase "essentially literal" for both the ESV and NKJV. I could have said, "basically literal" or "relatively literal" in reference to all three. My point was simply that the NKJV and the ESV are significantly more literal than the NIV. What purpose does it serve for you to quibble so sarcastically about the expression I used? It has become an ordinary term in the recent discussions about Bible versions, and I will continue to use it when it is convenient.

 
At Mon Jul 10, 01:42:00 PM, Blogger Wayne Leman said...

Michael mentioned:

In Romans 1:5 Paul speaks of "the obedience of faith," a phrase which joins obedience to faith in a theologically significant way. Obedience belongs to faith. And so the Reformation Study Bible points out that this phrase indicates that obedience "flows from faith" and that faith "implies obedient submission." However, the TNIV has here "faith and obedience,

Nice example, Michael. I agree with you that the TNIV rendering does not adequately render the genitive relationship. IMO, the NIV wording is better. FWIW, I find "the obedience of faith" not to sound like English, at least not my dialect of English. I don't think obedience can have faith. Only people can have faith.

 
At Mon Jul 10, 01:52:00 PM, Blogger Suzanne McCarthy said...

Anon,

Now, I don't mean to be disputatious or philopolemic here.

You are doing very nicely in this respect. Since it is backwards day anyway in the blogosphere, motivating Wayne's tongue-in-cheek post, and I have too little time to compose anything silly let me quote,

I am asham'd that women are so simple
To offer war where they should kneel for peace,
Or seek for rule, supremacy, and sway,
When they are bound to serve, love, and obey.
Why are our bodies soft and weak and smooth,
Unapt to toll and trouble in the world,
But that our soft conditions and our hearts
Should well agree with our external parts?
Come, come, you froward and unable worms!
My mind hath been as big as one of yours,
My heart as great, my reason haply more,
To bandy word for word and frown for frown;
But now I see our lances are but straws,
Our strength as weak, our weakness past compare,


From my favourtie Shakepeare play.

 
At Mon Jul 10, 01:55:00 PM, Blogger R. Mansfield said...

Wayne, I agree with you regarding Rom 1:5. I wonder why the TNIV translators made this decision? If anything, the NIV's "the obedience that comes from faith" seems to be the most accurate rendering and demonstrates why sometimes word-for-word translations are deficient. Thus for this verse, the TNIV is more literal than the NIV, but less literal than the ESV and seems to satisfy no one. I looked and could find no textual variant to support the TNIV's reading here.

 
At Mon Jul 10, 02:19:00 PM, Blogger Wayne Leman said...

Rick wondered:

Wayne, I agree with you regarding Rom 1:5. I wonder why the TNIV translators made this decision?

I wondered the same thing, Rick. I looked at a number of other English versions. For the most part, they either have the literal, but, for me, non-sensical, "obedience of faith" or they have "faith and obedience" or something close to it (e.g. NLT, NCV, GNB, CEV). I've thought further about it since my last comment here and realized that English "and" syntax sometimes does indicate a temporal relation (e.g. first believe then obey). But for some people it is not easy to get that meaning from a first reading of a conjunctive phrase. It is a very natural way of expressing the temporal relationship in English, however.

As you know, I'm sure, exegetes are by no means unified on what kind of semantics is being encoded by the Greek genitive here. The "safest" way to translate is literally, but that leaves many of us with English that doesn't make much, if any, sense. One good solution that the HCSB has chosen is to footnote the literal wording with several renderings that do make sense are are exegetical possibilities for the meaning of the genitive. Not surprisingly, the NET Bible has the best translation footnote with its literal translation in the text itself.

It's sometimes not an easy call whether to go with a meaningful translation for which there is a "good" amount of exegetical agreement, or a literal one that isn't very meaningful. If the latter is chosen, I would at least want there to be good footnotes as found in the HCSB and NET Bible.

Rom. 1:5 has a number of difficulties for accurate *and* meaningful translation to any language. I wish we could ask Paul to rewrite some of his verses!

 
At Mon Jul 10, 02:27:00 PM, Blogger M. J. Mansini said...

Marlowe said, I could have said, "basically literal" or "relatively literal" in reference to all three. My point was simply that the NKJV and the ESV are significantly more literal than the NIV. What purpose does it serve for you to quibble so sarcastically about the expression I used?

First off, you should be more careful when you throw around titles such as "Smart aleck". Some people may find that to be offensive.

Now, in all seriousness, half way through the "essentially literal" comments I forgot that you were even the one that said it. Although it didn't come out in the reply, my digs were at Crossway and their scholars, who incessantly use the term "essentially literal" in relation to their product. I would wager that your preferance for that expression is simply a by-product of their preference.

I completely forgot about you and your "essentially literal" comment. You will have to forgive this "smart aleck" for expressing their minor disgust of a term that has been actively popularized by a publishing company who would love more than anything to have "essentially literal" be the new trendy term.

What purpose does it serve for you to quibble so sarcastically about the expression I used?

When I read the "...I used..." part I was like, "Wait... he said that?" And sure enough. I had to go and accidentally comment about something M. M. said.

 
At Mon Jul 10, 03:16:00 PM, Blogger Wayne Leman said...

I had to go and accidentally comment about something M. M. said.

Interestingly, you are both M. M.

:-)

 
At Mon Jul 10, 04:47:00 PM, Blogger exegete77 said...

Wayne,

Perhaps the GW rendering for Rom. 1:5 helps:

"...to the obedience that is associated with faith."

I just received a copy of the TNIV this week, so haven't had much chance to review it. I tend not to be an NIV supporter, but will wait for further review to determine where I stand on TNIV.

If someone wants to develop a parallel Bible, then how about:

Greek/NAS95/ESV2/GW

That seems to be a good combination. (Note ESV2 hopefully will correct many of the translation/language issues).

 
At Mon Jul 10, 06:11:00 PM, Blogger son of abraham said...

mansini wrote: I completely forgot about you and your "essentially literal" comment ... When I read the "...I used..." part I was like, "Wait... he said that?" And sure enough. I had to go and accidentally comment about something M. M. said.

Let me see. You were attacking a phrase in my message, and attributing its use to some phony manipulative tendency, after having completely forgotten where you saw it. Now I understand.

 
At Wed Jul 12, 09:24:00 AM, Blogger Craig said...

Just a comment about the NIV family and a "Reformation" Study Bible. The earlier update to Reformation Study Bible, the Sprit of the Reformation Study Bible, *did* go with the NIV. Luder Whitlock and Richard Pratt (the (Executive Director and General Editor, respectively) appear to have felt that the NIV is suitable for "the kind of detailed theological exegesis that is presented in the notes". The notes are pretty much identical to the Dr. Sproul's original New Geneva Study Bible (later renamed to the Reformation Study Bible). Also, it was public knowledge that Dr. Sproul and co. were in talks with Zondervan to have the original study bible done in the NIV, but talks fell through and they went with the NKJV. So at least with regard to the NIV there doesn't seem to be a problem with this idea (can't speak to the TNIV).

 
At Fri Jul 28, 04:16:00 AM, Blogger ianjmatt said...

Of course, 'literal' claims are something of a fallacy. The aim of translation isn't to tranliterate, but to translate - to take the meaning of language from a source text and make that meaning as clear as possible in a recpetor language. Literal renderings of the greek sound like nonsense in English, so there is always a dynamic element.

 

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home