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Thursday, September 07, 2006

Acceptable English is what people actually use

Rick Mansfield, in his first posting on 2 Corinthians 5:17 (already linked to on this blog), notes Jeremy Pierce's point that
the singular they has recently become a topic of discussion in The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language (2002).
In a comment on Rick's posting, "Larry" (whose views and writing style sound very similar to those of our "Anonymous" commenter - you are not by any chance the same person, are you?) wrote:
The Cambridge Grammar is a descriptive grammar; so it can't be relied on for presc[r]iptive issues.
This raises an interesting question. Who or what can "be relied on for prescriptive issues" concerning the English language? Who has the right to prescribe what is grammatically correct English? For English we don't have an equivalent of the Académie française (or try this link in English), so no one has an official right to prescribe our language, despite the attempts of some, even the British parliament, to be prescriptive.

It seems to me that the only people who have the right to prescribe the form of English are the speakers of the language taken as a whole, exercising their democratic right in the way that they actually speak and write. That implies that the only prescriptive grammar for English is in fact a descriptive one. For if there is any way in which we ought to speak or write, it is the way that the language is actually spoken or written.

In other words, the only criterion of what is acceptable English is what people actually use.

This has some interesting implications for Bible translations.

Firstly, it suggests that Bibles are not acceptable if they use vocabulary and syntax which are not in regular use in modern English. Of course there are various styles of modern English; this criterion should not be used to reject wording which is used in high quality literary English but not colloquially. Nevertheless, constructions are used in many modern English versions (as has often been demonstrated on this blog) which have not been used in standard English at least since the 17th century. I would suggest that since these constructions are not now in regular use, they should not be used in Bible translations. Then there are some constructions which are used only in poetry in English; they should be used only in poetic passages in the Bible.

Secondly, my principle implies that any vocabulary and syntax which is actually in regular use in English, even constructions such as the singular "they" which have not been accepted by older prescriptive grammarians, should be considered acceptable in Bible translations. Here I would obviously exclude rude and offensive language, but that is a separate issue.

There should also be a principle here of what is acceptable to specific audiences. Bible translations need to be tailored to their audiences; despite some claims, there is no such thing as a translation which is ideal for all. So I would extend my original principle to suggest that what is acceptable language for a Bible translation is what is actually in use by the target audience for that translation.


At Thu Sep 07, 05:20:00 AM, Blogger DavidR said...

Peter Kirk wrote: ... the speakers of the language taken as a whole, exercising their democratic right in the way that they actually speak and write.

Huh?! Not sure what makes this a democratic right! Are we voting on it? Why "democratic"?

The last sentence ("extended principle") makes sense to me. It reminds me of Sir Ernest Gowers venerable Plain Words (1st edition, 1948) -- advice to British civil servants on writing English good (or was it "good English" :). For example, he gave bullet-proof (and amusing) arguments for the acceptability of splitting infinitives. But he concludes: "Still, there is no doubt that the rule at present holds sway, and, on my principles, the official has no choice but to conform."

Fortunately, you can see whole of the original edition on-line here. It makes interesting companion-reading to this post.

David Reimer

At Thu Sep 07, 06:41:00 AM, Blogger lingamish said...

I love this topic! I mean, like, I reallllly love this topic! Know what I mean?

Many of the circular quarrels regarding translation acceptability might actually be about the prescriptive vs. descriptive approach to language. I'm looking forward to everyone's ideas.

Is Dr. Rich out there anywhere?

C ya.

At Thu Sep 07, 07:34:00 AM, Blogger lingamish said...

I posted a link to your post at my blog. Also made some comments about the prescriptive/descriptive battles. Acceptable English at Lingamish.

At Thu Sep 07, 09:00:00 AM, Blogger R. Mansfield said...

NO ONE TELL MY STUDENTS ABOUT THIS, but I found a half-hearted allowance for the singular they in one of their textbooks last night. I'll post more on this later today.

At Thu Sep 07, 09:35:00 AM, Blogger Wayne Leman said...

Here is what I commented on Lingamish's post and I'd like to comment it here also:

I like to think there is a kind of happy balance. We should discover the rules of a language, including English, by observing how people speak and write. But we also need to find out from them what they consider good quality speaking and writing. So with this latter process I’m with Jeremy Pierce. I think that descriptive linguistics can help us discover what are considered the most widely used rules of English. It can also help us discover what rules should be followed if one wants to be considered, by speech and writing, to be a good speaker/writer of the language. We still should not tell people *how* they should speak and write based on rules found in English grammar books, *unless* those rules were developed from observing usage. But I think we can actually find out what language speakers consider good usage and poor usage.

At Thu Sep 07, 11:25:00 AM, Blogger Sylvanus said...

I think that since the Word of God is described as Holy, the manner in which it is written, and therefore read, should reflect the quality due to the Most Elevated and Most Holy Being. I do not mean by that to having ancient phraseology and unreadable grammatical structures along unheard word endings, but neither do I mean to having paraphrased paraphrases so colloquial that the read text condescendingly abases the reader's abilities to understand a never-before encountered written word.

My point is that, as the reader gains an elevated heart and spirit by coming in contact with the mind of God, so should his/her mind be elevated by an intelligently put translation, which yet would be firmly grounded on the reality of our common English, and humble enough to perceive the variety of literacy. I wish an eloquent Bible for an eloquent God.

I was foreign to English until I was 18, but made only very little progress until only after reading the Bible. I therefore agree entirely with the original post. Thank you.

At Thu Sep 07, 01:58:00 PM, Blogger Ian Myles Slater said...

Part of the issue at hand -- the contention over singular "they" -- is a recognition that what official textbooks have treated as an error, and many believe to be a recent, and horrible, or desirable, innovation, is an historically normal variation, extensively documented. Its use has been somewhat eclipsed by, among others, vigilant copy-editors, enforcing standards that were invented, instead of developed from observation. Eliminating it from speech has simply been harder.

Like a great many other "rules" of grammar, it is an artificial schoolroom norm which has come to function as a marker of social distinctions, as well as becoming an excepted Truth for some.

If someone wishes to root it out, it might be better to attack it as a lingering archaism -- one of those oddities found in the King James Version and Jane Austen -- rather than as an ignorant mistake. That would at least be a bit harder to disprove.


I should perhaps point out, for those unfamiliar with the languages of Britain, and their history, that Welsh and Gaelic (Irish, Scots, and whatever is left of Manx) are entirely distinct tongues (Celtic, not Germanic), with their own dialects, literary forms, etc., not varieties of English.

So the publication of Bibles in Welsh and Gaelic in Britain is not particularly relevant to "what sort of *English* should be used in Bible translations," except as an example of "a language people will understand" or "whatever doesn't alienate readers."

Lowland Scots (Lallans), though, is, depending on your point of view, either a distinct regional form of English or a very closely related language.

In either case, it has been politically subordinated for centuries, and sometimes had a hard time maintaining itself as a vehicle for literature. In the late Middle Ages, and the Tudor period, Lowland Scots poets often wrote of their language as "Scottis" in distinction from "Inglyss," but as "Inglyss" when distinguishing it from "Frenyss" and Latin -- and the "Erse" of the Highlanders -- instead.

It lost Royal patronage when the Stuarts moved to London, although close imitation of the "southern" modes of speech was already evident among some writers (e.g., Drummond of Hawthornden) a bit earlier. It is, in any case, quite readily distinguishable from Received Standard English, and it is rather a matter of regional prejudice, or political preference, to regard it as being a socially "lower" register, or even as particularly informal. (C.S. Lewis was politely scathing about that attitude, among others, in his "English Literature in the Sixteenth Century.")

It has, of course, its own "high" and "low" registers, formal and informal modes, etc.

At Thu Sep 07, 02:14:00 PM, Blogger anonymous said...

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At Thu Sep 07, 04:15:00 PM, Blogger Peter Kirk said...

Anon, I hope "Now, to be certain, the publishers employ my primary responsibility is language in my specialty, and comments on general English are secondary." is a typo and not an example of the English you collect for prescriptive handbooks. But it is interesting that even the prescriptive handbooks are now based on actual examples of English in use, although I suspect that there is a conservatism in such handbooks which can be explained mainly by the reluctance of the prescriptivists to admit that they have no right to prescribe.

At Thu Sep 07, 04:58:00 PM, Blogger anonymous said...

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At Thu Sep 07, 05:36:00 PM, Blogger Ian Myles Slater said...

"Ullans (Scots) is also the tongue of small but vocal community in Ulster"

And I was very indirectly treating Ullans as one of the several regional (and sometimes politicized) varieties of Lallans (transplanted by the Stuarts). I was more interested in making a point about the social standing of varieties of English than pondering whether the implication of using one of them at all is more anti-Catholic, or more anti-English, or depends on the content of the document.

Linguistic manifestations of nationalism do tend to get nasty very quickly, and very obviously; and mixing in sectarianism can't be a good idea.

The misuse of officially standardized linguistic norms to stigmatize those who don't conform on "favorite" points as either socially or intellectually inferior, or both, is a problem just about everywhere that such norms exist.

At Thu Sep 07, 08:28:00 PM, Blogger Jeremy Pierce said...

Anonymous, your straw man of the descriptivist position does not stand up. Descriptivists do not claim that anyone can decided that something is ok. The view is that what is correct English grammar is determined by which rules English speakers as a whole tend to follow. Once you figure out what rules those are, you can teach those rules and correct people for using incorrect grammar.

Sylvanus, what about the parts of the Bible that were not written in holy, elevated language but were in fact written in ordinary language for their time, i.e. most of what isn't poetry or official court records? Isn't it appropriate to translate colloquial the Hellenistic Greek of Paul's epistles into colloquial contemporary English?

Peter, what about rude and offensive language in the Bible itself? If 'skubala' was offensive to Paul's readers, would it be more accurate to translate it with a term that is equivalent in force rather than the mild 'rubbish' of whatever goes on in most contemporary translations for that? What about Saul's use of an expression that equates to calling someone his equivalent of our SOB? I'm not sure we should restrict ourselves to inoffensive language if there are places when scripture uses offensive language.

At Thu Sep 07, 09:00:00 PM, Blogger anonymous said...

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At Thu Sep 07, 09:38:00 PM, Blogger lingamish said...

I knew this would be fun!

As a prescriptivist when I see that list of "errors" that "English speakers as a whole tend to do" I would say these aren't errors but simply proper English.

At Fri Sep 08, 02:42:00 AM, Blogger Peter Kirk said...

Jeremy, I agree that Bible translators should seriously consider using offensive language when that is in the original, but are audiences really ready to see the word "s**t" or SOB spelled out in their Bibles? I was thinking more of examples like the use of "rooster" and "donkey" rather than the KJV words in modern American (but not British in the first of these two cases) translations, because the original words have become offensive. But my point was that offensive language is a separate issue. But it is still actual usage, rather than prescriptivist's rules, which determines which words are offensive.

Anon, I realise that people, even myself, make mistakes in our use of language. These are generally recognised as mistakes, and are not considered acceptable (although those who make them in informal speech and writing are not condemned) at least unless, like "ice cream", they come into general use. of course I would not want such mistakes to appear in a Bible. I would say the same of particles like "uh" and "you know" which are part of conversational English, not written, except that these may sometimes be appropriate in direct speech in the Bible. As for the subjunctive and the distinction between "shall" and "will", these have largely disappeared from English as currently spoken, and so should not be used in Bible translations for general audiences.

As for the Oxford Inclusive Edition, they ar permitted to publish this if they wish, but I would not call this standard English, and I doubt if anyone would.

Let me go back to David Reimer's first comment about my use of the word "democratic". Of course I didn't mean to suggest that we vote on what language is acceptable. My point was that it is one of the rights and freedoms which go along with democracy that we can use whatever language or form of language we want, that no one has the right to tell us how to speak. I suppose a democratically elected government would have the right to tell us this, but it is unlikely to exercise this right.

Meanwhile Anon asked, "Even more fascinating -- could I perhaps be Peter Kirk's secret "contrary" alter ego?" Not as far as I know, Anon. But I suppose I could be writing your comments while sleepwalking. If so, I wish I retained your great knowledge of published Bible editions and of Jewish matters when I was awake. Anyway, some of your comments seem to appear while I'm awake, I think, so this does seem rather unlikely.

At Fri Sep 08, 11:37:00 AM, Blogger Sylvanus said...

Jeremy Pierce:
you asked:

'what about the parts of the Bible that were not written in holy, elevated language but were in fact written in ordinary language for their time'

I am not suggesting this, but rather that the translation should be inspiring to elevation, not that the text itself should be elevated. It is just painfull sometimes to see a translation so simplified that it not only becomes condescending but inaccurate.

At Fri Sep 08, 11:56:00 AM, Blogger anonymous said...

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At Fri Sep 08, 12:42:00 PM, Blogger Wayne Leman said...

Sylvanus wrote:

It is just painfull sometimes to see a translation so simplified that it not only becomes condescending but inaccurate.

Could you give us two or three specific examples and indicate why they are inaccurate? Maybe we can even blog about them. We have not had enough posts on inaccuracies so if you have found some, we'd like to know about them.

At Fri Sep 08, 12:46:00 PM, Blogger Wayne Leman said...

Who is left? By my reckoning, Evangelical liberals desiring a popular, non-formal translation and who are not bothered by non-standard grammar.

I think that seekers and new believers who are not familiar with church English are also left. Both sets may not yet be integrated into a theological system sufficiently yet to be categorized as evangelical, conservative, scholarly, etc., but they want to study the Bible for their spiritual benefit.

At Fri Sep 08, 04:32:00 PM, Blogger Sylvanus said...


Innacuracy has many forms, like textual or interpretative.

To me what matter the most is the end result left with the reader.

I will not criticise too much 'The message', in view of the post's guidelines, but my sentiment is strong.
Also for the sake of doctrinal flavors, I'll try to find neutral passages.

For example, after reading Romans Ch 3 from 'the Message' will you end up understanding the righteousness of God, or will you be thinking more about yourself? Will you be encouraged to know the OT or be turned toward a more secular attitude?

Rom 3:18
MSG: They never give God the time of day
KJV: There is no fear of God before their eyes.

--- It may sound good here but not every one who gives God the time of day nessecarely fear Him, or even do so before their eyes (The Fear of God goes ahead before their every action)

Luk 1:18 'Zachariah said to the angel, "Do you expect me to believe this?"'(MSG)
This should be: 'How shall I come to know this?' because greek has different words for knowledge, and the one used here is to come to an understanding through perception or experience, inside one's heart. The Bible in Basic English reflects this well: 'And Zacharias said to the angel, How may I be certain of this?'
Zacharias didn't mock the angel, but wanted to be certain (like if a vision of an angel in the Most Holy wasn't enough!).

Of course the size of this post is not enough to elaborate, but as you say, web logging errors may be benefitial. You are also welcome to place comments on my forum.

Some versions, although being a very interpretative paraphrases, are found read from the pulpit in not just a few of the churches I visit in my locality. Without judging, the scriptural food dispensed there sometimes lacks nutritional value.

At Fri Sep 08, 05:57:00 PM, Blogger yuckabuck said...

To Sylvanus,
Obviously you are not happy with some of the renderings found in The Message. As you allude to, The Message is clearly a paraphrase, as Eugene Peterson himself avers; though I have seen some evidence that the publishers may have been trying to market it as a translation. Your first comment mentions "colloquial paraphrases," so I am wondering if your comment was only referring to The Message, or are there other inacuracies that you were thinking of to be found in efforts that are more properly termed translations? I am curious.

To everyone,
Sylvanus said, "Some versions, although being a very interpretative paraphrases, are found read from the pulpit in not just a few of the churches I visit in my locality."

While I am not personally in favor of using The Message in the pulpit (being a TNIV fan), I am wondering if many preachers resort to The Message because they have not found existing translations to be as clear in expression as could be hoped? Perhaps some see The Message as some sort of compromise while they wait for Better Bibles?

At Fri Sep 08, 07:31:00 PM, Blogger anonymous said...

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At Sat Sep 09, 02:49:00 AM, Blogger Peter Kirk said...

Anon suggests that "there are quite a few translations chasing after that demographic". Which ones do you have in mind? Some, like ESV, make empty claims that they are suitable for seekers and new believers, but clearly they are not. The advantage of TNIV is that it is "chasing after that demographic" while also aiming to be fully acceptable for church use, whereas The Message for example is less so for the reasons Sylvanus has outlined.

At Sat Sep 09, 06:41:00 AM, Blogger lingamish said...

I was looking something up at the TNIV website and was quite impressed by the "Timeless Truth, Today's Language" sidebar that they have. It shows a picture of a hip-looking young person, followed by a very short testimony and how a verse from the Bible helped them. I appreciate their focus on Scripture addressing real-world problems (guidance, relationships, etc.).

At Sat Sep 09, 09:10:00 AM, Blogger anonymous said...

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At Sat Sep 09, 11:11:00 AM, Blogger Peter Kirk said...

Thanks for the list of Bibles. I am surprised to see Tanakh there, if you mean the new JPS version. And however WEB may describe itself, it is not suitable for this market. Perhaps the others are.

But TNIV has not marketed itself as a "youth Bible"; the word "youth" does not appear on the page you linked to. So your last comment is out of order. However, the group of younger (than me, at least) adults for whom it is marketed are generally well aware of the issues with the kind of language used in older Bible versions (whether or not they are aware of the actual text of these versions) and are happy to be targeted with a version with more appropriate language. And I am sure that Zondervan's very professional marketing team is aware of this. I know that some people are leaving no stone unturned to find ways to criticise TNIV, but it is rather dredging the barrel to have a go at the marketing strategy.

At Sat Sep 09, 12:25:00 PM, Blogger anonymous said...

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At Sat Sep 09, 02:41:00 PM, Blogger Peter Kirk said...

Who is patronising anyone and treating them like sheep? It seems to me that those like the the ESV publishers who claim that their version is "one Bible for all of life" are more guilty of treating people like sheep, rather than as individuals with various needs and preferences.

At Sat Sep 09, 03:00:00 PM, Blogger Sylvanus said...


Since you are a fan of the TNIV (a good translation I think), let me quote from it:

Galatians 6:4 says: 'Each of you should test your own actions. Then you can take pride in yourself, without comparing yourself to somebody else'

It seems to imply here that it may be a good idea to compare oneself with oneself, since it explains further in the verse that to compare oneself with some other selves is not good. (by explaining what is not good, it also shows what is good)

Furthermore, Cor 10:12 says: 'When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.'

Stating clearly that to those who compare themselves with themselves are not wise, hence for an unhabituated Bible reader this may seem to be a contradiction.

Here's the Greek for 2 Cor 10:12: 'alla autoi en eautoiV eautouV metrounteV kai sugkrinonteV eautouV eautoiV ou suniousin' (but they in selves, selves measuring, and comparing selves to selves, not are understanding)

At first glance, the TNIV seems correct in its rendering, but giving it a further look into, one word makes the whole difference: en. It is the custom to translate this word as 'in', but quite often it should be translated as 'among'.

So is the KJV, EMTV, Jub2000, Webster and others, render something like: 'comparing themselves among themselves'

This is by the way one of the weaknesses of the modern GENDER ACCURATE translations (where one becomes confused whether it should really read 'he that compares himself with himself' but then has been changed to be gender accurate)

Montgomery renders it more accurately: ' they are not wise in measuring themselves by one another and in comparing themselves with one another'

Although the content of my previous comments, as you rightly mentioned, was only concerned with paraphrases, fine details in real translations may also escape one's notice much too easIly.

Finally, my comments were concerned with other paraphrases or semi-paraphrases also, but yes, primarely with the 'Message'.

At Sat Sep 09, 03:31:00 PM, Blogger anonymous said...

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At Sat Sep 09, 04:47:00 PM, Blogger Peter Kirk said...

Sylvanus, you could hardly have picked a more obscure passage to comment on than 2 Corinthians 10:12. Let me just point out that this passage reads identically in NIV and TNIV, and so the form of the TNIV text here is nothing to do with gender accurate translation, but probably goes back to the exegetical and translation choices of the original NIV translators who started their work in the 1960's.

At Sat Sep 09, 05:01:00 PM, Blogger Peter Kirk said...

Anon, do you have any evidence for accusing Zondervan's vignettes of being "phony"? That's the sort of accusation which could get you into serious trouble. This may not be your favourite marketing style, it isn't mine either, but presumably it is what the professional advertising agents employed by Zondervan consider to be most suitable for their market.

If you claim that Protestantism flourished for over 300 years under KJV, I think you should look more closely at church history, and especially at what happened to Protestantism in the English speaking world in the first 80 years of KJV's life and again before it was 300 years old.

I was not insulting the intelligence of younger people but complimenting it, that they have the discernment to look for a product which meets their needs. But I was wrong to suggest that they are generally more discerning than other age groups. Most people of all age groups are discerning about their purchases, although there is a general but not at all uniform tendency for their purchasing choices to change with age.

No one is suggesting that anyone will want to throw away their TNIV when they reach 35. The TNIV target generation will continue to prefer (in very generalised terms) gender accurate language for as long as they live. Thus I would expect NIV to fade away and be replaced by TNIV over a period of several decades, that is if the publishers continue to promote both of them as they are doing now.

Thanks for reminding me that it is not only ESV which is mis-marketed. Thankfully the publishers of TNIV have had the sense to specify a target audience.

At Sat Sep 09, 05:37:00 PM, Blogger Sylvanus said...


You are right, the TNIV renders that passage the same as the NIV.
I just happened to use this version as YUCHABUCK seemed to like it, not because of the content of the other comments (sorry lingamish, yuchabuch who asked me the question did it before you brought the issue).

You are also right in saying that the TNIV text here is nothing to do with gender accurate translation. It was a 'by the way' passing general comment about misc. gender accurate translations, because I felt some bible readers favouring this form of translation may come to some habit in understanding 'they' as nearly always corrected from 'he' or 'she' as many of the authors of these use the plural instead. So to unveil some possible confusion about the particular quoted text, I felt is was interesting at that point to make a quick 'by the way' note.

As for the obscurity of the chosen verse, that is also true that I could have picked a more popular verse, such as John 1:1 or 3:3 or even 3:16, but the original intention of my first post wasn't to quote mistakes of translation, and as quoted in my third comment, I said that for the sake of doctrinal flavors, I'll try to find neutral passages.

If however you wish to discuss doctrine, I can have a really good go at it and find you something much less obscure (though I wish not do so here). I was here only trying to point to a principle.


At Sat Sep 09, 05:51:00 PM, Blogger Sylvanus said...

Besides, the point about 'in'/'among' is still valid (event if the KJV wasn't written in gender-accurate form), thus preventing any noted possible confusion.

At Sat Sep 09, 05:52:00 PM, Blogger anonymous said...

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At Sat Sep 09, 06:16:00 PM, Blogger anonymous said...

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At Sun Sep 10, 02:39:00 PM, Blogger Peter Kirk said...

Anon, now you accuse Zondervan of marketing TNIV as a "Bible for Dummies." Can you quote me a web page where this phrase is used? Or is this another unsubstantiated slur?

Yes, the TNIV OT, Proverbs 3:5-6, is indeed quoted at what comes up today on the TNIV front page. The short testimony here is not in fact dependent on the TNIV wording. However, I would expect that IBS or Zondervan did some kind of advance testing of TNIV with focus groups etc in their target audiences, and these testimonies are very likely taken from the responses of those focus groups. As for "all those crisis-fraught readers just happen to be photogenic", a skilled professional photographer can make almost anyone look photogenic. Today's model could have a hideous chin and ears, and that could be why they have been neatly cropped out of the photo.

No, I don't have any sales figures for the UK or any other countries. I would be very interested if anyone has any from any country, apart from the very misleading American "top ten" list so often quoted. All I can say is that TNIV had a significant space, but not a huge one, at the book centre at the major Christian event which I recently attended. So presumably it is doing reasonably well here, almost certainly in the top ten but then there are barely as many as ten versions sold at all in Christian book stores here.

At Sun Sep 10, 02:58:00 PM, Blogger anonymous said...

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At Sun Sep 10, 08:19:00 PM, Blogger anonymous said...

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At Mon Sep 11, 10:50:00 AM, Blogger Peter Kirk said...

Thank you for withdrawing your claim that "Zondervan markets it as a "Bible for Dummies"", in other words that "Bible for Dummies" are Zondervan's words, and making it clear that this is your own tendentious value judgment about this edition. However, I shall withdraw my deference in another comment thread to you as a greater authority than me on the syntax of English, since it is clear that you do not share even the most basic mother tongue speaker insights into English which should show you that in the sentence "Zondervan markets it as a "Bible for Dummies"" the words "Bible for Dummies" are generally understood as representing the subject of the sentence's viewpoint.

I agree with some of your criticisms of NIV and TNIV, such as "it... applies Messianic interpretations throughout the Hebrew Scriptures" (although this is significantly less true of TNIV than of NIV), and perhaps "it is inelegantly written". I am puzzled by "it deviates too much from the Masoretic text in the Heberw Scriptures" as I thought it deviated less than most other Christian translations.

On a point of information, Zondervan never "den[ied] it would proceed with the translation". Someone, I forget who, promised under duress that NIV would not be withdrawn, and this promise has been kept. Your comments about other Zondervan products are interesting, but irrelevant except that they suggest how determined you are to sling any kind of mud that you possibly can at anyone connected at all with TNIV.


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