Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Updates coming to the NIV

Apparently, the TNIV (or more accurately, "New Gelded Version" or "NGV") will also be removed from publication when the new NIV comes out. Count me as nervous; are they really removing the "NGV" because of poor sales, or because they're going to "nudge" the "real" NIV towards where the "NGV" is today?

I hope that it's the former, not the latter, but reality is that the history of the NIV (including changing "Sarah" to "Abraham" in Heb. 11:11, if I remember right) does not inspire confidence in the translators. If you want an object lesson in the importance of translation methods, look at the history of the NIV/NIrV/NGV.

I'll be sticking with the KJV, NKJV, and ESV myself for this very reason.

Another big reason; if I cannot understand a Bible translation with a copyright date of 1984, how can I possibly hope to understand ANYTHING written at that time or before? If we wonder why it's important to read old books, we need look no further than this.


W.B. Picklesworth said...

The church where I am interning uses the ESV. I wasn't familiar with it before, but I've quickly grown to like it.

However, the biggest problem with the Bible and the church isn't translation or lack of language comprehension. It's lack of spiritual comprehension or outright disinterest. A new translation just isn't going to address those issues. There needs to be a massive heart change in the American church. We seem not to know how sickly we are, how slothful and vain.

Gino said...

i think everybody would be well served if the douay reims were in all churches, even the heretical protestant ones. ;)

its such a beautiful use of the english language, and more accurate,as well.

Gabrielle Eden said...

I like the ESV too. I say Amen to what you said about old books!

Stephen said...

The reason for updating the NIV is not because people can't understand text written twenty-five years ago, because of course people can read books from the eighties and understand them. The reason is that language changes, and the English of 2009 is different from the English of the 1980s, or the 1950s, or the 1610s. We want Bible translations to be accurate, but without getting into too much translation philosophy, we also want Bible translations that reflect the English of right now. There are already plenty of barriers to sharing the Gospel, so we don't need language to be one more.

Bike Bubba said...

Stephen, just as big an obstacle to evangelism is the tendency to jump and change the text every time the Department of Women's Studies barks, and to obscure the text even when it refers to the Godhead.

Sorry, I don't buy it. One of the biggest boons to evangelism in this country is that even uneducated people who have never darkened the door of a church can echo the cadences of the KJV. We move away from "essentially literal" translation at our peril.