Tuesday, September 01, 2009

A New Bible Translation?

Bible translators are hard at work on an updated revision of the popular New International Version of the Bible. The new version, which is scheduled to be released in 2011, will surely generate some debate as the last new translation of the NIV, Today's New International Version, caused an uproar in some circles as a result of its gender inclusive language.

USA Today writer, Cathy Lynn Grossman, comments on the controversy:
"Just like the NIV, [the T-NIV] was based on deep scholarship, commitment to clarity and accessibility, but translators also took a so-called "gender accurate" approach that they say eliminated masculine or feminine nouns and pronouns that were unsupported by original manuscripts.

But the T-NIV was greeted with horror by traditionalists. And 118 scholars signed a letter of criticism saying it undermined the essential trustworthiness of the Bible.

"People memorize the Bible. They pray on it. They want to trust every word," says a leading critic at the time, Wayne Grudem, author of The TNIV and the Gender-Neutral Bible Controversy and a professor of the Bible and theology at Phoenix Seminary in Scottsdale, Ariz.

"The T-NIV is very divisive. It's not a unifying translation. And it was poorly handled in the marketplace. We need to undo the damage," says Maureen (Moe ) Girkins, president of Zondervan.

The T-NIV will be taken off the market when the new Bible is released."
As with any modern translation of the Bible in English, there will be debate over the choice of words. Though many in America consider the King James Version of the Bible to be the only true version, the reality is that the KJV is, itself, a translation of the original text, which was written in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek.

Modern translations of the Bible attempt to put God's Word in language that is common to its readers. However, translators that change the true meaning of words or phrases in order to suit their own culturally influenced perspectives are treading on dangerous turf. It will be interesting to see how this new version of the NIV is received.

1 comment:

jeffkramerak said...

No matter what the translation, we must be careful that the true MEANING is not tainted, or changed…we cannot add or take away words, lets not forget what it says in the last book of Revelations.