2011 NIV in News Because of Gender Language

In this AP article, sides are taken regarding the gender language decisions for the new 2011 NIV. I voiced my concerns about this HERE. Note especially my point #2, in which I wrote:

When it comes to the gender-neutral language debate, the 2011 NIV needs satisfy the complementarian base more than the egalitarian base. I know that the verbalized goal of the CBT is to not to seek to please men or factions, of which I agree and am grateful, but the reality is that they are either going to lean toward a translation philosophy that is more in line with the egalitarian wing of the evangelical world (employing gender-neutral language) or they are going to lean toward a translation philosophy that is more in line with the complementarian wing of the evangelical world (maintaining traditional gender language). Let’s face it, the commercial risk of offending the complementarian wing is far greater than offending egalitarians. If egalitarians revolt against a traditional gender language version, they are basically revolting against 2,000 years of translation history, as well as the original languages themselves.”

8 thoughts on “2011 NIV in News Because of Gender Language”

  1. You know gender inclusive/neutral language doesn’t bother me so much. The NLT is a text I use about 40% of the time in my studies. I lead my life group and my personal studies with the NIV’84.

    I don’t trust Zondervan or the CBT on the NIV’11, I will not be purchasing a copy. I just don’t think it feels genuine. I see a publishing company more concerned about sales and competition with newer translations (ESV,NLT,HCSB, etc) so they decided to revise the ever popular NIV.

    In regards to Tyndale, like I’ve said before…with the NLT I see a genuine purpose and they’ve tapped into a new market of Bible readers because of that . When I hand a Bible out this is often my go to translation.

    I am hoping the NIV’84 will come back into print. I just think it worked better when you had two good translations like the NIV and TNIV each serving a purpose and audience within the body. Much like the ESV,NLT and HCSB do as well. Now it just seems like we have a lukewarm translation in the NIV’11.

  2. I have used the NIV since it came out (my travel Bible is the 1978 version). I’ll keep using it until they wear out them probably switch to the HCSB or any newer mediating translation that may come out.

  3. I’m still amazed by how U.S. publishers continue to churn out so many (superfluous?) English versions of the Bible. Shouldn’t one essentially literal translation and one dynamic equivalent version be enough for most Christians? That’s more than what was available to great preachers like Spurgeon in the past.

    In traveling to various countries, I’ve noticed that many people groups are either without a full Bible or limited to using a less-than-adequate archaic version. It seems that, instead of spending so much money on the development of new English Bibles, U.S. publishers should partner with Wycliffe or similar organizations into getting readable Scripture into the hands of those who need it most.

    Pastor Brett, what do you think?

  4. Tim,

    I believe I answered you in an email. But I’ll answer here again as well. It’d be interesting to compare my two answers, since they are months apart. 🙂

    A) There is much money to be made in new translations.

    B) There is much money to be saved when you are a publisher and have a Bible translation that you also own.

    You are right; we are spoiled in America compared to the rest of the world. It would be heroic if a company producing a new translation would make a lifetime commitment to put a portion of their profits made on that new translation to help fund the translation of the Bible into other languages.

    – Brett

  5. Thanks Brett! I didn’t receive your earlier message, but do appreciate your thoughts re: my comments.

    On a related note, it’s interesting how publications and websites that I read handle this issue differently. For example, my Wheaton alumni publication seems to be for the 2011 NIV (as Dr. Douglas Moo was heavily involved). On the other hand, two SBC seminary presidents, including the guy at our alma mater, have officially denounced the new translation.

  6. Tim, good to know; probably an email I wrote in my head but failed to execute, sorry abou that!

    Here is an interesting point of view I came across from perhaps a more “neutral” seminary professor. Based on his other recommendations (I’d never expect to see a conservative SBC professor recomending use of the NRSV), I take it he may be a bit more “objective” in his critique of the 2011 NIV.


  7. That’s o.k., Brett. I sometimes fail to respond to e-mails as promptly as I should, and realize how life gets busy sometimes.

    Thanks for giving me the professor’s link. At this point, it would be difficult for me to support the 2011 NIV (outside of buying one basic copy for my own collection). When will translators, Bible publishers, etc. learn that getting “blacklisted” by the evangelical establishment is not a good way to attain best-seller status?

    Blessings to you and your family,

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