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The NIV Bible getting an overhaul

by Brad A. Greenberg

September 2, 2009 | 1:30 pm

If God is infallible but God’s Word is translated and transliterated by fallible men ... well, then issues like this arise:

In announcing a major revision of the New International Version (NIV) of the Bible, Biblica (formerly the International Bible Society and Send The Light, or IBS-STL) CEO Keith Danby said decisions surrounding the release of the NIV inclusive language edition and the 2002 revision, Today’s New International Version (TNIV), were mistakes.

“In 1997, IBS announced that it was forgoing all plans to publish an updated NIV following criticism of the NIV inclusive language edition (NIVi) published in the United Kingdom. Quite frankly, some of the criticism was justified and we need to be brutally honest about the mistakes that were made,” Danby said. “We fell short of the trust that was placed in us. We failed to make the case for revisions and we made some important errors in the way we brought the translation to publication. We also underestimated the scale of the public affection for the NIV and failed to communicate the rationale for change in a manner that reflected that affection.”

Danby said it was also a mistake to stop revisions on the NIV. “We shackled the NIV to the language and scholarship of a quarter century ago, thus limiting its value as a tool for ongoing outreach throughout the world,” he said.

“Whatever its strengths were, the TNIV divided the evangelical Christian community,” said Zondervan president Moe Girkins. “So as we launch this new NIV, we will discontinue putting out new products with the TNIV.”

That’s from Ted Olsen of Christianity Today. Much more here:

“We are correcting the mistakes in the past,” Girkins said. “Being as transparent as possible is part of that. This decision was made by the board in the last 10 days.” She said the transparency is part of an effort to overhaul the NIV “in a way that unifies Christian evangelicalism.”

“The first mistake was the NIVi,” Danby said. “The second was freezing the NIV. The third was the process of handling the TNIV.”

Good night. At least IBS is admitting the mistakes it made and moving on appropriately. More from Cathy Grossman of USA Today, including a comparison of the NIV and English Standard Version translations of two passages.

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