Over 100 Christian Leaders Claim that the TNIV Bible is Not Trustworthy -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood
Volume: JBMW 07:2 (Fall 2002)
Article: Over 100 Christian Leaders Claim that the TNIV Bible is Not Trustworthy
Author: Anonymous

Over 100 Christian Leaders
Claim that the TNIV Bible is Not Trustworthy

In May 2002 over 100 Christian leaders issued the following statement:

Recently, the International Bible Society (IBS) and Zondervan Publishing announced their joint decision to publish a new translation of the Bible, known as Today’s New International Version (TNIV). The TNIV makes significant changes in the gender language that is in the NIV. The TNIV raises more concern in this regard than previous Bible versions because, riding on the reputation of the NIV, the TNIV may vie for a place as the church’s commonly accepted Bible. We believe that any commonly accepted Bible of the church should be more faithful to the language of the original.

We acknowledge that Bible scholars sometimes disagree about translation methods and about which English words best translate the original languages. We also agree that it is appropriate to use gender-neutral expressions where the original language does not include any male or female meaning. However, we believe the TNIV has gone beyond acceptable translation standards in several important respects:

  • The TNIV translation often changes masculine, third person, singular pronouns (he, his and him) to plural gender-neutral pronouns. For example, in Revelation 3:20, the words of Jesus have been changed from “I will come in and eat with him, and he with me” to “I will come in and eat with them, and they with me.” Jesus could have used plural pronouns when He spoke these words, but He chose not to. (The original Greek pronouns are singular.) In hundreds of such changes, the TNIV obscures any possible significance the inspired singular may have, such as individual responsibility or an individual relationship with Christ.
  • The TNIV translation obscures many biblical references to “father,” “son,” “brother,” and “man.” For example, in Hebrews 12:7, the NIV says “Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father?” But the TNIV translates Hebrews 12:7, “Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their parents?” The reference to God as Father is lost. In numerous other verses male-oriented meanings that are present in the original language are lost in the TNIV.
  • The TNIV translation inserts English words into the text whose meaning does not appear in the original languages. For example, in Luke 17:3, the translators changed “If your brother sins, rebuke him” to “If any brother or sis...
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