Recently I purchased a “Liberty Edition” of the New International Version of the Bible. I was clueless of the fact that it had been through 2 revisions (TNIV & NIV 2011) that are both exceedingly controversial. In fact, the Southern Baptist Convention has recommended that it not be used in their churches and Zondervan stopped publishing the TNIV (Today’s New International Version) altogether because of backlash from many evangelicals. Apparently that backlash extends to their latest effort, the NIV 2011 version. A lot of the disapproval centers around the gender-neutral position the translation committee has taken in several verses.
I used the trusted NIV 1984 edition for many years and am not sure I’m ready to embrace the 2011 version. Has English really changed that much in 29 years? Is it more accurate than the 1984 edition? Perhaps. If so, maybe that’s reason enough to make the switch. I still read the KJV from time to time and have copies of several different translations in my library to look at from time to time.
I must confess that I still use the King James Version more than any other Bible because it was what my father used and many verses that I remember I memorized from the Authorized Version. But it is nice to have others to refer to. I am enjoying a parallel translation of the KJV/NKJV at present. When I get stumped by a verse of word’s meaning in the King James [not as often as one might think] I glance at the corresponding verse to the right and usually have my answer. Very convenient. Moreover, I like reading a Bible translated from manuscripts that don’t leave out verses or diminish them to a place of mere footnotes.
So, in regard to the NIV of 2011, the jury is out. I shall spend some time reading it. I completely agree that a word should be translated gender-neutral when that is the way it was intended to be in the first place. I’m not an anti-woman evangelical, by a long shot. I enjoy listening to Joyce Meyer and get a lot from her teaching -and also from Kay Arthur and other learned women of faith. Frankly, regardless of your choice in translations, I agree with Dr. Charles Stanley (a well-known NASB fan): whatever it takes. Just read it. Your thoughts?