Best-selling Bible to undergo revision

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John_Browning
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02 Sep 2009, 2:22 am

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090901/ap_on_re/us_rel_bible_translation
The top-selling Bible in North America will undergo its first revision in 25 years, modernizing the language in some sections and promising to reopen a contentious debate about changing gender terms in the sacred text. The New International Version, the Bible of choice for conservative evangelicals, will be revised to reflect changes in English usage and advances in Biblical scholarship, it was announced Tuesday. The revision is scheduled to be completed late next year and published in 2011.

"We want to reach English speakers across the globe with a Bible that is accurate, accessible and that speaks to its readers in a language they can understand," said Keith Danby, global president and CEO of Biblica, a Colorado Springs, Colo.-based Christian ministry that holds the NIV copyright.

But past attempts to remake the NIV for contemporary audiences in different editions have been plagued by controversies about gender language that have pitted theological conservatives against each other.

The changes did not make all men "people" or remove male references to God, but instead involved dropping gender-specific terms when translators judged that the original text didn't intend it. So in some verses, references to "sons of God" became "children of God," for example.

Supporters say gender-inclusive changes are more accurate and make the Bible more accessible, but critics contend they twist meaning or smack of political correctness.

Acknowledging past missteps, the NIV's overseers are promising that this time, the revision process will be more transparent and that they will actively promote what they describe as a long-held practice of inviting input from scholars and readers.

The NIV was first published in 1978 and more than 300 million NIV Bibles are in print worldwide; its publishers and distributors say the translation accounts for 30 percent of Bibles sold in North America.

The Committee on Bible Translation, an independent group of conservative scholars and translators formed in 1965 to create and revise the NIV, will oversee the new revision.

An effort earlier this decade to create a separate version of the NIV that used more gender-inclusive language in an attempt to reach a younger audience fell flat with groups that felt it crossed the line.

That edition, Today's New International Version, will cease publication once the new-look NIV is released, said Moe Girkins, president of Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Zondervan, its North American publisher.

"Whatever its strengths, the TNIV has become an emblem of division in the evangelical Christian world," Girkins said.

It was the TNIV that ushered in changes from "sons of God" to "children of God," or "brothers" to "brothers and sisters." In Genesis I, God created "human beings" in his own image instead of "man."

Many prominent pastors and scholars endorsed the changes. But critics said masculine terms in the original should not be tampered with. Some warned that changing singular gender references to plural ones alters what the Bible says about God's relationships with individuals.

The Southern Baptist Convention passed a resolution saying the edition "has gone beyond acceptable translation standards."

"We fell short of the trust that has been placed in us," said Danby, of Biblica. "We failed to make a clear case for the revisions."

Danby said that freezing the NIV in its 1984 state was also a mistake, however. He emphasized that in the revision, about 90 percent of the NIV will be unchanged.

Douglas Moo, a professor at Wheaton College and chairman of the Committee on Bible Translation, said the group is committed to "a complete review of every gender related change."

"I am not sure how it's going to come out," Moo said. "We have a genuine, authentic review process ... Everything is on the table."

One of the most vocal critics of gender-inclusive translations, Randy Stinson of the Louisville, Ky.-based Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, said the group supports updating the NIV. He credited organizers for their openness.

"We're still probably going to differ on the way they handle some of the gender language," Stinson said. "But we're open and anxious to see what they come up with and we're really going to be reserving judgment."

Most changes will have nothing to do with gender inclusivity, Moo said. And the TNIV provides a glimpse of likely changes: In the '84 NIV, Mary is "with child," but in the TNIV she is "pregnant." In the NIV version of Psalm 146:9, "The Lord watches over the alien." The TNIV used "foreigner" instead of "alien."



It's called the Non Inspired Version for a reason. The NKJV and the Living Bible are the closest to the original Greek and Hebrew anyway.


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mgran
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02 Sep 2009, 2:49 am

It is a poor translation, but for some reason very popular. I imagine this has more to do with increasing sales than anything else.



DolcetTones
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02 Sep 2009, 7:04 am

I always liked the word "alien" as a Biblical word.

I also always wanted to move to the USA so I could officially be referredto as a "resident alien" - something any Aspie would be proud of :lol:

The NIV is a "dynamic equivalent" translation - it's a method fraught with danger because it's always going to draw on your own biases as to what the text means. Word for word has its problems too, for example assuming you translate each word correctly,and Greek can throw up one word that can take a whole string of English words to accurately render the meaning.



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02 Sep 2009, 11:34 am

When I first moved out of my parents' house in 1993, there was a small evangelical Christian bookstore in downtown Sacramento, the type of place that put displays in the window every October saying Halloween was a Satanic holiday. I went in there one day and asked the woman what the best Bible translation was. She recommended the NKJV. I still have and use the NKJV copy I bought that day. It's sad to see that evangelicals have switched to the NIV. I think the NIV is more about politics than making an accurate translation. The King James and New King James bibles seem to have fallen out of favor, which is too bad because they are probably the best versions. When I was a kid, I used the KJV exclusively, and I was a Mormon.



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02 Sep 2009, 2:18 pm

They should read the last two verses of Revelations first...;)



DeaconBlues
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02 Sep 2009, 2:28 pm

According to Conan O'Brien, one of the changes is in the Book of Genesis:

"And on the seventh day, the LORD chillaxed."


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ruveyn
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02 Sep 2009, 3:36 pm

NIV of Isaiah

7:14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you [a] a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and [b] will call him Immanuel. [c]

Dead on Arrival. That is NOT what the Hebrew says. In the Hebrew there is no mention of virgins.

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02 Sep 2009, 7:39 pm

Rupert Murdock owns the NIV (Zondervan Press)
One of the few to claim ownership and ultimate authority on the word of God (copyright)

The Bible warns against taking away and adding to the words of God!
..more just than a brief mention.

Deuteronomy 4:2 reads: "YE SHALL NOT ADD unto the word which I command you, NEITHER SHALL YE DIMINISH ought from it . . ."

Proverbs 30:6, reads, "ADD THOU NOT unto his words . . ."

And just in case you missed it, GOD'S LAST WARNING is Revelation 22:18,19, ". . . If any man SHALL ADD unto these things. . . And if any man shall TAKE AWAY FROM THE WORDS of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life. . ."

And Jesus Christ, in Luke 8:12, gives a clear aim of Satan, ". . . then cometh the devil, and TAKETH AWAY the word . . ."

The NIV completely "TAKETH AWAY" 17 verses!

The NIV "TAKETH AWAY" 64,576 words!

Not surprisingly, The NIV perverts Romans 1:25 from "CHANGED the truth of God INTO a lie" to "EXCHANGED the truth of God FOR a lie"!

Make Rupert Murdock your God, and you will have his permission to go to his heaven.
All for only $19.95…but wait…that’s not all.
Rupert Murdock is of Jewish descendence, he has given the Catholics millions of dollars to incorporate his books, and he has made billions as a result. That was a long time ago, and the word of God needs more money now. So God has spoken again, this time the new version must replace the old antique version, for only $24.95, you can renew your proof of his power and your ticket to heaven.



pakled
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03 Sep 2009, 7:34 pm

Revalations verses already mentioned, but hey, at least someone looked them up...;)



richie
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06 Sep 2009, 6:51 pm

There is an expression which says "God is in the details..." The NIV misses out on many important details.
I'll stick with the King James version.


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Ambivalence
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07 Sep 2009, 4:13 am

That Isaiah 7:14 is interesting, it says "virgin" in various English translations (including the AB) and Latin, but not in French (Louis Segond) or German (Luther), which say "young woman", which (so far as the internet will tell me) is what it says in Hebrew.


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Douglas_MacNeill
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07 Sep 2009, 1:39 pm

I use the New Revised Standard Version exclusively; so there, :tongue:



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07 Sep 2009, 1:57 pm

Ambivalence wrote:
That Isaiah 7:14 is interesting, it says "virgin" in various English translations (including the AB) and Latin, but not in French (Louis Segond) or German (Luther), which say "young woman", which (so far as the internet will tell me) is what it says in Hebrew.


Hebrew word for virgin - b'tulah (transliterated into latin alphabet)
Hebrew word for young woman of marriageable age -- almah. (transliterated)

Almah is the word in Is. 7:14

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07 Sep 2009, 4:29 pm

The King James version was the NIV of it's day... a team of scholars was assembled with the task of making one master translation that was as true to the original as possible... unfortunately, the problems of accurate translation can let the politics of the day seep into the meaning of the text...

In sixteenth century England, "the lord" was a real person, the lord of the manor or the estate where the serfs lived and worked. Where the King James version tells one to give 10% of his increase to the lord, this is actually a law of taxation upon the peasants to pay tribute to their respective lords... the sexual politics of the sixteenth century also feature prominently in the King James version, especially when it comes to the meaning of the word "virgin"... In ancient hebrew society, a woman was a virgin until marriage, but her uncle had the right to "test the goods" as it were, and the child would remain a virgin... there are many references to and rules about pedophilia in the Talmud, which does not recognise a very young person (or an arab) to be fully human...

Unfortunately, unless you become fluent in the ancient languages and study the originals, you're not reading an unadulterated bible...



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07 Sep 2009, 7:32 pm

Douglas_MacNeill wrote:
I use the New Revised Standard Version exclusively; so there,


You would be better off learning Hebrew, Aramaic and Koine Greek if you feel you have to read these Old Books of Tales.

I read the TNKH in the Hebrew and Aramaic. I don't have to put up with the special agendas of the translators.

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mgran
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08 Sep 2009, 2:53 am

Ambivalence wrote:
That Isaiah 7:14 is interesting, it says "virgin" in various English translations (including the AB) and Latin, but not in French (Louis Segond) or German (Luther), which say "young woman", which (so far as the internet will tell me) is what it says in Hebrew.
The word "virgin" is an interesting word in English, actually. It comes from a Latin root meaning man. The theory behind the word is that a woman who hasn't had sex is more virtuous than a woman who has had sex, and therefore she is more like a "man."

Anyhow, that aside, the Hebrew for Isaiah 7:14 is indeed "ha almah", which has connotations of young woman, nowadays we would say teen, someone just on the brink of puberty. So, a fourteen or fifteen year old say.

The very first translation of the word into another language, in the Septuagint, does translate the word to mean "virgin" in the Greek, and that was translated by a panel of seventy (perhaps odd) Jews who were steeped in the Scriptures. But the word "virgin" that they used didn't come with all the baggage that our English word "virgin" comes with. It is more like the German word "Jungfrau", which has connotations similar to the English word "Maiden."

In other words a maiden is someone defined first by her youth and her gender, and it is taken for granted that she's also "virtuous." (there's another word with the Latin root for man... women can't be "virtuous" by themselves!)

If you hear the English word maiden, you don't primarily think "virgin", but the sense is in there as a layer of meaning. The same thing happens in many languages with word cluster surrounding girls on the verge of womanhood. The problem with translating the word "almah" as virgin is that virginity becomes the defining characteristic of the maid. It obviously wasn't. It was implied, or the Septuagint would have used another word ... but the point is that even if it was culturally implied or expected that the maid would be a virgin, it wasn't the obsession to the original author or the autograph, or the first translation, that it later became.