Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Not Ready to Make Judgment on New NIV

Monday I fired up the Bible Gateway site to look up Prov 2:7 in some other versions. I knew what the NIV said, but what about the NASB, the ESV, etc.? To my surprise the NIV that came up didn't say what I thought it said.

I had wandered into the NIV update zone. Last updated in 1984, the new NIV kicked into gear on Monday, Nov 1. My understanding is that the physical Bible won't come out until next year.

And there appear to be changes. In the course of my study the last couple days, 4 of the 5 verses I needed to look up had been changed. Two examples include the following:

Prov 2:7a (Old NIV)
He holds victory in store for the upright,

(New NIV)
He holds success in store for the upright,

Acts 4:12 (Old NIV)
Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.

(New NIV)
Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.

One change that really threw me off today was Heb 11:11:

Heb 11:11 (Old NIV)
By faith Abraham, even though he was past age--and Sarah herself was barren--was enabled to become a father because he considered him faithful who had made the promise.

(New NIV)
And by faith even Sarah, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because she considered him faithful who had made the promise.

Is this verse about Abraham or Sarah? All other translations I checked (KJV, NASB, ESV, NLT) agree with the new NIV. Two of my (favorite) commentaries (William Lane and F. F. Bruce), note the difficulty of translating this verse, and both agree with the Old NIV for a variety of reasons I won't go into here.

What other changes have been made? I'm going to check some verses right now, live as I write this blog. (Exciting, huh!?)

Let's start with the grand-daddy verse of them all, John 3:16. ... OK, no change.

How about 1 Peter 2:24? ... One change. "Tree" is changed to "cross."

What else? Let me saunter over to 1 Corinthians 1:30. ... No change.

How about Psalm 16:11? No change.

Matthew 6:25-27? Only slight changes in 27 from Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? to Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

Well, it remains to be seen what other changes have been made. Maybe grist for another post.

The 2010 NIV does present a frustration and a dilemma to me. The frustration is the fact I have memorized many verses from the 1984 NIV. The dilemma is whether to buy a new 1984 NIV as mine is beginning to wear out, or do I wait for the 2010 NIV next year. I don't see the church replacing our NIV pew Bibles any time soon. Hmmm.


RobHu said...

I thought you and your readers might find it useful to know that I’ve just put up some pages that show how similar the NIV2011 is to the NIV1984 and the TNIV. My pages also show each verse where the NIV2011 differs from the NIV1984 or the TNIV in an easily read / clear manner.

The pages are online @

I’d appreciate any comments or suggestions if anyone has any. Please either email me or leave a comment on my blog post

Thank you,

Kevin Jackson said...

I do like the change for Romans 12:1 (gender neutrality aside).

Old: ...offer your bodies as living sacrifices...

New: ...offer your bodies as a living sacrifice.

We are corporately a sacrifice, and that thought is better captured with the update (and is also consistent with the ESV, NASB, etc)

Anonymous said...

Dear Kent, I know new Bible translations can be helpful. I have sometimes been somewhat leery of new translations. [At least until I've had a chance to chek them over and / or learn form other fundamentals who have already done so.]
I believe the Scriptural teaching of Ephesians 4:13 is aimed at that of 1 Corinthians 15:22.
This is not because I do not think the Church is capable. But sometimes you can smell a pig pen long before you enter the farmer's fruitful vineyard such as THE NEW WORLD TRANSLATION by the "Jehovah's Witnesses." Although, I do not compare the NIV to The New World Translation by any means of the thought!
(The "J.W's," incidenttally, do claim themselves to be "the true church." Well, They're certainly not "Jesus'" witnesses, as they would have to admit in denying His Jehovah- deity: Acts 1:8; 4:12; Romans 1:4; 9:5; 1 Timothy 6:16 with Exodus 33:18-23 And the claiming to be "the true church" with all but 144,000 of Christ's Bride left behind on earth is totally unlike Jehovah in dividing THE BODY, 1 Corinthians 10:17).

Anonymous said...

* But I do not agree with newer translations that make an attempt to render the Bible "gender neutral." (And I do not what stance the NIV has taken concerning that.) But such translations seem to be changing prominence from ABRAHAM, "THE FATHER OF THE FAITHFUL" doctrine by throwing the focus to Sara, his wife, that, I believe, is a serious error. Abraham is a type of Christ, "the Author and Finisher of our Faith. Such a translation throws the focus to the femenine gender of believers, being in leadership instead of Christ (Hebrews 5:9; 12:2). Such is not Scriptural. This is because it changes the masculine representation of God, the Son. Such Bible translators should reconsider. That's like trying to change positive and negative from being opposite into one. Or it's an attempt to present a matriarchate-led kingdom. Much of heathen worship is based on such. The husband is MALE; his bride is FEMALE. The husband is strong, and the bride week, respectively. Or it's like trying to make the two poles of a magnet into one equal pole. It will NEVER HAPPEN. Opposites attract, period! But likes repel. And as one unit, dislikes NEVER will be enjoined!
Typically, for example, a woman should not be at the head of the local body of believers, i.e., The Church of Christ. Christ is male and the Church is THE BRIDE OF CHRIST, (Revelation 19:7); And, therefore, the Chruch of Christ is already female. Holy matrimony is a type of Christ and His Church, i.e., male and female and/or bride and groom. All divorce breaks that spiritual type (Romans 7:1 ff and Ephesians 5:32). While God does use the Gospel, truly preached, anywhere, by either gender. Most churches in history have sought to put a man at the top of its hierarchy both in missionary lands and in America (at least until more recent times). Thus, let it be said: A WOMAN cannot be THE HUSBAND OF ONE WIFE, as the Scriptures teach must be the case for top church hierarchy (1 Timothy 3:2 and Titus 3:6)!
Kent, in short I agree with the observations and comments of the Southern Baptist Convention about gender-neurtal translations such as the TNIV and the NIV of 2005 by Zondervan." In essence the S.B.C. said the translators went beyond trying to clarify meaning. "They have an agenda-to attempt to force egalitarian and even feminist perspectives on readers in the name of translation," they said. "This is spin city if [we] ever saw it. Many evangelical scholars do not buy it for a moment." Also, Kent, in order to render the TNIV "Bible" "gender accurate," there were 45,000 "changes," to do so! --Dad
P.S. According to "Dr. Kenneth Barker, a member of the TNIV translation team, said evangelicals looking for a feminist agenda in the new Bible are misguided. Using standard Greek-Hebrew lexicons and dictionaries, his team changed passages only where the text meant to include both men and women, he said. Guidelines used for the TNIV are the same as used by the American Bible Society and Wycliffe Bible Translators.
They differ, however, from the anti-inclusive Colorado Springs Guidelines drawn up in 1997 by James Dobson of Focus on the Critics charge that Zondervan changed its mind on sticking to those guidelines. Zondervan says it refused to sign on in the first place because it had already published gender-accurate Bibles."