Changes coming for NIV


It is one of the most popular translations around. I use it myself for preaching, teaching, and personal reading. I’m not alone, so upon hearing of the upcoming changes in the NIV I took notice.

If the changes relate to gender inclusive language rather than “man” or “brothers” when such indicates, then I am in favor of them. Most of the time I read the passage with that understanding, especially since I am addressing both men and women in the pews. However, I am not in favor of gender inclusive language for God. There is a difference in how the Divine reveals as God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Even so, God is Spirit and we should not press the male analogies too far to conclude that God is literally a male.

I’ve been known to consult several translations about different passages, and do my best to translate the verses from the Greek or Hebrew on occasion. Each one offers a different perspective. Hearing about the latest changes upcoming to the NIV reminded me of those who hold on aggressively to the good old 1611 King James Version. Some churches insist upon this one translation for study and public reading. My wife Lori told me of a time she visited a church like this with her NIV, and how people looked at her strangely upon hearing this translation from her mouth. The poetry and prose of KJV is commendable but there isn’t a last word on translations, and if  the New(er) International Version offers some help with gender language then I’ll be interested in seeing it.


2 thoughts on “Changes coming for NIV

  1. I used the NIV for over 20 years, then switched to the TNIV when it came out. I don’t know any of the original languages, and so have to rely on scholars who translate them into English. From all the research I’ve done on the TNIV, it does a great job clarifying gender in modern English, as well as updating many other passages. I was wondering if you had any experience with it? By the way, I read your blog regularly and gain great insights from your thoughts. Thanks.

  2. I haven’t used the TNIV very much; I have a NT that was given to me at a conference of some kind which was a few years ago. But I usually will read the NIV with the inclusiveness, so I’ll be curious to see what the differences are in ’11.

    Thanks for dropping by again.

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