Thursday, September 3, 2009

The NIV 2011 - 95% TNIV? - Reflections

The dust is settling (a little) and tempers are cooling (by a degree or two at least). Zondervan and Biblica are emphasizing that they want this process to be a transparent one and not to fall prey to allegations of another "stealth Bible" production. For that they are to be commended. Scot McKnight is reassuring readers of his blog by emphasizing the words of Doug Moo that the NIV 2011 will be 95% what the TNIV looks like. Moo also said the NIV 2011 will be 80% what the 1984 NIV looked like (but the TNIV differs from the 1984 edition by only about 7%). So now I'm confused. Moo says on the webcast that it is "very hard to determine right now" what the relationship will be to previous editions including the TNIV. But if the 95% number is even close then it seems the TNIV is by no means going out of print. Depending on how you look at this the press release could have easily read something like this: "Biblica and Zondervan have announced today they will revise the TNIV by about 5% and rename it the NIV ending the production of the old frozen 1984 edition of NIV." But if we think the current controversy is bad that would have been publishing nightmare. Maureen "Moe" Girkins, President and CEO of Zondervan, made it clear in the webcast that the 1984 edition of the NIV and the TNIV will be phased out once production of the NIV 2011 is in full swing. I think we need to take them at their word--this is a revision of the NIV. The NIV will serve as the mother text not the TNIV. But Moo did say in the webcast that some of the TNIV changes will find their way into the NIV 2011. I hope so. I was quite happy with many of them.

What concerns many of the fans of the TNIV is what will happen with the translation of the gender related passages. A number of questions were raised about this on the webcast. Moo stated that they will do a "complete review of every gender related change since the publication of the 1984 edition." The issue, he said, is "back on the table." This is troublesome for many since they don't want this revision to be a step backward. I can respect their concerns. Moo made it clear that they want input from scholars and readers alike. So, speak now or forever hold your peace! Moe emphasized how much they want this 2011 edition to unify evangelicalism. May God bless their efforts.

On a side note the Scripture Zealot is providing a "roundup of links" on the issue and will continue to add to it. It's worth a visit for those wanting more information.

1 comment:

John Dyer said...

FYI: I've posted a summary of the changes here: