Remember when the Committee on Bible Translation (CMT) introduced the Today’s New International Version (or TNIV) back in 2006? It was a new translation based on their previous work in creating the NIV that was supposed to present the biblical texts in more modern English. Their new translation took over ten years to complete and thirteen biblical scholars were a part of the team that ultimately produced the final draft.
Now they’re scrapping it and starting over again.
Apparently much of the motivation to make changes can be attributed to the controversy surrounding some of the gender neutral language of the TNIV. Conservative scholars have long argued that the gender specific verbiage of the original texts should not be tampered with. The Southern Baptist Convention even passed a resolution proclaiming that the TNIV had “gone beyond acceptable translation standards.” It is the intent of the CMT to ease some of the division caused by the TNIV by issuing a new translation.
But I suspect that there may be a profit motive here as well. With such major factions of the American Evangelical church shunning the TNIV, it’s most certainly not selling as well as the folks at Zondervan might have hoped. It would make sense then to go back to the drawing board and come up with a more agreeable alternative that will make everybody happy.
The New and Improved Today’s New International Version (not its real name) is expected to hit store shelves in 2011.
It sure is a good thing God made the Bible an open source document. We’ll get one we all like eventually. But does this make the TNIV the Windows Vista of Bible translations?