Friday, November 12, 2010

Trusted by Leaders

The ESV has revamped its website with a new motto "trusted." In particular, it is trusted by leaders.

When the TNIV was launched in 2002, only a few weeks passed (comment #8) before the ESV editor responded with a full scale negative attack, and soon following that, a leaders' statement of concern was signed that the TNIV was not "sufficiently trustworthy." Now we see that same rhetoric, that the ESV is "trusted" and by implication, other Bibles are not.

This time the new websites for both Crossway and ESV were ready within a week of the Biblegateway publication online of the new NIV.

My prediction is that the NIV 2011 will never become a trusted Bible for complementarians due to its translation of the gender verses, Rom. 16:1-2, Rom. 16:7, Eph. 5:21-22, 1 Tim. 2:12, 1 Cor. 11:10, and Phil. 2:29. In addition to this, the NIV lacks footnotes that are to women's detriment, in Gen. 3:16, and adds a few, 1 Cor. 14:34, which are to their benefit. The paragraphing of 1 Cor. 14 also causes concern for some complementarians.

The NIV2011 is almost identical to the KJV in these gender verses, so there is no reason at all that a complementarian could not in good conscience use the NIV 2011. However, I have seen that many complementarians prefer to use a Bible which has been modified in the direction of their own doctrine.

I continue to believe that the KJV has been the only Bible which has unified Christians across the spectrum. I cannot think of any other Bible which has had such a wide appeal. It truly was trusted, in spite of the fact that it has its own quirks. If you are looking for a translation which is faithful to the Greek, for the gender verses, I continue to recommend the KJV, and by extension, the NIV2011.


Peter Kirk said...

Suzanne, it is hardly surprising that Crossway and the ESV promoters had something up their sleeves to respond to the announcement of the NIV 2011. After all they are in it to sell as many Bibles as possible, even if they are not supposed to be profit making. What we should welcome is that they are not doing it by attacking other versions. Indeed I suspect a deliberate policy here to avoid the accusations of negativity and divisiveness which must have hurt them concerning TNIV. Now we can hardly expect these people to endorse NIV 2011, but it is good that they don't condemn it.

Donald Johnson said...

The KJV was rejected by the Puritans as it appeared to cater too much to the Church of England to them, as the CoE paid for it.

I reconized many familiar comp faces in the ESV Trusted promo.

I like the ESV except for the gender verses, where they are untrustworthy due to their masculinist slant.

Rod said...

Suzanne, the best way to combat this form of ridiculous Christendom, is, well, humor:

Let's bring back the LXX!

EricW said...

Let's bring back the LXX!


Mara Reid said...

But who will teach me how to read it?

I watched "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" with my youngest daughter last night. She was too little to understand it when it first came out.

Cute movie. The main character was made to go to Greek school instead of brownies.

I wish I could go to LXX school.

Mark said...

Hi Suzanne,

I'm not sure your totally justified to criticise the criticisers of the TNIV or NIV :)

I've recently being doing some work on the book or Romans and both my professor in that class as well as NT Wright who i have been studying secondarily, have many issues with the NIV translations of texts just in that book alone.

The NIV issues extend far beyond the 'gender' texts so i think the critics are justified in their response.

Suzanne McCarthy said...

The NIV issues extend far beyond the 'gender' texts so i think the critics are justified in their response.

Curiously the ESV is particularly irregular and non literal in only a few respects, in the area of gender and in Christology in the OT I believe as well.

The problem is that those who dislike the NIV do not recommend the NRSV which is better on the gender issue. I don't think it is possible to tell what the underlying gender meaning is in Greek in the ESV. Basically, the editors have played with gender so much it is impossible to tell the meaning of many verses.

Michelle said...

Wow. This does make clear for me a change that occurred in a church I was just able to leave. Free Bibles have been available for a few years for those who do not have one. They're sitting outside the sanctuary: You can pick one up as you go in, and it's yours to keep.

I noticed not long before leaving that church that the version avathe ESV. Along with the church's recent strong push toward SOFT complementarianism, this now makes sense to me. :-( I feel even worse now for the people who are still there.