Why the NIV 2011?

An excellent, even-handed video sermon advocating a gender-neutral translation - like the NIV 2011. Some good, practical insight on translation philosophies - even if you disagree. The Pastor explains why they chose NIV 2011 over the ESV. 

See also Doug Moo on translation philosophy

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Mark_Smith's picture

I appreciated this video.

In thinking about the primary verse that people use against the NIV2011, 1 Timothy 2:12, and discussing it with my wife, I noted this. The NIV2011 says a woman may not "assume authority over a man". The ESV says "exercise authority". Now clearly the ESV is more restrictive. If a woman can't exercise authority over a man at all, then there is no general leadership role for a woman in the church. The NIV2011 is said to be more modern in saying a woman may not assume authority, but if she is given authority by a man, that might be allowed. I then looked at the KJV and it says "usurp authority". Now that floors me. That seems to me to suggest that woman may not usurp authority, but if it is given, that would be ok. I presume though that historically this phrase was interpreted to be that men rule by default, and any woman exercising authority has usurped it from a man. BUt, that is not strictly what the KJV reads as.

Mark_Smith's picture

Two things concerned me about the video. These are not substantive to the content.

1- Why do people want their pastors to wear jeans and a t-shirt. That just bugs me.

2- The pastor repeatedly apologized for going too deep in this lesson. I didn't think it was that deep at all. It covered important information. The fact that he thinks his congregation is concerned that this lesson is too deep spells big trouble for the American church.

TylerR's picture

Editor

I thought it was an excellent example of how to present this difficult topic in a helpful, engaging and accessible way. 

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

Mark_Smith's picture

He did a great job. I knew all of the material but I felt like I learned something. That is good teaching.

Jay's picture

Interestingly enough, I started reading this book this weekend - HCSB: Navigating the Horizons in Bible Translations.  I have really appreciated it so far, and especially the way in which the editors are presenting the background for how they made the decisions that they did in terms of text, translation technique, bible version history, etc.  It's free, and well worth the read.  I've been very 'pro-ESV' in the past, but lately it seems like I've found little things or places where they chose an (IMO) inferior rendering and I've gotten to the point where I'm open to recommending another translation for people who are looking, even though it seems like a lot of people I know are have moved to it and are satisfied. 

I'm interested in watching this message but can't tie myself to the internet for that long.  Does anyone know if this message is downloadable?

Mark said this in the first post:

The NIV2011 says a woman may not "assume authority over a man". The ESV says "exercise authority". Now clearly the ESV is more restrictive. 

Personally, I think I would opt for the NIV rendering there over the ESV.  The NIV is clearer that women should not have any assumed authority over men within the church, but the ESV (again) seems to be weaker here in that women simply may not "exercise" it.  It may be hairsplitting, but I think that the NIV translation is better because it is broader and easier to understand in this case. Is there anyone else out there that feels the same way?

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Mark_Smith's picture

I'm trying to be clear about your position. Can a woman have authority in the church over men if she is given it by a pastor, for example?

The ESV says no, a woman may not exercise any authority over a man. The NIV says a woman may not "assume" authority, which can be interpreted as allowing a woman to exercise authority if she is given it.

Jay's picture

I see your point, Mark.  That is a good question and a weakness in the NIV as well.

My response, however is that a truly biblically grounded pastor would know that giving authority over men to a woman would violate the teaching of Paul in 1 Cor. 11:2-4, 14:34-40, and in other places.  I would make an exception for women having authority over groups of minors (Children's choir, AWANA, etc). 

 

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

pvawter's picture

I found the "sermon" to be weak and poorly argued. The examples that he chose did not in fact support his position, nor is his adoption of the NIV consistent with his reasoning for rejecting other possible translations. I don't have time to spell it the details of my complaint right now, but I will try to get back on later and do so.

Bert Perry's picture

http://www.worldmag.com/2013/12/a_fair_analysis_of_the_new_niv/page3

Apparently the big issue is mistranslation of gender specific words.  This is especially the case as Biblica has actually renamed the TNIV (the infamous "New Gelded Version" of a few years back that really pulled out the stops on gender neutrality) as the "NIV."  So apparently there are two translations going by the same name these days without the clarity of labeling it "1984" or "2011".  

That said, having tried to minister to teens who had a lot of trouble reading, I can tolerate a certain amount of this kind of thing if only they get something at their reading level.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.