Missouri Synod on 2011 NIV: "inappropriate ... to be generally recommended to the laity of our church."

Denny Burk: Lutheran Church Missouri Synod on 2011 NIV

We find the NIV’s Committee on Bible Translation decision to substitute plural nouns and pronouns for masculine singular nouns and pronouns to be a serious theological weakness and a misguided attempt to make the truth of God’s Word more easily understood. The use of inclusive language in NIV 2011 creates the potential for minimizing the particularity of biblical revelation and, more seriously, at times undermines the saving revelation of Christ as the promised Savior of humankind.

AttachmentSize
PDF icon CTCR-on-NIV-2011.pdf106.36 KB
4604 reads

There are 14 Comments

Paul J. Scharf's picture

I agree wholeheartedly with that paragraph, and could not have said it better.

Church Ministries Representative for the Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry

James K's picture

When people can use a real translation, I am at a loss that anyone would use the NIV.  It is like choosing McDonald's when you could have gone to a steakhouse.  That is something my kids might do now that I think about it.

1 Kings 8:60 - so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD is God and that there is no other.

jimfrank's picture

Crossway, the publishers of the English Standard Version, couldn't buy better advertising.

Ed Vasicek's picture

jimfrank wrote:

Crossway, the publishers of the English Standard Version, couldn't buy better advertising.

 

Jim,  you are right about that.  We replaced the NIV with ESV, but our people are still hanging on to their old 1984 NIV.

 

The reason people liked the NIV was because it is simpler to understand and reads like other stuff in English.  Even the ESV uses some antiquated ways of putting things, like "forsake me not" rather than "do not forsake me."  Who talks like that? But it still is the better choice.

"The Midrash Detective"

Dave Gilbert's picture

...in any version to anyone, seeings as it is a product of Dynamic Equivalency. The 2011 "Inclusive translation" seems just more of the same ( man's words and what he thinks God is saying ) and further spirals away from what I believe are God's very words. In addition, I've done the satisfying and rewardingly hard work on understanding the 16th and 17th century English embodied in the Reformation-era translations and have arrived at a translation I will use the rest of my life...barring something at least as faithful and well-researched: The Authorized Version, commonly referred to here in America as the "King James" version.

 

Simpler to understand is one thing...but accuracy plays the largest part in why I choose a translation overall. In addition, what is it with all these translations the last 50 years? Is there a need, or are publishers just trying to make money on "the new and interesting"? I suspect the latter.

 

Dave.

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

Dave,

Isn't the NASB a more technically accurate (some say woodenly) word for word translation into English than the KJ? 

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

Dave Gilbert's picture

But I've used the KJV for so long I don't care to change now.

I also tend to stay away from the new translations due more to what appears to be a manuscript problem...the way I see it, I don't care for what's added, missing and/or changed when comparing the new ones to the Reformation ones. Too many verses have been left out, marginalized or otherwise changed for my liking. For being 400 years old, the KJV was good enough to be God's word for all that time, and now, for instance in the NASB, 1 John 5:7 is missing, John 1:18 changes "Son" to "God" and more. I found this to be an interesting article: http://www.maranath.ca/NASV.HTM

 

This is indicative of an error somewhere, whether in manuscripts used or people deciding what should be in the text. At any rate, I know Elizabethan English and have been using the KJV since 1978. I see no reason to switch now, not when I came to Christ and did so much learning and memorization from it.

 

Dave.

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

barring something at least as faithful and well-researched

I was just wondering on the basis of this part of your statement. It seems you are not impressed by any of the scholarship that might contradict or move beyond what was available and accomplished in 1611.

 

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

Larry's picture

Moderator

Interestingly, Don Carson said the NIV 2011 is the best current English translation.

James K's picture

Carson isn't the strongest advocate of the complimentarian position.  His support given to the NIV then would be spurious.

1 Kings 8:60 - so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD is God and that there is no other.

Dave Gilbert's picture

Chip Van Emmerik wrote:

barring something at least as faithful and well-researched

I was just wondering on the basis of this part of your statement. It seems you are not impressed by any of the scholarship that might contradict or move beyond what was available and accomplished in 1611.

 

 

That's correct. I'm not impressed by the scholarship of the Church at-large with its fragmentation of denominations and ever-worsening compromise with man's understanding vs. Scripture. Today's moral decay and level of compromise are at an all-time high and only getting worse IMO. To me, the process of translation known as "Dynamic Equivalency" that is embodied in the NIV and other similarly done translations ( The Amplified, The Message, The New Living Translation, Good News For Modern Man, etc ) simply substitutes what man thinks God is saying, rather than the very words of God.

 

I view the TR and Masoretic texts as the most trustworthy, and the scholars of the Reformation era ( particularly those of England during the timeframe after Mary, Queen of Scots was deposed ), as superior to anything we have today. Those in particular include many from both Cambridge and Oxford, with a few from other institutions. Keep in mind that these scholars existed prior to the present age of apostasy we see so clearly now, as well as appearing to have a great fear of mishandling God's very words. I have some doubt about most of today's scholars, and whether or not they can be trusted to objectively fear God and faithfully translate His word without money or other factors weighing into the process.

 

Also, contrasting the Reformation era with most of today's scholars ( which appear to have bought into the idea of liberal textual criticism and seem to work mainly for different publishing houses ), I tend to distrust anything coming out of the private sector.  In addition, I find the idea that a translation prepared for the express purpose of delivery to the people of God, yet be copy written, as disgusting, proprietary and focused on one thing: money...and we know what the love of money can lead to. On a personal note, I did well in English courses throughout my life's education ( much of it public schools ) and have a very good handle on Comprehension; But when a translation based on supposedly accurate texts sometimes reads completely different, or adds to or leaves out words and verses that were commonly accepted by the churches at-large since the Reformation, I have a problem accepting that translation as accurate and faithful.

 

I personally don't buy into textual criticism, either, and I feel there's no need for a new translation in English. Barring that, a straight revision of the current KJV  ( carrying modern language straight over from the text of the 1769 edition of the Authorized Version ) would be in my best interests. In my opinion, most of the translations today are based on a "fluid" ( UBS / Nestle's constantly changing editions ) set of Greek compilations or a very narrow set of manuscripts ( the so-called Critical Text, much narrower than even the TR / Traditional / Byzantine type texts ) and are not to be trusted.

 

Finally, "contradicting or moving beyond what was available and accomplished in 1611" doesn't concern me, as I feel that the same Bible available ( and the result of very careful scholarship, God-fearing translation and was done at the pinnacle of the Reformation era ) when my great, great, great grandfather was a child, is God's word in English and quite good enough for me to use until I go to meet the Lord.

 

When I compare what the KJV says to today's ever-changing and increasingly proprietary translations done by competing publishing houses ( that have the nerve to copy write God's word ), I not only get confused, I start to suspect something greater at work than just man trying to get at the truth. At today's feverish pitch, one would think that finally, we can have an English translation that's good enough to stand the test of time...apparently not, as there are, on average, at least 20 differing English translations available on the market...with only one still in print that doesn't carry a proprietary copy write and can be used in print without at least a nodding approval by a particular publishing house.

 

Use whatever translation you wish, sir, but I've already arrived at what I will use for the rest of my life.

 

Respectfully in Christ,

 

Dave Gilbert.

 

 

Larry's picture

Moderator

Huh? Carson isn't "the strongest advocate of the complimentarian [sic] position" so "His support given to the NIV then would be spurious"? Hmm ... That argument will need some development, I think.

But regardless of Carson's view on complementarianism (which is actually pretty strong, if I recall correctly), his knowledge of Greek is fairly strong. And being fairly fluent in several different languages, he is also relatively knowledgeable about translation. So when you know Greek and know translation (which is two more things than most people know), it may be a challengeable view, but it certainly isn't spurious.

James K's picture

Who knows why he said that, if in fact he said that.  I would like to see the quote.  As much as I like Carson, and I like him a lot, I can simply say this is a poor choice on his part.  I didn't mean that it is bogus that he claimed it.  I meant it is a bogus claim.

1 Kings 8:60 - so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD is God and that there is no other.

Ed Vasicek's picture

The NIV was revised before as TNIV, (Today's NIV) and that had an egalitarian bias.  It was generally rejected and did not sell well, so it was pulled from the market.

I could live with this newest revision of NIV, but you have to ask "what's next?"  The TNIV example demonstrates where the higher up WANT to end up.

So when you use a translation like NIV, you are BUYING INTO A DIRECTION, a vector headed in a certain direction.  If this point on the line is not too bad, but the way it is heading means the next point will even be further away, that is not a good thing.  It is not just about this revision of NIV, but where NIV is heading.

 

"The Midrash Detective"