The New NIV 2011

The New NIV 2011, an updated version that both succeeds the old NIV and replaces the TNIV, is now available here.

I’m reading it now.

About Scot McKnight

Scot McKnight is a recognized authority on the New Testament, early Christianity, and the historical Jesus. McKnight, author of more than fifty books, is the Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, IL.

  • http://transformingseminarian.blogspot.com Mark Baker-Wright

    I await informed reports as to whether they backpedaled on the non-gender exclusivity of the TNIV.

  • Robin

    Do you know if they are still explicitly committed to gender neutrality?

  • http://web.me.com/whitrmartin Whit Martin

    Some gender inclusivity doesn’t bother me. NRSV was pretty good about pinpointing negotiable and appropriate passages. But ultimately, changing the gender at all is an interpretive move that needs to be made by authors, pastors and scholars. I appreciate the * that appears often saying at the bottom, middle or side “or brothers and sisters” in the ESV; a good move and respectful in my opinion.

  • David Himes

    The translators notes are available at Bible Gateway, to which Scot links above. I’m personally pleased with what I read there.

    They’ve backed off the “gender neutral” stance, but remain more inclusive, especially where a reference, such as “man” is really a reference to both genders.

    At first glance, I’d say a balanced approach, trying not to take sides in most controversial places.

  • smcknight

    On gender inclusivity I read James and I see them move back at 3:1, which is what they should have done. The gender exclusivity there may be more than James is saying.

    I see a tip of the hat to the genuine insight of the new perspective in the footnotes where in Romans 3 and Galatians 3 we see alternative translations in “through the faithfulness of Jesus Christ.”

    I wish more translations would quit having both “Christ” and “Messiah.” To translate “christos” with “Christ” sometimes and “Messiah” other times is confusing. They are using Messiah for, I supposed, titular uses and “Christ” for personal name, but I don’t think the two are distinguishable. Just use Messiah.

  • smcknight

    David, I agree. The previous TNIV got almost compulsive in making too many inclusives when the context wasn’t clear. What I’m seeing is that if it is genuinely inclusive, they’ve got “brothers and sisters.” When not clear, they neutralize. Good job with what I’ve seen. More to check.

  • Adam

    Note: if you go to the link Scot provides on BibleGateway there is a pdf file you can download that give the complete text of translators notes that explains in detail all of the changes made including the issue of inclusive language. For instance it reads:

    “For this revision to the NIV, particular attention has been paid to external feedback in the area of gender language. As stated in the September 1, 2009, announcement regarding the planned update, every single change
    introduced into the committee’s last major revision (the TNIV) relating to inclusive language for humanity was reconsidered. Some were preserved, some were abolished in favor of the 1984 rendering and many were reworded in a third, still different way.”

    It goes on to give a detailed look into what was decided and a lot of examples. It seems that their commitment to inclusive language as it relates to humans beings remained pretty solid.

  • Seth

    I find it disturbing that the overwhelming majority of feedback about any translation is with respect to the degree to which the translation committee took gender inclusivity.

    Is that really all you expect from a Bible? Really? I grow weary of this fighting back and forth over this topic. Both sides have valid arguments so why don’t we just acknowledge the validity of both and move into another discussion?

  • Tim

    Did a quick check on one of my pet peeves, burying textual corrections that the NIV translators find uncomfortable in the footnotes.

    Deuteronomy 32:8 should read “sons of God,” not “sons of Israel.” Other modern translations are getting on board, why is the NIV slacking? Probably because the don’t like the idea of the divine court and parallels to the 70 sons of El I suppose. Again, burying a textual correction in the foot notes just doesn’t seem right.

    Deuteronomy 32:8

    When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance,
    when he divided all mankind,
    he set up boundaries for the peoples
    according to the number of the sons of Israel

  • http://inchristus.wordpress.com Paul D. Adams

    AMEN to the new NIV! Bravo to the CBT and Dr. Moo’s leadership. So good to see Malachi 2:16 corrected.

  • Robin

    Seth,

    I like the old NIV, thought it was readable. I would use my NAS for study and my NIV for extended readings. I never picked up the TNIV, not because I am an expert of gender exclusivity, but because the gender neutral presentation seemed “forced” and I was skeptical that scholars were convinced it was the most appropriate in every case (Though I lack any theological chops to actually make that case).

    So, when I hear a new NIV is coming out I assume it will be the same, readable dynamic translation we were all used to, I just wanted to know what they did with the gender stuff.

  • Tim

    Just checked the New Jerusalem Bible translation, and not only did they get Deuteronomy 32:8 right (see comment #9), but they got Deuteronomy 32:43 right as well. Now there’s a translation that’s not afraid to faithfully reproduce the text based on good scholarship.

    NIV seems to me to be a translation based on a priori dogma concerning what the Bible OUGHT to say, rather than an a priori commitment to what the Bible actually DOES say.

    You find this in the subtle instances throughout the NIV – a tweak here, a tweak there. Nothing major, just enough to make sure the Evangelical view of the Bible as traditionally held gets a good nudge of assistance.

  • http://transformingseminarian.blogspot.com Mark Baker-Wright

    Seth,

    I find it disturbing that the overwhelming majority of feedback about any translation is with respect to the degree to which the translation committee took gender inclusivity.

    Is that really all you expect from a Bible? Really? I grow weary of this fighting back and forth over this topic. Both sides have valid arguments so why don’t we just acknowledge the validity of both and move into another discussion?

    I can only speak for myself here. For me, a non-scholar, but probably with more education on these matters than the average layperson, the gender exclusive language thing (and I’m trying to specifically refer to exclusivity rather “inclusion” or “neutrality”) is the single most important issue. Now, I’m sure someone will come back in and call me names or point out that I should be most concerned that the translation is accurate. And I’m sure that accuracy IS of utmost importance. But it seems to me that these “side issues” (of which non-exclusion is the one that I am most concerned about) are what debates about accuracy are all about.

    As to why this issue… it’s because it’s one that I think has the most tremendous potential to cause harm if not taken seriously. Put most bluntly, I’m simply not willing to concede that all perspectives on this issue are valid. That’s why I (and others who feel as I do) keep bringing this up.

    Now, having said all that, I’ve had a VERY brief chance to look at the new NIV’s translators notes. I see no clear red flags, except perhaps how often they seem to ignore language that discusses changes from the TNIV itself, most often saying things like “this is not changed (or is little changed, or what have you) since the last revision of the NIV in the 1984″ (or whatever the year was). I wish the powers-that-be weren’t quite so eager to dismiss the TNIV from existence, but it is what it is.

    (Total side-note, I also wish they hadn’t removed the TNIV from Bible Gateway, thus breaking a great many of my blog links!)

    So far, however, I’m willing to give the new NIV a shot.

  • Robin

    To any of our professional pastors or academics. If they have abandoned explicity commitment to gender neutrality and have a translation philosophy essentially identical to the 1984 version, then what reason is there to get a NIV2011 if you already have several NIV1984 copies on your bookshelf.

    I mean, why even issue a new translation if it is almost identical to the 1984 version and you have nothing serious to correct. Is this really just a brazen attempt to get people to buy an extra bible, like drug manufacturers that slightly alter their formula when their original patent is about to expire.

  • http://transformingseminarian.blogspot.com Mark Baker-Wright

    I guess I’m kinda-sorta an academic (if a very low-level one)…

    One real reason (not related the gender language incidentally) is that language changes over time. English-speakers of today use phrases that were not in wide use in 1984, and conversely don’t use other words and phrases today that were in wider use back then.

    The translation statement of the new NIV gives several (again, non gender-related) examples of this kind of thing. These, themselves, seem to me sufficient reason why new translations should continue to be published.

  • http://theeagleandchild.com Marc

    Related to question #14, I wonder if there are enough qualitive and quantitive differences between the NIV2011 and the TNIV to consider migrating to the former from the latter. The TNIV was only about 5% different from the NIV1984 (though that 5% could mark a lot of significant difference), I imagine the margin of difference between the NIV2011 and the TNIV will be even smaller.

    Perhaps it’s too early to tell, but this TNIV user is curious about this.

  • http://transformingseminarian.blogspot.com Mark Baker-Wright

    I’m actually curious about how much difference there really is. One reason I’m a bit annoyed we’re told “about 95% of the text of the updated NIV is exactly the same as the
    1984 text it replaces” and not (so far as I can tell) given similar information about how much has changed between the TNIV and the new NIV….

    Of course, knowing that wouldn’t help tell us if the 5% would be the same 5% (or, more accurately, how much overlap there is). Nor would it cover how important any distinctions there are would be….

  • http://www.TheJesusAgenda.net Dave Leigh

    Not a fan of the word “mankind.” Sorry to see they’ve reverted to it. TNIV had “human beings.” “Humanity” is a more current way of speaking.

    I am also disappointed that BibleGateway has completely removed the TNIV from its site, while continuing to offer numerous other dated translations, including Wycliffe and KJV. I get that this revision is a kind of merger of the NIV and TNIV, and therefore a new edition of both. But I will miss the TNIV.

    Missiological Question: By using this new edition will we now be telling the current generation of women that we no longer see them being “as included” as we did when we used the TNIV? Regardless of our own intentions, how will this action be received by those who are most sensitive to our use of language?

  • AHH

    Disappointed to see that Gen. 2:19 still has “had formed”.

    My (secondhand) understanding is that inserting “had” is an unnatural reading of the Hebrew, and only gets inserted to avoid the awkward (to those with a precommitment to modernist scientific inerrancy) issue of the sequence of creation not “lining up” between chapters 1 and 2.

    I see they changed “expanse” to “vault” in Gen. 1:6 etc. That’s closer to recognizing the solidity (but I think NRSV “dome” is clearer; many readers may think “bank vault” before “arched structure”).

  • http://LostCodex.com DRT

    Mark Said

    “One real reason (not related the gender language incidentally) is that language changes over time. English-speakers of today use phrases that were not in wide use in 1984, and conversely don’t use other words and phrases today that were in wider use back then.”

    Mark 27:45 now says “…and Jesus whipped out his iPod…” instead of the now archaic “….and Jesus put a cassette into his Walkman….”

  • http://transformingseminarian.blogspot.com Mark Baker-Wright

    Dave Leigh,

    I have to assume (wouldn’t mind confirmation nor denial, as appropriate) that the TNIV was taken off due to a request by the rightsholders. Unlike other “dated” translations (like Wycliffe and the KJV), all versions of the NIV are copyrighted, and if the rightsholder doesn’t want Bible Gateway to have the TNIV up, that’s their call to make….

  • BradK

    They fixed (mostly) sarks/flesh. Pardon me while I do a happy dance.

    :-)

  • http://microclesia.com John L

    Daniel 6:24. The NIV had the modifier backwards in earlier editions. I wrote them a letter about it and they actually agreed with me :-)

    I blogged about it years ago: http://www.microclesia.com/?p=231

    Please check and let me know.

  • http://transformingseminarian.blogspot.com Mark Baker-Wright

    Sorry, John L,

    Looks like the new NIV still has “falsely.”

  • http://transformingseminarian.blogspot.com Mark Baker-Wright

    But it looks as though Bible Gateway has restored the TNIV and the old NIV. You can now compare all three versions side-by-side.

  • http://theeagleandchild.com Marc

    Further to my earlier question, I read elsewhere that the CBT’s statement said that the NIV 2011 is 95% the same as the NIV 1984.

    Interestingly, this is, as I recall, the exact same percentage given for the difference between the TNIV and the NIV 1984.

    What does this mean for the difference between the TNIV and the NIV 2011?

  • Terry Tiessen

    Scot, Amen to # 6 regarding the use of Messiah. I wish they had followed your view on this.

    I dropped the committee a note to express my preference for “Yahweh” rather than LORD (small caps) but I have not yet read the work to see what they did in that regard. I’m not terribly hopeful.

    I did take one quick look at 1 Cor 12:13 where I very much hoped they would move away from “by the Spirit,” but no luck, despite exhaustive work by Carson and Fee against the instrumental in this text. All I can assume is that there is more ground for this than I have found in my admittedly limited reading.

  • http://communityofjesus.wordpress.com/ Ted M. Gossard

    My first impression was enthusiastic. Although the TNIV made some mistakes the NIV 2011 reverting to man and mankind to both represent humanity is disappointing to me.

  • Mark Farmer

    I am immensely enjoying and appreciating the entirely new Common English Bible. Free from the constraints of Evangelical subculture, it puts in the text what NIV 2011 relegates to notes (the faithfulness of Jesus Christ, for example).

  • Jacov

    …Further to my earlier question, I read elsewhere that the CBT’s statement said that the NIV 2011 is 95% the same as the NIV 1984…Interestingly, this is, as I recall, the exact same percentage given for the difference between the TNIV and the NIV 1984…What does this mean for the difference between the TNIV and the NIV 2011?…

    —–

    Someone check my work, but I’m showing about 40% of the verses are different between NIV 1984 and NIV 2011 (about 12,500 verses changed out of 31,100 total verses).

    On the TNIV comparison side, I’m showing 8% of the verses are different between the TNIV and NIV 2011 (about 2,500 verses changed out of 31,100 total verses).

    This looks like an updated TNIV more than an updated NIV.

    As to the amount of the text being 95%, that’s not as easy to figure out. I assume that would require counting on a word by word basis.

  • http://communityofjesus.wordpress.com/ Ted M. Gossard

    I’ll be interested in your thoughts on this, Scot. As one who reads the Greek all the time. And whose theological perspective I find I am in line with, and follow.

    Of course no translation is perfect when you start really digging into that.

  • http://communityofjesus.wordpress.com/ Ted M. Gossard

    further thoughts on this, is what I mean

  • http://www.slowley.com/ Robert Slowley

    I thought you and your readers might find it useful to know that I’ve just put up some pages that show how similar the NIV2011 is to the NIV1984 and the TNIV. My pages also show each verse where the NIV2011 differs from the NIV1984 or the TNIV in an easily read / clear manner.

    The pages are online @ http://www.slowley.com/niv2011_comparison/

    I’d appreciate any comments or suggestions if anyone has any. Please either email me robert@slowley.com or leave a comment on my blog post http://community.livejournal.com/robhu_bible/4977.html

    Thank you,
    -RobHu

  • http://donteatthefruit.com/ John Dyer

    I also put together a quick summary of the differences between NIV2011, tNIV, and NIV1984 here: donteatthefruit.com/niv2011-changes

  • http://www.slowley.com/ Robert Slowley

    I’ve significantly updated my NIV2011 comparison pages. I’ve improved the wording, fixed the colouring in of changes (and made it clearer), made some of the tables clearer, fixed some mistakes that made some of my numbers slightly off, and have added more explanatory text.

    Perhaps the biggest additions though are these two new pages, Top 250 added / removed words, and Top 250 most changed verses.

    You can also look at the details of the changes within a book (this was always there, but some people didn’t realise), e.g.
    http://www.slowley.com/niv2011_comparison/Genesis.html

    The start page itself can be found @
    http://www.slowley.com/niv2011_comparison/

    -RobHu

  • http://www.slowley.com/ Robert Slowley

    I’ve just updated it again. The measure used for how different a verse is has been improved, and you can now see every instance of when a word has been added / removed.

    For instance here is the list of every time the word ‘humankind’ has been added or removed when going from the TNIV to the NIV2011:
    http://www.slowley.com/niv2011_comparison/words/tniv_humankind.html

    The full list of changed words can be found here:
    http://www.slowley.com/niv2011_comparison/most_added_removed_words.html

    -RobHu

  • Derek Miller

    If only we had our hands on the original inerrant autographs, and we all knew Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic. Then we could be sure of exactly what God meant!
    Give me a break, guys. It’s a translation made by human hands….let’s pick it up if we feel like it helps us continue to obey Jesus. And if we want to know how it “should be” translated…save that for a sermon or Bible study time. Dig into the texts. No translation should make it overly easy to understand everything that is written. It is impossible for the English language to capture the nuance of the biblical languages or properly communicate their full meaning. This is the job of interpretation.
    No translation will be perfect and no interpretation will be completely without error.
    ps…I mean “guys” in the gender inclusive sense!

  • http://ryangear.com Ryan Gear

    It’s unfortunate that pressure from right wingers resulted in the use of the words “man” and “mankind”. These words are quickly becoming archaic. In fact, they are no longer used in scholarly circles- at least not in the seminary I attend or the books I read. Nor are they used any longer in the contemporary speech of mainstream young people.

    While the TNIV was not perfect, it’s use of “humanity” matches contemporary language. For the new NIV, supposedly an updated version, to revert to “man” and “mankind” is disappointing, to say the least. Actually, I am not only disappointed, I am embarrassed.


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