SBC and the NIV 2011

SBC and the NIV 2011 February 15, 2012

This from Life Way’s Press Release:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Trustees of LifeWay Christian Resources voted to continue selling the new NIV Bible in LifeWay stores, approved a new vice president for its largest division and elected new board officers.

Meeting Feb. 13-14 at LifeWay offices in downtown Nashville, trustees heard a report from a special task force appointed to follow up on a non-binding resolution approved by the 2011 Southern Baptist Convention that requested LifeWay consider not selling the New International Version (NIV) 2011 Bible in their stores.

Committee chairman Adam Greenway, a member of First Baptist Church, Mt. Washington, Ky., told the board “vast amounts of scholarly research and other relevant information was gathered and studied … and a number of subject matter experts addressed the task force.” Greenway said LifeWay received support for continuing to carry the 2011 NIV from Albert Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; Jimmy Draper, former president of LifeWay; George Guthrie, Union University; and Douglas Moo, chairman of the Committee on Bible Translation which translated the new NIV. [Help spread the word by clicking a button below. Thanks.]

Greenway, who serves as senior associate dean of the Billy Graham School at Southern Seminary, also told trustees, “Messengers to the 2011 SBC annual meeting were encouraged to vote for the resolution based on incorrect information.” As an example, Greenway said the 2011 NIV contains no gender-neutral wording for the names of God.

Emphasizing that LifeWay is not endorsing the 2011 NIV, Greenway said, “It is not that we are endorsing the 2011 NIV. We endorse what we publish, and the translation we publish is the Holman Christian Standard Bible. That is the translation that we endorse.” Greenway told trustees, “We do not believe the 2011 NIV rises to the level to where it should be pulled or censored or not carried in our retail chain.”

The task force and the trustee executive committee both unanimously approved the following recommendation: It is recommended that trustees reaffirm the decision of LifeWay to continue to carry the 2011 NIV alongside other versions of the Holy Bible.

After a few minutes of discussion, the motion was unanimously approved.


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  • Randy Gabrielse

    This sounds like what happens when the Bible becomes a commodity for sale in the marketplace.

  • T

    Well good. Cooler heads prevailed on this occasion. Very good.

  • Melissa Fitzpatrick

    Wow! This whole ordeal has been baffling. It was very upsetting to see how quickly people dismissed the NIV 2011 but I’m encouraged to see LifeWay giving it a fairer consideration. Doug Moo was one of my Professors at Wheaton. I respect him tremendously–he is an extremely level headed reader and scholar.

  • RJS

    Nice. I am also pleased to see Dr. Mohler among those who urged that they continue to sell the NIV. I don’t care whether he or anyone else prefers the NIV or other translations. But leaders need to lead on things like this.

  • Matt Edwards

    I wonder if they are going to put one of those “Read with Discernment” stickers on it 🙂

  • Seth

    Randy, that is the sad truth.

  • “Messengers to the 2011 SBC annual meeting were encouraged to vote for the resolution based on incorrect information.” As an example, Greenway said the 2011 NIV contains no gender-neutral wording for the names of God.

    Ah, so just a minor inaccuracy about the contents. Good thing there wasn’t a huge overreaction or anything to that little piece of incorrect information.

  • Adam shields

    I am glad cooler heads prevailed. A small group rightly placed can make a lot of difference both for good and ill.

  • DRT

    It’s team sports.

    Paul A. is right. Having got that off my chest, glad they are being reasonable and not escalating.

  • It’s a good translation.

  • Yes, I think it is a good translation too. I am baffled and dismayed by all this hoo-hah.

    I have previously responded to some ill-conceived words condemning the NIV 2011 here:

  • Steve Sherwood

    To me, it is sad that this is newsworthy. This never should have been a big deal.

  • Krister S

    Next on the agenda: trustees review the non-binding resolution to burn Hus at the stake.

  • Exactly how does a translation “rise to the level to where it should be pulled or censored?” Is this a back-handed de-endorsement?

  • Robert A

    As a Soutephern Baptist (since my early childhood) it is good to note that the resolution about the NIV11 was non-binding (i.e. pointless.) I don’t attend the annual convention (it’s a waste of time and money) and when I saw the original decision (and who was promoting it) I rolled my eyes and went back to reading my NIV11.

    I’m glad Lifeway decided to make this statement. It is wise. The personalities and politics will always confuse us, but I am thankful we still have smarter people among us. My concerns for the viability of my home convention remain (particularly the rising nepotism) but this is a good decision.

  • Mark

    What are peoples’ actual concerns with the NIV11? Is it just a hangover from concerns over the original NIV?

  • Mark, you can read the resolution here:

    Briefly, they are convinced that by using “gender neutral” idioms for generic pronouns, the NIV 2011 revision committee is being unfaithful to the scriptures.

  • Kathy

    I want one! On my way to Amazon…