There was another article on the TNIV in World magazine this week, predictably negative. It was more of the same and a feeble (though perhaps effective) attempt to derail the potential success of the TNIV, Today's NIV. The New Testament came out a few years back, but the full Bible comes out (supposedly) this month.
The title of the article, "Stealth Version," refers in part to the fact that Zondervan won't let these people take a peak at the full Bible it until it is fully published. Ha! Why in the world would Zondervan give it to them knowing exactly what they're going to say and do? Good grief, do they think they're imbeciles? All they want to do is to derail the version before it even comes out--that's why the World published the article at this time, just before the TNIV comes out. After all, its easier to stop the car before it starts than after its moving.
Another complaint is what the author calls Zondervan's "double speak." The idea is that what Zondervan calls a "gender accurate" translation is really an inclusive language translation.
But what really has gotten under the craw of Dobson and others is the fact that "everyone agreed" in 1997 not to produce inclusive language Bibles. At least that's what the Colorado group most objects. They say that Zondervan entered the agreement but hasn't kept true to its word.
It is possible that Zondervan has engaged in some "double speak." They claim that only two of their representatives entered into the agreement but that these representatives did not have the authority to speak for Zondervan itself. And the idea of a "gender accurate" translation is a bit of a political dodge, although I certainly would not call the TNIV an inclusive language Bible. It only inclusivizes things it thinks were originally inclusive (what it means by "gender accurate")
Ultimately I don't care. If Zondervan agreed to something that prohibited a version like the TNIV, they shouldn't have. Dobson's group is wrong-headed to think it godly not to produce a version like this one.
In truth, the TNIV really does try to be "accurate" in its rendering of gender in the following sense: it only translates something like "sons" as "children" if it thinks thats what Paul ultimately meant. It only does "parents" for "fathers" when it thinks that's what the original meant. It only translates "brothers" as "brothers and sisters" when it thinks that's what the original really meant. It does not mess with God gender. It does not change or fiddle with passages on husbands as heads of homes or women being silent in the churches. In short, the TNIV simply does what the NLT and NRSV had already done.
But Dobson's group had no influence on these versions. Nor did it protest this way when they came out. The difference is that this time it's personal.
Frankly I prefer formal equivalence translations that stick to the original wording and sentence structure. They allow me to be lazy when I don't feel like using my Greek New Testament or Hebrew Bible. If I'm preaching, the NLT or Message do a far better dynamic equivalence translation to translate the "meaning" in modern categories and language. The TNIV is neither fully formal nor fully dynamic. It's much better than the NIV, but then again, I never really liked the NIV in the first place.
But I stand fully behind Zondervan and I'll use the TNIV because it is a righteous translation. Dobson's group is misguided on this one and manifesting "zeal without knowledge."