Sunday, October 15, 2006

Why I Support the TNIV

I have heard a lot of bad press about the TNIV, Today's New International Version, and that is why I did not switch over from my NIV. However, after reading Perspectives on the TNIV from Leading Scholars and Pastors and specifically Dr. Darrell L. Bock's essay, "Do Gender Sensitive Translations Distort Scripture? Not Necessarily," I have realized that the changes the TNIV makes from the NIV are positive changes and lead to a more clear understanding of the biblical text. I have always thought that it was strange that many English translations of the Bible use male pronouns when the original Greek or Hebrew was referring to both men and women. Therefore, the TNIV makes these appropriate changes and is a more accurate and improved translation on the NIV. The TNIV is not a feminist translation by any stretch. Most of the translators hold to a traditional understanding of male elders/pastors, etc. In fact, many of the supporters of the TNIV are sound conservative and faithful Biblical scholars. I think that John Piper, Wayne Grudem, and the people connected to the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womenhood, in being rightly concerned about feminism in Christian circles are oversensitive and have picked the wrong battle. Its almost as if these people have established an "orthodoxy within orthodoxy" that will only lead to legalism and will divide the body of Christ. I think that I will make the switch to the TNIV (however, I will also consult other versions such as the ESV when I am studying a passage in English).

See those that oppose the TNIV:

Gender Netural Bibles (
The Gender-Neutral Bible Controversy: Muting the Masculinity of God's Words by Vern Poythress and Wayne Grudem (Nashville, TN: Broadman and Holman, 2000).
"Is the TNIV Faithful in Its Treatment of Gender? No." by Vern Poythress, Christianity Today.

See these essays and books that lend support to the TNIV:

The Inclusive Language Debate: A Plea for Realism by D.A. Carson (Baker, 1998).
Distorting Scripture? The Challenge of Bible Translation and Gender-Accuracy
by Mark Strauss (InterVarsity Press, 1998).
"Do Gender Sensitive Translations Distort Scripture? Not Necessarily," by Darrell L. Bock.
"Today's New International Version: The Untold Story of a Good Translation" by Craig L. Blomberg
"Is the TNIV Faithful in Its Treatment of Gender? Yes." by Mark Strauss, Christianity Today.
TNIV Website (

People that Support the TNIV

"The TNIV is more accurate than its remarkable predecessor, the much-loved NIV, while retaining all the readability of the latter. It is a version I can use with confidence, whether I am speaking at a university mission, or in a Bible conference anywhere in the English-speaking world. I am deeply impressed by the godliness, linguistic competence, cultural awareness, and sheer fidelity to Scripture displayed by the translators. Thirty or forty years from now, I suspect, most evangelicals will have accepted the TNIV as a 'standard' translation, and will wonder what all the fuss was about in their parents' generation — in the same way that those of us with long memories marvel at all the fuss over the abandonment of 'thees' and 'thous' several decades ago.
- D.A. Carson, Ph.D, Research Professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

“The TNIV is a fine translation whose goal of being sensitive to the English of its audience opens up the Word, especially to those who may not be familiar with Scripture. The use of alternatives in the marginal notes helps the reader see where the translation is disputed. It is clear, concise, and contemporary. In my book, that is three for three.”
- Darrell Bock, Ph.D. Research Professor of New Testament Studies, Dallas Theological Seminary

"It has never been easy to distinguish between a 'translation' and a 'paraphrase'. Translations tend to go for contemporary scholarship at the expense of contemporary language, whereas paraphrases tend to sacrifice accuracy for relevance. Today's New International Version is highly successful in combining both scholarly accuracy and linguistic relevance."
- John R. W. Stott, Rector
Emeritus, All Souls Church; President, London Institute for Contemporary Christianity;
Author, Basic Christianity

"The Reformers of the 16th century translated the Bible into the vernacular languages of their day so that 'the farm boy at his plow and the milk maid at her pail' could read and understand the Scriptures in their everyday speech. The TNIV stands in this same tradition. I predict the TNIV will have a shaping influence on the English of the future, even as it reflects today's contemporary idiom."
- Timothy George, Th.D., Executive Editor of Christianity Today, Dean of Beeson Divinity School

"The TNIV is an exciting translation for the present time. It is written in contemporary English and is completely accurate to the original languages."
- Tremper Longman III, Ph.D., Robert H. Gundry Professor of Biblical Studies, Westmont College

"The TNIV should become the standard translation of its kind. It incorporates many helpful and accurate updates in the most widely used translation of our time. I welcome it, will use it personally, and plan to encourage both new and advanced Bible readers to do the same."
- Dr. John Armstrong, President, Reformation & Revival Ministries

"The TNIV avoids the overly free translation of certain texts that previous gender-inclusive translations have included, while rendering gender-inclusive uses of "man," "he," "brothers," and the like with appropriate, contemporary English exactly corresponding to the meaning of the original Greek or Hebrew. Not to do this leaves a Bible that increasingly misleads the modern reader; as the father of two daughters I know first hand how this works! And I remain a complementarian with respect to gender roles; the two issues are quite separate."
- Craig Blomberg, Ph.D., Professor of New Testament, Denver Seminary

"As one of the more than one hundred scholars who labored to produce the original NIV, and one who strongly advocated the inerrancy of the autographic text of scripture, I would like to indicate my strong approval of the purpose of the TNIV and of its implementation of that purpose. . . . With the changes in the English language and with many women's tendency to read as exclusive passages which are in fact inclusive, the job accomplished here needed to be done."
- Roger Nicole, Ph.D., Visiting Professor of Theology, Reformed Theological Seminary

"The NIV took the late twentieth century church by storm. It has been the most readable version of the Bible in English. Today's NIV is even better. I recommend it warmly."
- Rev. Canon Dr. Michael Green
Senior Research Fellow,Wycliffe Hall, Oxford University

“I am thrilled with Today’s New International Version. The TNIV offers significant improvements in scholarship and in its use of English idiom. Without question, the TNIV is the finest English translation available at the beginning of this new millennium.”
- John R. Kohlenberger III, Bible scholar; reference book editor; author, The Exhaustive Concordance to the Greek New Testament

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Audio Highlights from the Desiring God Conference

Here are some audio highlights, short clips from the different speakers, on various topics at the Desiring God Conference.

David Wells
Voddie Baucham

Tim Keller

Mark Driscoll

D.A. Carson

John Piper

Thanks to Justin Taylor.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Desiring God National Conference Messages

The Supremacy of Christ in a Postmodern World
David Wells
September 29, 2006

A Conversation with the Pastors
September 29, 2006

The Supremacy of Christ and Truth in a Postmodern World
Voddie Baucham
September 30, 2006

The Supremacy of Christ and the Gospel in a Postmodern World
Tim Keller
September 30, 2006

The Supremacy of Christ and the Church in a Postmodern World
Mark Driscoll
September 30, 2006

Speaker Panel
September 30, 2006

The Supremacy of Christ and Love in a Postmodern World
D. A. Carson
September 30, 2006

The Supremacy of Christ and Joy in a Postmodern World
John Piper
John 17:13
October 1, 2006

Friday, October 06, 2006

"Many a preacher is now in hell, who hath a hundred times called upon his hearers to use the utmost care and diligence to escape it."

Richard Baxter, The Reformed Pastor (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth Trust, 2001; orginally published in 1656), 53.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Quote of the Day

This quote summarizes my concern for the direction of much of contemporary evangelicalism:

"No one will doubt that Christians of today must state their beliefs in terms of modern thought. Every age has a language of its own and can speak no other. Mischief only comes when, instead of stating Christian beliefs in terms of modern thought, and effort is made, rather, to state modern thought in terms of Christian belief."B. B. Warfield, Review of Foundations: A Statement of Christian Belief in Terms of Modern Thought, by Seven Oxford Men, in Critical Reviews, The Works of Benjamin Breckinridge Warfield (1932; reprint, Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker, 1991), 10:322.

(Cited by David Wells in his Nov. 10, 2005 lecture on Emergent Spirituality, drawing a parallel between this observation by Warfield and what emergents are doing today.)

Thanks to Justin Taylor

Sunday, October 01, 2006

D. A. Carson on False Alternatives

So which shall we choose? Experience or truth? The left wing of an airplane, or the right? Love or integrity? Study or service? Evangelism or discipleship? The front wheels of a car, or the rear? Subjective knowledge or objective knowledge? Faith or obedience?
Damn all false antitheses to hell, for they generate false gods, they perpetuate idols, they twist and distort our souls, they launch the church into violent pendulum swings whose oscillations succeed only in dividing brothers and sisters in Christ. The truth is that Jesus Christ is Lord of all—of the truth and of our experience. The Bible insists that we take every thought captive to make it obedient to Christ. (Becoming Conversant with the Emerging Church, p. 234).

Thanks to John Piper.
Tim Keller on the Gospel

The gospel is: you are more sinful and flawed than you ever dared believe yet you can be more accepted and loved than you ever dared hope at the same time because Jesus Christ lived and died in your place. . . .
“True faith saith not: ‘What have I done? . . . What do I deserve?’ But it saith: ‘what hath Christ done? What doth he deserve?’ . . . Therefore he that apprehendeth Christ by faith . . . may be bold to glory that he is righteous. How? Even by that precious jewel, Christ Jesus, which he possesseth by faith.” (Martin Luther, Commentary on Galatians)
Irreligious people seek to be their own saviors and lords through irreligion, “worldly” pride. (“No one tells me how to live or what to do, so I determine what is right and wrong for me!”) But moral and religious people seek to be their own saviors and lords through religion, “religious” pride. . . . Both irreligion and religion are forms of self salvation.
To “get the gospel” is to turn from self-justification and rely on Jesus’ record for a relationship with God. The irreligious don’t repent at all, and the religious only repent of sins. But Christians also repent of their righteousness. That is the distinction between the three groups—Christians, moralists (religious), and pragmatists (irreligious).
“Lay your deadly doing down, down at Jesus’ feet.Stand in Him, in Him alone—gloriously complete.” (Unknown)(Partnership, June 1996: “Redeemer: The Centrality of the Gospel”)

Thanks to John Piper