Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Random Verses from the NIV

The Bayly Blog has been doing a series of posts on the latest version of the NIV (NIV 2010), but at Bible study last night, I noticed some horrible translation choices in the current NIV when one of the men there read from it for us. See below:

Acts 4:9 (NKJV)
If we this day are judged for a good deed done to a helpless man, by what means he has been made well,

Acts 4:9 (NIV)
If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a cripple and are asked how he was healed,

Numbers 11:16 (NKJV)
So the LORD said to Moses: "Gather to Me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom you know to be the elders of the people and officers over them; bring them to the tabernacle of meeting, that they may stand there with you."

Number 11:16 (NIV)
The LORD said to Moses: "Bring me seventy of Israel’s elders who are known to you as leaders and officials among the people. Have them come to the tent of meeting, that they may stand there with you."

Note that the gender of both the helpless/crippled man in Acts 4, and the gender of the seventy elders of Israel in Numbers 11 is selectively omitted in the NIV. Note also that in Acts 4:9, both in the critical text and in the Textus Receptus the Greek word "anthropos" meaning "man" is present. This is not a textual variant issue; this is a conscientious translation choice to omit the word "man" in Acts 4:9. The same is true for Numbers 11:16 where the Hebrew word "eesh" meaning "man" is present in the text. Again, a conscientious translation choice to omit the word "man" from the text. Please, if you use the NIV as your every day Bible, get yourself a better translation.


  1. How about Isaiah 9:12,17,21 and 10:4. NIV has a totally different meaning of stretched out hand. It becomes upraised hand. I checked the Hebrew in the concordance, and upraised just doesn't fit.
    But the worst of all is 1 John 5:6-8 regardng the doctrine of the Trinity.

  2. Wow. Thanks, Seth. I didn't know they were producing *another* new NIV translation. I guess the TNIV caught too much flak, so they're trying to tone it down just a bit in the hopes that it might find more mainstream acceptance?

    The International Bible Society has an obvious agenda here. That's sad enough. What's worse is the long term effects on the Church: Compromising on the integrity and fidelity of the Word of God, and deliberate effeminization of the Church will result (and has resulted) in a Church that is weak, powerless, and irrelevant.

  3. Biblegateway.com has the full text of the updated NIV for inspection before publication.

  4. As long as we're being somewhat random, I don't like how the NIV2011 changes the NIV to follow the TNIV, except for de-capitalising "Festival", in John 7:8. While it agreeably joins the NU Greek and such notables as the NRSV, ESV, ASV, NASB, and NAB in opting for "not" instead of "not yet", it had been one of the places I was glad the old NIV had been consistent with the documentary evidence of the majority texts and the KJV, NKJV, and HCSB. I know there are other hermeneutic implications that affirm Jesus is not lying or being false, but still I found the old NIV rendering both acceptable and plainly helpful. I'm glad they kept "not yet" as a marginal note.

    "You go to the festival. I am not going up to this festival, because my time has not yet fully come."
    You go to the Feast. I am not yet going up to this Feast, because for me the right time has not yet come."
    You go to the Festival. I am not going up to this Festival, because my time has not yet fully come."
    "Go ye up unto this feast: I go not up yet unto this feast; for my time is not yet full come."
    "You go up to this feast. I am not yet going up to this feast, for My time has not yet fully come."
    "Go ye up unto the feast: I go not up unto this feast; because my time is not yet fulfilled."
    "Go up to the feast yourselves; I do not go up to this feast because My time has not yet fully come."