Features

Changing God's words

"Changing God's words" Continued...

Issue: "Lebanon: Democracy now," Feb. 26, 2005

Proverbs 29:3

Current NIV: A man who loves wisdom brings joy to his father, but a companion of prostitutes squanders his wealth.

NIVI (1996): Those who love wisdom bring joy to their parents, but companions of prostitutes squander their wealth.

TNIV (2005): A man who loves wisdom brings joy to his father, but a companion of prostitutes squanders his wealth. [a helpful correction, restoring the NIV wording]

Change in meaning: None. The TNIV returns to the original NIV in this verse.

Luke 17:3

Current NIV: If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him.

NIVI (1996): Rebuke a brother or sister who sins, and if they repent, forgive them.

TNIV (2005): If a brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them. [changed but no improvement over the NIVI; the words "against you" are added but they are not there in the Greek text]

Change in meaning: The words "or sister" are inserted into the Bible but Jesus did not say them and they have no basis in the Greek text. (The Bible can say "brother or sister" when it wants to, as in James 2:15.) The words "against you" are inserted into the Bible but they have no basis in the Greek text. The words "them" and "they" hinder clear communication because they will be taken as plural by some people, as singular by others, and as bad grammar by many. A common reaction will be some uncertainty as to whether the original Greek was singular or plural. The TNIV is going through linguistic gymnastics simply to avoid the offensive word "him," but "him" is the most accurate translation of the masculine singular Greek pronoun autos.

I agree, of course, that "If your brother sins against you" also applies to sisters who sin, just as the parable of the Prodigal Son also applies to prodigal daughters, and just as "You shall not covet your neighbor's wife" (Exodus 20:17) also applies to not coveting your neighbor's husband! (And the TNIV did not change those passages.) But people have easily understood this for centuries: When the Bible uses an example of an individual man or woman to teach a general principle, the principle also applies to people of the opposite sex. We do not have to add the words "or sister" to understand this. We should not add to Jesus' words things that have no basis in the Greek text.

John 6:44

Current NIV: No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day.

TNIV (2005): No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day. [identical to NIVI (1996)]

Change in meaning: There is a loss of clear emphasis on the Father drawing an individual person. "Them" seems to be plural here, referring to a group. It is an incorrect translation of the third-person singular Greek pronoun autos in both places.

John 11:25

Current NIV: Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies. . . ."

NIVI (1996): Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me will live, even though they die. . . ."

TNIV (2005): Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even though they die . . . ." [a partial correction changing plural "those" to singular "anyone," but still using the incorrect plural "they"]

Change in meaning: I agree with the change from "He who believes in me" to "Anyone who believes in me," because there is no masculine pronoun in the Greek text. ("Anyone who" is consistent with the Colorado Springs Guidelines for this kind of Greek construction, and it retains the singular meaning.) But the TNIV still adds an element of confusion because of the plural expression "they die" (with the plural verb "die") instead of the more accurate NIV rendering, "he dies" (correctly rendering the third-person singular Greek verb).

John 14:23

Current NIV: If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.

NIVI (1996): Those who love me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.

Comments

You must be a WORLD member to post comments.

    Keep Reading

     

    A breath of hope

    A Montana couple practices patience in ministering to Native Americans

    Advertisement