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Changing God's words

"Changing God's words" Continued...

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

TNIV (2005): Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. [a partial correction, changing plural "those" to singular "anyone," but keeping "them" instead of "him"]

Change in meaning: Again the change back to the NIV's "anyone" is helpful. But the "If" that Jesus said (Greek ean) is omitted, and three masculine singular pronouns (Greek autos) are incorrectly translated with "them," removing the amazing emphasis on the Father and Son dwelling with an individual person. In the TNIV, maybe "them" refers to the whole group of those who obey. How can we know?

Acts 20:30

Current NIV: Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them.

TNIV (2005): Even from your own number some will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. [identical to NIVI (1996)]

Change in meaning: The TNIV removes the word "men" used to refer to the elders of the church at Ephesus. The Greek word is not anthropos, which can mean "man" or "person," but aner, which means "man" in distinction from woman. The Greek expression for "from your own number" is emphatic, referring specifically to the elders and not to the Ephesian church. Why not call elders "men"?

1 Corinthians 14:28

Current NIV: If there is no interpreter, the speaker should keep quiet in the church and speak to himself and God.

NIVI (1996): If there is no interpreter, the speakers should keep quiet in the church and speak to themselves and God.

TNIV (2005): If there is no interpreter, the speaker should keep quiet in the church; let them speak to themselves and to God. [singular "speaker" is rightly restored but the incorrect plural "themselves" is retained]

Change in meaning: In attempting to avoid "himself" (which was the NIV's correct translation of the masculine singular pronoun eautou), the TNIV inserts "them" followed by "themselves," which many readers will take as plurals. The verse will easily be misunderstood to encourage groups of tongue-speakers to go off together and speak in tongues "to themselves." But that is not what Paul wrote.

James 1:12

Current NIV: Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life. . . .

TNIV (2005): Blessed are those who persevere under trial, because when they have stood the test, they will receive the crown of life . . . . [identical to NIVI (1996)]

Change in meaning: TNIV removes the example of a single "blessed man" who perseveres under trial and changes it to a group: "those" and "they." The focus on God's blessing on an individual believer is removed. The TNIV pictures a group under trial and suggests that reward waits until "they" all have stood the test. "Those" is an incorrect translation of the singular Greek word aner, which means "man," not "person," and certainly not "those."

Revelation 3:20

Current NIV: I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.

TNIV (2005): I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with them, and they with me. [identical to NIVI (1996)]

Change in meaning: The idea of Christ coming into an individual person's life is lost; Christ no longer eats with "him" but with "them." Many readers will understand "them" to refer to the plural group "those whom I love" in the previous verse, so the TNIV now pictures Christ coming into a church and eating among a group of people.

Additional verses:

In addition to these 15 verses, the TNIV has other types of unacceptable translations, which I can mention briefly:

Changing "son" to "child" and "father" to "parent" when the original meant "son" and "father"NIV Proverbs 13:1: A wise son heeds his father's instruction, but a mocker does not listen to rebuke.

TNIV Proverbs 13:1: A wise child heeds a parent's instruction, but a mocker does not respond to rebukes.

Removing "brother" when the original meant "brother" (singular)

NIV Matthew 7:3: "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye. . . ?"

TNIV Matthew 7:3: "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in someone else's eye. . . ?"

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