Thinking Out Loud

September 2, 2011

CT Comments on Bible Translation Long on Emotion, Short on Rationality

When the piece says “A Christianity Today Editorial,” you know that it was the joint product of the editorial staff, not one rogue writer.  It also means, “this is serious.” In this case, it’s a thoughtful piece that explains the balance that one finds in the 2011 edition of the New International Version (NIV) and the total hypocrisy of the SBC in proposing to ban the translation from its churches, while its bookstore chain is ringing copy after copy after copy through its cash registers.

However, over in the comments section, here’s some of the venom and misinformation that’s out there [with some responses from myself]:

  • Translations, like NIV2011, that distort the original language to facilitate a theological agenda that is contrary to God’s Word should not be promoted, encouraged, or tolerated in the church.  [actually, the Committee on Bible Translation represents scholars from various churches]
  • Well, this article is deceptive with it’s generalizations rather than specifics with its closing statements … [no actually the closing paragraph is fairly specific, the SBC as a whole is talking one thing and doing another]
  • Bible sales have gone up, but what is the major translation that has flooded the market? NOT the NIV spoken of in this article, but the NKJV & the ESV [actually some people in the publishing industry would care to differ with your interpretation of the ESV stats -- if you have any -- and the NKJV is fairly flat right now as well]
  • I am even more concerned that there seems to be no author credited for this editorial.  [see my comment in the introduction...don't you just hate it when there's no individual to attack?...]
  • The dissatisfaction with this latest, “gender-accurate” translation of the NIV is widespread, crossing denominational lines.  [uh, actually it's relatively limited to the SBC]
  • I will not use the NIV 2011 version in our ministries and I’m afraid the NIV folks have lost many people like myself. Simply put, they have lost my trust.  [but did you actually read a single chapter of it?]
  • The NLT and NCV never made themselves out to be anything but paraphrases with a more gender inclusive nature. [first of all, there's no such word in linguistics as 'paraphrase;' secondly, with 128 translators -- not paraphrasers -- the NLT is the most translated Bible on the market.]
  • …As a pastor, I will not allow a TNIV nor an NIV2011 cross the threshold of my home or office. They are theological poison! Personally I’m a KJV kind of guy… The KJV presents to us the perfect and finished work of the cross. Other translations make faith an outward working which leads us into bondage. [and I hope when you get to heaven, you get to meet people who were saved through the new NIV -- this 'poisonous' translation -- because they will certainly be there...]
  • An example is Romans 1:17. The NIV translates that in the gospel “a righteousness from God is revealed.”  [talk about missing the point...yes the 1984 edition does say that, but the NIV 2011 moves much closer to what the author of the comment wants -- too bad he didn't bother to check before posting the comment]
  • The author must have attended the same seminary as Brian McLaren- Oh wait, he never went to seminary and has no theological education of any kind. Why do we let people like this represent us. Christianity Today is out of touch with what Christians believe. This is not about translation methodology, but politically correct tinkering with the text to sell more Bibles to liberal denominations.  [this comment is a fail on so many grounds: (a) the senior staff at CT have sufficient training -- including seminary -- to do their job and (b) the NIV market has always been Evangelicals; the "liberals" the author describes aren't going to touch it no matter how hard anyone tries]
  • For a critique of modern translation theory and practice, see Leland Ryken’s… pamphlet, Choosing a Bible. [probably one of the most overt examples of ESV propaganda out there, and published by the ESV's publisher within weeks of the ESV translation's release]
  • I’m most worried about the true motivations of publishing houses feeding the 80-90% of the world where we already have reliable modern translations with newer translations when those same scholars and publishing houses could be actively partnering to translate and publish for unreached and under-reached people groups.  [on the surface, a good point, but you have to have learned those languages to do that work; instead English translators wrestle with issues that provide background to foreign language translators]
  • …Tinkering with one thing today is a prelude to tinkering with many more things later depending on one’s own interpretation.  [but actually, if you read Mark Strauss and Gordon Fee's How to Choose a Translation for All It's Worth -- admittedly published by Zondervan -- you learn that with the TNIV, the translators actually reverted back to older forms and poetic structures]
  • Are we going to rename “Manchester” to “Personchester”? (and any way Chester is a man’s name….)  [Manchester. Yes. That's where all this has been heading all along]
  • …more to follow, I’m sure…

With all of this taking place, there’s been little notice of a quietly growing — now in its third printing — new translation, The Common English Bible (CEB).  Has anyone taken any time to look at the same issues in the CEB? 

July 14, 2011

Zondervan Reissues The Story in NIV 2011 Edition

Although it wasn’t part of the standard list of books available for reviewers, I begged Zondervan for a copy of The Story, NIV: The Bible as One Continuing Story of God and His People .   I have a weakness for anything that tries to make the Biblical narrative more flowing, anything which harmonizes the gospels and the Old Testament history books, and anything that does all this in somewhat modern language.

If you have a friend, relative, neighbor, co-worker, etc., who you’ve thought about giving a Bible to, but hesitated, this could be the type of product you’re looking for.  You need to visit an actual Christian bookstore and browse through a copy before deciding.  A concluding page ask the reader, ‘How are you going to respond…?’

This is not exactly a new title, but a reissue of something that already existed in a TNIV edition.  There were 32 chapters there, but only 31 in this new edition, plus they’ve added a children’s edition, The Story for Kids: Discover the Bible from Beginning to End, a teen edition, a number of DVD curriculum-related products, and… well, let’s just list them, it’s easier:

  • The Story adult edition
  • The Story DVD curriculum
  • The Story Church Campaign Kit
  • The Story DVD participant’s guide
  • Exploring The Story – reference companion
  • The Story adult edition in duotone leather
  • The Story for Kids
  • The Story for Kids elementary curriculum DVD-ROM
  • The Story for Kids preschool curriculum DVD-ROM
  • The Story Teen Edition
  • The Story Teen curriculum DVD
  • The Story Spanish edition
  • The Story for Children
  • The Story for Children Storybook edition
  • The Story – Going Deeper

…I think you get the idea.  Everything is a brand these days. 

So is The Story a book or a Bible?  It’s definitely a hybrid.  I would say probably it is more of book in the sense of similar things Walter Wangerin has done, but more of a Bible in the sense that the majority of the content is indeed Bible text.  But not a “take to church or study group” Bible.

The transitional sections in italics are an interesting mix of narrative and commentary.  They have been retained exactly as they were in the TNIV edition, but are in many respects, a most helpful way of bringing the story to life.  Where they appear, they tend to energize the narrative.

Added to the new edition is an introduction by Max Lucado and Randy Frazee.  And that’s all it is, a 3-paragraph introduction that it apparently took two men to write.  Worse, they didn’t bother paraphrasing it for the children’s edition.  Kinda sad to see these authors names exploited in this way.

However, having gotten that observation out of the way, the paperback children’s edition is a refreshingly original product in a market where chronological Bible story books in hardcover — which is available — tend to be the norm.    If there’s a young reader in the family, this paperback chapter book format, mostly devoid of pictures, might be ideal, and at its 9.99 US price, I can see kids ministry leaders purchasing this in bulk. 

As I stated at the outset, I like this sort of product.  Chapter and verse numbers, as well as trying to parallel things in Samuel to things in Chronicles can be confusing to people not already Bible literate, and our goal should be to try to make things easier, not more difficult for people who want to more about what we believe, and more about the Christ story.  But despite the number of variants of this item out there, the challenge continues to be making a greater number of people aware it exists.


TheStory.com website link

June 17, 2011

Southern Baptists Reject New NIV Translation

SBC shindig in Phoenix, four days ago

“We’ll get Mikey to try it, he hates everything”
classic Life cereal commercial line

At their annual convention in Phoenix, Arizona, “messengers” of the Southern Baptist Convention voted overwhelmingly “not to commend” the newly revised edition of the New International Version translation of the Bible, aka NIV 2011.

Their unstated reason is simple: They don’t like it.

Specifically, they don’t like it when passages that traditionally referred to males — using words like he, him, his, man, men, etc. — get changed to gender neutral pronouns.

But gender neutral is usually how the original texts read.  In the book, How To Choose A Bible Translation for All It’s Worth by Gordon Fee and Mark Strauss, the latter talks about working on the translation committee for the TNIV.  He notes that the Greek “anthropos” — from which we no doubt get the word anthropology, the study of human civilization — refers to  ‘person’ or ‘persons.’  You could say, tongue in cheek, that “in anthropos there is neither male nor female.” 

But he goes on to explain that forms like “Son of Man” cannot be jettisoned so easily, since they are both a poetic form and a doctrinal statement.  In other words, God is not a ‘she’ in either the TNIV or the NIV-2011, though this is how some hot-headed people would have you believe it reads.   It’s the end of doctrinal purity as we know it.

Consider this verse which we’ve been discussing here on this blog and at Christianity 201 recently:

If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.

What possible major doctrinal violation takes place when I paraphrase that as:

If anyone would come after me, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.

[The so-called "singular to plural" crisis is, in this case, solved by the antecedent use of "one."]

The answer is: Nothing.  It’s a much closer rendering of what Jesus is saying here, unless, of course, he is extending the invitation of discipleship entirely to males.

The Southern Baptists simply don’t like the change.  And they don’t like it with the same venom that characterizes King James Version Only people.  (And yes, I said King James Version only, which KJ-Onlyites hate because it concedes there are in fact other versions.) 

You can read the wording of their resolution here.

Furthermore, when you read it, you’ll note this interesting clause:

RESOLVED, That we respectfully request that LifeWay not make this inaccurate translation available for sale in their bookstores;

Ah yes, the power of an economic boycott.  The SBC controls the LifeWay chain of bookstores and websites; an organism about which I’ve already expressed a certain degree of contempt here.  This is the group that believes women should not teach men, but rakes in huge piles of cash daily from the sales of books by Beth Moore.  This is the same mentality that caused a group of 800 male pastors to turn their chairs so that their backs were to the podium during an address being given by Billy Graham’s daughter, Anne Graham Lotz; a story referred to in a chapter of J. Lee Grady’s book Ten Lies The Church Tells Men, that was referred to here a few days ago.

What is Zondervan to do about all this?  The remaining editions of the NIV-1984 version in the Thinline and Church Bible (formerly Pew Bible) style — the two most popular formats — have already been discontinued and remaining copies donated to mission agencies.  The devotional, teen and study Bibles are not in reprint awaiting the fall release of the rest of the NIV-2011 product line.

Zondervan made an “all-in” commitment to the new translation, and is now met with this slap in the face from North America’s largest Protestant denomination.

But largest for how long?  As we reported here on Wednesday, USAToday’s religion page states that baptism statistics for the SBC are at a virtual all-time low for the past two generations, dropping to 1950s levels.  The denomination is going the way of many mainline Protestant ones; losing relevancy and losing younger families.

As for the translation issue:  C’mon guys (which implies both male and female here).  Look at the example above from Luke 9 and tell me that some element of the Christian faith is being compromised by the paraphrase I offered. 

If not, then suck it up. 

Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today and forever.  Our faith is based on unchanging truth.

But the English language is changing, and male-dominated, patriarchal language simply doesn’t mean what you think it means anymore; it isn’t heard that way, and simply doesn’t cut it.

~Paul Wilkinson

November 10, 2010

Wednesday Link List

One of the more interesting lists of lynx links I’ve posted in a long time…

  • Starting out, here’s the ultimate list of stats comparing the NIV 2011 with previous NIV editions.    Lots of changes in Ruth, Ezra, Amos and Jonah.  And III John.   But nothing like the 32% new content in Galatians.   The least renovated is Song of Solomon, with other low change rates in II Kings and Esther.
  • Very shocked to learn recently about the accident involving Ruth Graham’s husband Greg, who was in a major automobile accident.  (Ruth is a daughter of Ruth Bell Graham and Billy Graham.)   Pray for Ruth, Greg and their three sons.  You can follow some of the story by clicking on the ministry website, selecting Ruth’s blog, and scrolling back to September 30th’s entry.   Really, really try to remember to pray for this family.
  • Barry Simmons has embedded a film clip dramatizing a critical moment in Martin Luther’s trial before the Diet of Worms, where he is given a chance to renounce his beliefs.     Where would we be today if Luther hadn’t stood up the doctrinal corruption that was taking place at the time?  (No, this Diet isn’t a weight-loss program.   Click here and here to learn more.)
  • Speaking of film clips, a regular reader — and one-time guest contributor to this blog — Simon Fraser University film student Nathan Douglas scored an opportunity to do a film review for Christianity Today magazine of a Finnish movie releasing on DVD in February, Letters to Father Jacob.
  • Here’s a link to last night’s story on ABC World News about pastors who have lost their faith but can’t afford to lose their jobs. “…When speaking to parishioners, they tried to stick to the sections of the Bible that they still believed in — the parts about being a good person. Both said that they would like to leave their jobs though they can’t afford to.
  • Timmy Brister at the blog, Provocations and Paintings has been busy reading AND: The Gathered and Scattered Church by Hugh Halter and Matt Smay, and highlights two videos that were used to open the AND Conference.   I really like these videos, which help make the point of encouraging the blending the missional and the attractional approaches to church.
  • And speaking of Calvinist bloggers, Phil Johnson at Pyromaniacs seems to take great delight in pouring gasoline on this fire, in a post entitled The Problem For Arminians.    I’m not 100% sure what — other than intense pain — this particular line of discussion is serving, but I’m not alone, as the 200-odd comments clearly indicate.
  • Mike Gilbart-Smith posts some fairly extensive notes from a lecture by Stuart Townend on Leading Corporate Worship.    He also summarizes them here at 9 Marks.    Don’t know who Townend is?  Then click here.
  • The author of Heaven almost got there at an earlier stage of life.  Randy Alcorn talks about working at a 7-11 and being robbed at gunpoint.  Well, actually he kinda glosses over it.
  • Adam Young aka Owl City performs In Christ Alone with a couple of interesting key changes.   He ends the blog post related to the song with this:  “When He comes for His own, He will have no trouble recognizing me… because my banner will be clear.”
  • And then, at the other end of the musical spectrum, we have the bluegrass sounds of The Franz Family kicking off the Christmas season early with O Come, O Come Emmanuel.     I’ve always like this song; I like the simple harmonies on this, but I was really struck by the production of the video itself.
  • Guess I’m going nuts with video links this week.   If you were part of the Jesus Music scene in the late ’70s and early ’80s; you’ll remember an early worship song from the Maranatha! Five album by Bill Sprouse and the Road Home based on Psalm 5.
  • Our cartoon this week is a bit of a mystery.  I clicked on Church People at Baptist Press by Frank Lengel and ended up with a string of Friends cartoons by Franko.  Same person?  Beats me.  I haven’t seen this one before among the seven different cartoons available there.  The way I see it, the “news” value of telling that story makes up for my ignoring the copyright notice.

November 27, 2009

Zondervan Fighting Fires on Several Fronts

If there’s a copy of the NIV in your house, or even a copy of Purpose Driven Life, you know  Zondervan, the Grand Rapids company founded in 1931 by Pat and Bernie Zondervan, now owned by HarperCollins.

But even if you don’t, you would have a hard time escaping mention of the company online during the last 90 days, as it’s been a wild ride for company executives, and especially company president Maurine (Moe) Girkins, pictured at right, who seems to be making a public statement on one front or another every week.    Imagine dealing with all this:

  • The fall announcement that the TNIV translation would be discontinued in favor of a revised NIV.    This re-sparked old debates over the TNIV’s use of gender-neutral language, with some discussion shifting from the anthropos=mankind argument, to the plural vs. singular argument and the translation vs. commentary challenge of Bible translation.   In the process, very few people considered that the much better-loved NIV — as it currently exists –was also being scrubbed in the process.
  • The hiring of Flickering Pixels author Shane Hipps by Mars Hill Bible Church in Zondervan’s hometown, brought Hipps under fire from the discernment ministries who already had their guns aimed at Rob Bell.   It also showcases Zondervan’s willingness to promote next generation authors and give a platform to younger voices — bloggers Jon Acuff and Anne Jackson come to mind — and Emergent church, social justice and missional voices like Brian McLaren, Shane Claiborne or Dan Kimball.   But the downside of this is going to be inexperience at minimum, or more severe controversy as in the next item; and even the hint of heresy from some extreme sides could diminish the value of the Zondervan brand in the eyes of conservative Christians.    The company is caught in the race against other publishers to sign “the next big thing in Christian writing” on the dotted line.   With that comes risk.   While there are more and more authors in the marketplace, Donald Millers don’t grow on trees.
  • The decision to pull Deadly Viper Character Assasins by Mike Foster and Jud Wilhite was probably not easily made.    Taking a title of out distribution is costly and suggests the company wasn’t carefully considering the full ramifications of the book’s content before the presses started rolling.  Most people agree.   Others would say the company got caught in the tide of political correctness and that the book’s Kung-Fu imagery was a valid literary device to express the authors intent.
  • The sale of Youth Specialties to Youthworks was the buzz of the recent National Youth Workers Convention, and it follows the release of Youth Specialties head Mark Oestreicher.   Zondervan will continue to hold the print rights to current and future books and resources.
  • The downward spiral in the marriage of Jon and Kate Gosselin.   Zondervan is the publisher of Multiple Blessings: Surviving and Thriving with Twins and Sextuplets. The story of a young couple who trusted in the ever present hand of a faithful God to provide the strength and courage they needed to face seemingly impossible challenges one day at a time” no doubt pales in the light of their recent separation and Jon’s excesses.    Such is the world of celebrity.   Just ask Thomas Nelson, whose biography of Lynn Spears was put on hold a few years back when Britney’s younger sister became pregnant at a young age.
  • The lawsuit filed last week against Zondervan by Thomas Nelson, alleging copyright infringement in its I-Can-Read series book, The Princess Twins which they say is ripping off the Gigi: God’s Little Princess book and series by Sheila Walsh.  The similarity in the visual appearance of the characters is complicated by — but also somewhat explained by — the fact that both books used the same illustrator.  It also raises the issue of lawsuits among Christians.
  • The September decision to jettison the company’s Pradis Bible software and instead work with other software developers such as Logos, with the result that pastors and seminarians don’t have to have a separate Bible program to utilize Zondervan content.
  • The shunning of the Christian bookstore market in favor of developing an entire series of specialty Bibles for retail giant Wal-Mart may have been the last straw for those stores.   The backlash could continue for several years as customers bring those copies to the Christian stores looking to buy “another one like this one” which store staff will have never seen before.   To further complicate things, the Wal-Mart series piggybacks on several existing Zondervan NIV brands.
  • Uncertainties as to how many copies of the new Glo Bible software will be returned after Christmas.   With four computers in the house — two of them recent — there’s a little concern in our home as to whether or not we can install the program which requires a dual core processor and 18GB of free hard disc space.  My youngest son, who is into gaming, offered me space on his, but it’s hard to find time when he’s not using it.
  • While it’s not a Zondervan title, the company’s sales reps are promoting parent HarperCollins’ release Going Rogue by Sarah Palin in the Christian bookstore market, because of Palin’s unabashed faith commitment.   But Palin is a wild card, and the company can’t afford any backlash from the independent Christian bookstores that still remain.
  • Stuff Christians Like blogger Jon Acuff’s book of the same name is due out from the company in the new year.   The blog is somewhat tame at times — he refused to print two comments by this writer, and I’m not known for being edgy — but takes risks in others.    One of the edgier sections is called “Booty – God – Booty” which frankly discusses the North American penchant for compartmentalizing our lives into the sacred and the profane.    But readers may have to read the section twice to get the illustration, and speaking of illustrations, at least one blogger is upset over this one.

And that’s just a few major items.   I’d love to be a fly on the wall in the Zondervan conference room.  It’s hard to imagine one Christian publisher dealing with so many varied issues at the same time.

I can’t wait to see what surprises the company has in mind for 2010.

Now,  more in the spirit of blogging:  How significant is the name on the spine of a book to you?  Do you note who the publishers are?   Do publisher imprints matter?   Do you have a favorite publisher?

Pictured below, some graphics from the now off-market Deadly Viper Character Assassins:



October 23, 2009

Blogger Starts NASB-Only Movement

Filed under: bible, Humor — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 7:11 pm

Somewhere in the house, I have a New American Standard Bible (NASB).   It was given to me around 1980 by my parents, and it suffered the terrible injustice of being left on the roof of my car after  church on a hot summer day as I removed a suit jacket (remember those?) before driving home for lunch.

NASB classic red hardcoverI saw the Bible fly off the back of the car and as I started to pull over, watched in the rear-view mirror as a car hit it dead-on.   All things considered, the Bible stood up rather well, but another new translation, the New International Version (NIV) was already making waves and my Bible’s somewhat injured front cover signaled this might be a good time to make the NIV my principal text.

I haven’t thought much about the red hardcover NASB since, but tonight it occurred to me that if you wanted to make a case for using a particular translation exclusively, there are much better compelling arguments in favor of that translation being the NASB than many of the others out there.   It’s a formal-correspondence version used a lot in evangelical seminaries and Bible colleges for that very reason, though not much these days outside those given to serious study.

And since the Christian community has shown itself capable of fostering all sorts of weird and wonderful causes, I figure starting a NASB-only movement makes as much sense as anything else out there.

So I am herewith forming the NASB-only movement, right here, right now in this very blog post.   It begins now.   And you were there.

Now I need some people with more than just a hint of resident anger who can help me bash and trash all the other translations.    And we’ll need someone to write a book or two as to why all the other translations are totally inaccurate.

And we need some kind of miracle story “proving” beyond the shadow of a doubt why I have received this mantle to spread the efficaciousness* of the NASB.

Maybe something about my copy surviving a direct hit from a ’73 Pontiac Bonneville.

*That word had my spell check humming for several seconds.   But I think for the movement to survive the weekend, making up new words should be part of the bargain.

September 22, 2009

Lighter Links

Filed under: Humor, issues, links — Tags: , , , , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 5:56 pm

Our last link collection was rather heavy.   So here’s some stuff that won’t leave you drained.

  • praying ronald McdonaldShe once was lost, but now she’s found.   Christian music singer Jennifer Knapp has surfaced after being AWOL for what seemed forever.   Read her statement on her website.   “I haven’t actually disappeared.  I’ve been truly corporeal this whole time.”    Betcha the speculation will continue, however.
  • Why is Ronald McDonald praying?   That was the question readers of the blog The Ironic Catholic were asking (and captioning.)    The answer was to be found in the link in the teeny tiny type under the picture as it appeared there, but we’ll spoonfeed it to you here.
  • While some people are talking about Anne Jackson’s future book with Thomas Nelson, Permission to Speak Freely, which borrows the whole Post Secrets concept, here’s a variation on the whole online confessional thing from the folks at Long Hollow Baptist, a three campus church in greater Nashville, TN.   Sample from Anne’s: “I’ve tried so hard not to be the stereotypical Christian, that I’ve sinned against God.”  Sample from Long Hollow:  “God, I miss You and I want to come home.   I’m sorry I chose the world over You.”  (…and to think today we’re doing lighter blog links…)
  • David Keen at the blog, St. Aidan to Abbey Manor (yeah, I know, I wanted that blog name, too, but it was taken) offers us some suggestions for naming the new NIV/TNIV hybrid when it appears in 2011.   Possibilities so far:
    – Tomorrows New International Version (TNIV, not to be confused with TNIV)
    – Newer International Version (NIV, not to be confused with NIV)
    – Very New International Version (VNIV, which is starting to look like a Roman date)
    – Brand New International Version (BNIV, which ceases to be true as soon as you’ve bought it, and so risks making a complete liar out of everyone who owns a copy)
    – New International Version 3.0, which can be released in digital form and updated by download whenever a new bit of translation becomes available.
    – 21st Century NIV: bit of a hostage to fortune, as you then can’t amend it again for 89 years. Actually ’21st century’ already sounds dated.
  • Many years ago I attended a church where the pastor was roundly condemned for wearing Hush Puppies instead of Oxfords and a turtleneck sweater instead of a shirt and tie.  How times have changed.   Well, not everywhere.   The Coral Ridge Presbyterian faction would have new pastor Tullian Tchividjian removed for not wearing a robe.   (No, it’s not like he’s preaching nude; he wears other stuff.)  Anyway, they’re also upset that he isn’t weighing in on political issues.   Guess James Kennedy was more of a headline maker.   Tullian is safe for now, having been reaffirmed with a 69% vote.   Read the silliness here.

…and you thought I was always serious.    We’ll leave you with something from Pundit Kitchen:

church and state from pundit kitchen

Related posts on this blog:
Review of Anne Jackson’s first book, Mad Church Disease
Story explaining the revision of the NIV in 2011 and ending publication of the TNIV


September 4, 2009

Comments Left in the Blogosphere

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 4:39 pm

blog ratingHonestly, sometimes I think I do my best work on other people’s sites. Others may just think of it as dropping more litter on the information highway…

On the Jaycee Dugard case, I left this at Julie Clawson‘s site:

I think there’s also a broader element to this story which so captivates us. The highway to my house passes through a dense forest. I’ve often wondered if there is any unsolved crime evidence hidden there. There’s a man on my street who in 20+ years has never planted a tree, never paved his driveway. I often wonder what goes on inside that house. There’s a property a few miles from me where for years, the interior was completely ringed by a six-foot solid wood plank fence. What on earth was going on behind that wall?

We drive through the woods and past homes and property oblivious to what stories are written there. It’s astonishing that something like this story could go on right under the noses of the neighbors for all those years, but then I ask, what could be going on right under our noses? But we don’t want to answer that question because to truly answer it would be to give up basic freedoms. I remember how, years ago, as an apartment tenant, I would resent the annual inspection by the landlord. I wanted to be king of my castle.

But maybe the loss of such freedom is the price we must pay to ensure the safety of people like Jaycee. On television at least, that property looked like it was dying for a closer audit; and health, fire, safety and environmental concerns are sufficient grounds for authorities to get a closer look.

I don’t visit the Emerging Women blog too often (!), but left this remark in regards to the TNIV discussion:

I was really impressed with the book How To Choose a Bible Translation for All It’s Worth by Mark Strauss and Gordon Fee, especially the way the book dealt with the Greek term ‘anthropos’– hope the spelling is close — referring to mankind not males. My fear is that we’ll look back on this day about a dozen years from now and decide that this was an overreaction. The TNIV was not the translation equivalent of New Coke.

Eric Miller is somehow able to attend a Beatles-inspired concert and get Christianity Today to print his review of it, under the rather offbeat title, Vacationing With The Pagans.    You can almost see the lightning and hear the thunder as the clash of cultures reveals itself in the emerging comments section.   I was rather amazed they ran the piece and wrote:

Wow!  If Eric Miller can get all this out of watching a Beatles tribute band do a beach concert, I hope he has a full book coming out.  Chesterton’s analysis notwithstanding, I’m sure this was a very professionally done performance; recreating very familiar original music is most difficult to do, but it is a joy to watch, especially when that music helped transform both a generation specifically, and Western society in general.

I’m sure it was most evocative, especially for those who lived through those days from 1963 to 1970.  After an experience like that, you want to share it with someone, and as Christ-followers, sometimes the only frame of reference we have is our faith; our spirituality.

But I’m also not certain where this fits into the online pages of CT, though I do see a value in celebrating these moments when they take place. Probably there were other Christ-followers in the audience, too; whether or not they would call it ‘vacationing with the pagans,’ I’m not so sure…


Finally, here’s one on Stuff Christians Like concerning the online church fad:

Occasionally… I’ll listen to a podcast while sitting at the desktop. Over the last few months I’ve been coming to the conclusion that I’ve been ADD all my life, before the diagnosis ever existed.

So I’ll never forget the first time — and the associated guilt — when I started clicking Solitaire cards as I was listening. Frankly, this type of multi-tasking only sharpens my concentration on the sermon.

Now I’m looking for a church that has video monitors installed in the last two rows for those of us who need a built-in distraction to hear the message more clearly.

So what about you?  Do you leave comments on blogs?  I guess if you respond to that, the answer is yes.

September 1, 2009

TNIV Bible to Be Phased Out By 2011

Filed under: bible, books — Tags: , , , , , , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 8:19 pm

TNIV Study BibleCiting ‘mistakes’ made in the way the updated NIV translation was brought to market, Biblica, the former International Bible Society, announced today that moving forward, the TNIV and NIV will mesh together in a revised NIV releasing in 2011.

One big issue is the criticism the TNIV has faced over its gender neutral language in cases such as the Greek ‘anthropos,’ referring to mankind, not males.   The criticism began with a gender-neutral version that released first in the UK.

Doug Moo, chairman of the the Committee on Bible Translation (which is the body responsible for the translation) said the committee has not yet decided how much the 2011 edition will include the gender-inclusive language that riled critics of the TNIV.

“We felt certainly at the time it was the right thing to do, that the language was moving in that direction,” Moo said. “All that is back on the table as we reevaluate things this year. This has been a time over the last 15 to 20 years in which the issue of the way to handle gender in English has been very much in flux, in process, in development. And things are changing quickly and so we are going to look at all of that again as we produce the 2011 NIV.”

So what’s the big deal?

Most translation revisions are not met with as much fanfare as today’s announcement. But most translations have not been on top of the best-seller list for a quarter century. Nor had other translation committees previously announced that they would not update their text. Most importantly, other translations had not been the focus of boycotts, Christian bookstore chain bans, Southern Baptist Convention resolutions, and other outrage that accompanied the TNIV’s release.

Read the whole story in this Christianity Today article.

Update: (September 3rd) – Here’s a great interview Darryl Dash did with Douglas Moo, chair of CBT, The Committee on Bible Translation.

December 9, 2008

“The Law is Good if One Uses it Lawfully”

Filed under: bible, Christianity, Faith, theology — Tags: , , , , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 7:21 pm

William D. [Bill] MounceBill Mounce — in what is apparently # 16 in a continuing series — talks about the various puns in the Bible and how translators deal with them.   Don’t expect to be laughing out loud here, this is a serious article.   But if you’re interested in the issue of Bible translation* then this article on the “Zondervan Friends” blog Koinonia may cause you to flip back and read the whole series.

And what a good series it is.   If this kind of reading is new to you, your capacity for understanding will grow as you read more.   Select the tag for “Mondays with Mounce;” and skim the subjects in the 16 articles currently posted.   Read carefully.  Take deep breaths.   I guarantee you’ll end up clicking to finish a few of the articles.   You’ll find yourself viewing familiar New Testament passages in ways you haven’t before.   And if you’re into the whole translation* subject, you’ll find this series a good consideration of two of the newer ones, the ESV and the TNIV.

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*Oh no!  Bible translation!   Time to turn the comments off on this post.   Sorry, guys.   There’s a few people who are stuck on a particular trans who tend to ruin it for everyone else.   I won’t say which one, but it rhymes with “sing dames.”

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