GBT Will Not Use or Endorse NIV 2011

The NIV version of the bible was updated this year. Unfortunately part of the update included the use of gender neutral language. We have never considered gender neutral language as a legitimate method of translation. While the NIV 1984 version is still accurate, from this point on we will begin using different translations in our articles as we do not want people to confuse the endorsement of one NIV as an acceptance of the other. At this time we will not be going back to remove the use of the NIV 1984 in past articles, this will only affect future ones.

The Baptist Press reported that "Douglas Moo, chairman of the Committee on Bible Translation -- which translated the NIV 2011 -- previously told Baptist Press there was no agenda in the translation process other than to render a Bible into more contemporary language."

However, one needs to understand that the changes that are taking place in contemporary English are themselves, agenda driven. People are not changing the use of the language of their own accord rather it is politically driven, which is why we call it "politically correct" language. The rise of feminism, secular humanism, liberalism, and homosexuality have all played a role in forcing our society to accept gender neutral language. Most Americans are not offended by the statement that, "all men are created equal" as mentioned in our constitution any more than they are by the words that that God wants "all men to be saved." Only those with an agenda want that wording changed, and our society, unfortunately has given in.

While society may have accepted gender neutral language as the norm, that does not mean it is appropriate. To Christians who believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God, totally infallible in the original texts, must be very careful about translating it. If God chose to use a male pronoun, then that is what we should use. If the text meant the use of the pronoun to be inclusive, then the reader will know that.

One significant change in the NIV 2011 that reveals how dangerous this translation can be is the passage in Timothy 2:12. Compare these two translations below.

1 Tim 2:12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. NIV 1984

1 Timothy 2:12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man;[a] she must be quiet. Footnotes:1 Timothy 2:12 Or over her husband NIV 2011

The NIV 2011 changed the wording from "have authority" to "assume authority." This will allow feminists to suggest that women can be pastors as long as the authority is given to them by someone else. They simply can not "assume" that authority on their own. It also adds a footnote that this is in only in relation to her husband. This really is getting into agenda driven translating at this point.

The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood was the first major organization to speak out against this translation. You will find their extensive Evaluation of Gender Language in the in the 2011 Edition of the NIV Bible to be very insightful.

The Southern Baptist Convention recently endorsed a resolution critical of this translation as well. And while Focus on the Family has not been vocal about it, their organization is not recommending this new translation but rather they are sending people to the CBMW's response to the NIV 2011.

We are hopeful that other Conservative Christian organizations will speak out against this translation as well. It is important that you be confident in the translation that you use.

Guided By Truth recommends the following contemporary translations as accurate:

1. New American Standard Bible (NASB)
2. The English Standard Version (ESV)
3. The Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
4. New English Translation (NET)

The King James Version and New King James Version are also acceptable translations to use, though not as contemporary.