Home > Uncategorized > Southern Baptists Unanimously Condemn New NIV

Southern Baptists Unanimously Condemn New NIV

According to this information published late yesterday from Baptist Press, the resolution may be binding on Lifeway stores and websites not to carry the translation; a major defeat for Biblica and Zondervan.

(Wed. 8:14 PM EST; from Phoenix, Arizona)

In a surprising and dramatic move moments ago, messengers voted first to consider a resolution highly critical of the TNIV (sic) 2011 and then passed the resolution nearly unanimously. The resolution came from the floor — introduced by messenger Tim Overton — and not from the Resolutions Committee. Overturn’s appeal for messengers to consider the resolution passed by at least a 2-to-1 margin, and the resolution itself got only a handful of opposing votes. The Resolutions Committee had asked messengers not to consider the resolution.

The resolution states:

WHEREAS, Many Southern Baptist pastors and laypeople have trusted and used the 1984 New International Version (NIV) translation to the great benefit of the Kingdom; and

WHEREAS, Biblica and Zondervan Publishing House are publishing an updated version of the New International Version (NIV) which incorporates gender neutral methods of translation; and

WHEREAS, Southern Baptists repeatedly have affirmed our commitment to the full inspiration and authority of Scripture (2 Timothy 3:15-16) and, in 1997, urged every Bible publisher and translation group to resist “gender-neutral” translation of Scripture; and

WHEREAS, This translation alters the meaning of hundreds of verses, most significantly by erasing gender-specific details which appear in the original language; and

WHEREAS, Although it is possible for Bible scholars to disagree about translation methods or which English words best translate the original languages, the 2011 NIV has gone beyond acceptable translation standards; and

WHEREAS, Seventy-five percent of the inaccurate gender language found in the TNIV is retained in the 2011 NIV; and

WHEREAS, The Southern Baptist Convention has passed a similar resolution concerning the TNIV in 2002; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers of the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, June 14-15, 2011 express profound disappointment with Biblica and Zondervan Publishing House for this inaccurate translation of God’s inspired Scripture; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we encourage pastors to make their congregations aware of the translation errors found in the 2011 NIV; and be it further

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

RESOLVED, That we cannot commend the 2011 NIV to Southern Baptists or the larger Christian community.

Given that many of the editions of the 1984  NIV are already out of print, this creates a major problem for Zondervan. Furthermore, other conservative Evangelical groups could follow the Southern Baptist Convention’s lead.

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