The Biblica Bible Society (formerly International Bible Society) announced that it will release a revision of the New International Version of the Bible in 2011. Since the original release of the NIV in 1978 there have been several "revisions:" the Today's New International Version (TNIV) the New International Version Inclusive (NIVi) using gender neutral language, the New International Reader's Version (NIRV) and other variations such as the "Adventure Bible for Early Readers."
They claim that the mistakes were primarily in handling the public relations when they released the new versions. But the Committee on Bible Translations (CBT), responsible for "updating" the text, claims they have "1200 changes to the text" waiting to be incorporated into the 2011 release.
There are two basic "rules of the game" in Bible translating. One simply tries to find a word in the new language that means the same as the word in the original language. This is known as "literal equivalence."
Sometimes the two languages do not have identical words, so the translators may use more than one word to get the exact meaning across. However, their goal is still to get a translation that literally says what the original said.
To the average buyer of Bibles, this seems the way it "ought to be." He will assume he is going to get God's words. After all, the Bible is the Bible, isn't it??
Unfortunately, there is another philosophy of Bible translation that uses different rules. It is called "dynamic equivalence." Now, anything that is "dynamic" is something that moves around a lot. And when you take a close look at the dozens of new translations that have used this "dynamic" approach, it sure is a moving target. Instead of looking for a new word just like the one in the old translation, they form an opinion about what they think the old word means and then look for a way to explain it in "today's" words.
Trying to adapt the Bible language to "modern" words is like juggling. You better keep moving or your act will crash. The NIV's "dynamic" dance over the last 30 years proves the point. When writers of Sunday school and teaching material quote the NIV they have to include the version date or someone will think they misquoted it.
Wouldn't it be better to have a Bible that has not changed in 400 years? One you could memorize and be confident it won't change during your lifetime? One that doesn't need a standing "committee" to keep it up to date?
One translated by the most qualified men ever assembled for such a job? One that was the central inspiration for every significant revival in the Western World? One that guided America to become the most blessed nation ever known? One that has been translated into hundreds of native languages by thousands of missionaries?
But to have such a Bible, you must stretch your mind to learn a few hundred new words and face ridicule for believing that this "literal" Bible is exactly what God wanted English speaking people to know. But, you don't have to worry that your Bible will change wordings and meanings every few years.
Satan hates this Bible that has stood the test of time: the Authorized King James Version. To learn the less familiar words in the KJV, get a copy of David W. Daniel's little booklet, The King James Bible Companion.
To learn how to confound the critics, get copies of David W. Daniel's books, Answers to Your Bible Version Questions, Look What's Missing, and Did the Catholic Church Give Us The Bible?