[sword-devel] Often-requested yet never-available Bibles

Brian J. Dumont bdumont at ameritech.net
Mon Jul 27 05:39:03 MST 2009

Barry Drake wrote:
> Now - a rant - I see it as a great pity that so many people want the
> NIV.  As a theologian, I never recommend this translation to my
> students  as it has a party bias.  The entire translation team is from
> the evangelical school.  The Good News (TEV) and the NRSV are two
> reliable unbiased translations that I recommend to my students.  Both
> are available in Catholic editions or as versions with apocrypha, and
> the NRSV especially is a good study bible.  The NET bible too is an
> excellent translation.  Why, oh why do so many people still want the NIV?
I'm not a huge fan of the NIV by any means, and I feel that it does too
much interpretation as a part of the translation ... but the NRSV and
TEV are given these same criticisms.  The criticism is simply given in
different circles of Christians. 

True, the NIV is made by evangelicals.  The NRSV and TEV are both made
by groups of rather liberal Bible scholars.  Admittedly, they come from
multiple denomonations with some secular Bible scholars as well, but
nonetheless the hermeneutical and translation principles used are all on
the liberal end of the spectrum ...  and this does in fact affect the
translations.  I don't mean to bash any of the NIV, NRSV, or TEV ... we
should all just try to keep in mind that we're all biased, no matter how
hard we try to not be so.

As hard as we may try, this bias always seems to become more apparent
when one tries to make the translation more readable.  That readability
is why people like these translations.  I think that in terms of
readability the NIV really managed to hit a "sweet spot" that people
like (although the NRSV got fairly close).  It's the right balance of
being accessible to folks with limited education and acceptable to those
with more.  It doesn't sound like it's being dumbed-down or things are
glossed-over, but most folks have no trouble understanding it. 

I'm just thankful that we have tools to compare a number of translations
against each other. :-)  

God bless,

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