Coming home early from work today to start the holiday weekend, I was reading the paper (the Chicago Tribune) on the train. On p. 2 of the main section was a short article entitled “It’s a man’s, man’s man’s Bible.” The substance of the article was about the announcement by Biblica this past September 1st at Trinity Christian College that the Committee on Bible Translation is going to completely redo the New International Version (NIV) for publication in 2011 (the 400-year anniversary of the King James Version). This will be the first complete revision of the NIV since it was first published in 1984. The gender neutral edition, called Today’s New International Version (TNIV), will, according to the article, “vanish” in 2011. You can watch the news conference or ask questions or make suggestions here.
The 2005 TNIV was exceedingly controversial in the evangelical community, mostly for its attempts at gender neutral language. For an excellent overview of the issues, see this paper.
In the article, academic gadfly Bart Ehrman is quoted as doubting that the revision has as much to do with the evolution of the English language as it does the orthodox trends in evangelical thought.
“They are changing the gender-neutral language, no doubt, because their ‘base’ is conservative evangelical Christians who are offended by anything that appears to have a feminist agenda behind it, not because the language has changed,” Ehrman said during a news conference at Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights earlier this week. “If it has changed, of course, it has changed toward greater gender neutrality — except in religiously and politically conservative circles.”
What are your thoughts on this development, either as to the forthcoming revision of the NIV in particular or attempts at gender neutral translation in general?