MacArthur Study Bible to Be Released with NIV

Zondervan announced today that the MacArthur Study Bible notes will be available with the new NIV translation of the scripture beginning in the Fall of 2013. In Zondervan’s press release, John MacArthur says:

The New International Version is read and studied by more English-speaking believers than any other modern translation of Scripture. I’m delighted that the MacArthur Study Bible notes will now be easily accessible to NIV readers. My prayer is that these insights and explanations, together with the acclaimed readability of the translation, will help illuminate the true meaning and unleash the divine power of Scripture for NIV readers.

The MacArthur Study Bible has been available with a variety of translations over the years (NKJV, NASB, ESV), but to my knowledge this is the first time it will appear with a translation that is not “essentially literal” or “formally equivalent.” Read the rest of the press release here.

25 Responses to MacArthur Study Bible to Be Released with NIV

  1. Jonathon Woodyard February 14, 2012 at 6:47 pm #

    That is interesting due to the concerns of so many (like yourself, Wayne Grudem, etc) over the new NIV.

    Gender-neutral language is, in my less than scholarly opinion, not helpful and can be damaging. With the attachment of the MacArthur name to such a translation as the new NIV, more credibility will be given towards those types of translations.

    However, it could be a positive move as some of the study notes may be able to bring back clarity to some texts that will become increasingly obscure due to the lack of gender specificity.

    • Bruce L. February 15, 2012 at 10:46 am #

      I’m thankful this will likely increase Bible readership. However, I’m more concerned with adding the MacArthur Study notes to the 2011 NIV (aka TNIV) Bible — my apologies, but the character of a pig sow (e.g. TNIV) does not change with good makeup (e.g. MacArthur.)

  2. Henry February 14, 2012 at 7:02 pm #

    I didn’t expect MacArthur to give tacit approval to the NIV 2011????

  3. John February 14, 2012 at 7:02 pm #

    I think this is great. I love the latest NIV update and it continues to be the best seller. Now we’ll have the great MacArthur study notes. I can’t wait!

  4. Brent Hobbs February 14, 2012 at 7:45 pm #

    A bit off topic but somewhat related. I heard D. A. Carson preach last weekend and he was preaching from the 2011 NIV.

    • Denny Burk February 14, 2012 at 7:58 pm #

      Yeah, that’s his preferred translation. He’s also the editor for the NIV Study Bible.

  5. Brian R. February 15, 2012 at 1:19 pm #

    Does anyone know why Carson prefers the NIV? I’ve heard that he does, but I’ve never seen his explanation. I know he’s brilliant, so I’d be curious to know…

  6. SFG February 15, 2012 at 7:27 pm #

    “Committee chairman Adam Greenway, a member of First Baptist Church, Mt. Washington, Ky., told the board “vast amounts of scholarly research and other relevant information was gathered and studied … and a number of subject matter experts addressed the task force.” Greenway said LifeWay received support for continuing to carry the 2011 NIV from Albert Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; Jimmy Draper, former president of LifeWay; George Guthrie, Union University; and Douglas Moo, chairman of the Committee on Bible Translation which translated the new NIV.

    “Greenway, who serves as senior associate dean of the Billy Graham School at Southern Seminary, also told trustees, “Messengers to the 2011 SBC annual meeting were encouraged to vote for the resolution based on incorrect information.” As an example, Greenway said the 2011 NIV contains no gender-neutral wording for the names of God.

    “Emphasizing that LifeWay is not endorsing the 2011 NIV, Greenway said, “It is not that we are endorsing the 2011 NIV. We endorse what we publish, and the translation we publish is the Holman Christian Standard Bible. That is the translation that we endorse.” Greenway told trustees, “We do not believe the 2011 NIV rises to the level to where it should be pulled or censored or not carried in our retail chain.”

    • Brent Hobbs February 15, 2012 at 11:29 pm #

      Most people predicted this course of action back when the resolution was adopted. It’s the right decision. I know Denny doesn’t like the translation, but I have a hard time thinking he would want it banned from LifeWay. (Though I could be wrong.) LifeWay carries a lot of translations and, like the statement said, that fact is not an endorsement of any of them.

      • Denny Burk February 16, 2012 at 12:35 am #

        You are correct, Brent. In general, I agree with the resolution, but I would not favor banning the translation from Lifeway. You are also correct not to read LIfeway’s statement as an endorsement of the NIV. In fact, there were no endorsements from anyone quoted in the article. They simply gave a rationale for why Lifeway would continue to sell the translation in their stores.

  7. danny February 15, 2012 at 7:57 pm #

    I’ll be interested to see if Dr Burk will temper his comments a bit more now, or will MacArthur and LifeWay become the object of criticism?

  8. Denny Burk February 15, 2012 at 9:54 pm #

    Danny, my position on the NIV is unchanged, and I stand by everything that I have written about the NIV. Its translation of key gender terminology is not accurate in my view. On the single most important verse of the evangelical gender debate (1 Timothy 2:12), it adopts a translation that has long been favored by leading egalitarians. I still would not recommend this translation no matter whose notes are attached to it.

    • SFG February 16, 2012 at 4:01 pm #

      1 Timothy 2:12 New International Version (NIV) 2011

      12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man;[a] she must be quiet.

      (Footnote: Or over her husband)

      I fail to see how this translation of 1 Timothy 2:12 favors egalitarians. The footnote could favor egalitarians (in the church, but not in marriage), but it only a footnote, which means that it is an alternative translation, an alternative that was not chosen.

  9. Sue February 16, 2012 at 11:36 pm #

    The NIV 2011 adopts for 1 Tim. 2:12, the translation offered by John Calvin. It also falls close to the translations of Jerome, Luther, and the KJV. In fact, the option adopted by the NIV 1984 and ESV are atypical throughout history.

    • Denny Burk February 16, 2012 at 11:45 pm #


      Calvin, Luther, and Jerome never wrote a word of English. You cannot argue that they had the same “translation” as a modern English Bible. You might argue that their interpretation of scripture is similar to NIV. But you cannot say that their translation is.

      Also, the KJV is very different from NIV 2011. It has “usurp” not “assume.”


      • Sue February 17, 2012 at 3:58 pm #

        1) Calvin wrote auctoritatem sumere, which was translated into English in the 19th century in the Calvin Bible as “assume authority”
        2) Luther wrote “herr sein”
        3)Jerome wrote “dominari” which was for him the same word as we find in 1 Peter 5:3, just the thing that no church leader should ever do.
        4) The KJV has “usurp authority.” Lancelot Andrewes was the general editor of the KJV and his sermons indicate that a “usurper” was a person who committed treason against the crown and ought to be executed.

        One cannot make a claim that the NIV 2011 has introduced a new interpretation just because it is different from the NIV 1984.

        I have provided this information before, and Zondervan is aware of this strong and reliable tradition for authentein.

  10. Adam February 17, 2012 at 3:58 pm #

    There is simply no other option in the same mold as the NIV. The HCSB is simply not ready for primetime and lacks the resources and marketing.

  11. Tim Tuggle February 18, 2012 at 5:55 pm #

    As good as MacArthur is soteriologically, I just cannot get that excited about another forum for Dispenstionalist thought, regardless of translation used.

  12. Daniel February 29, 2012 at 11:37 am #

    As far as I know the only the TNIV is gender neutral not the new NIV.


  1. Pyromaniacs: The MacArthur Study Bible (NIV) - February 17, 2012

    […] discussion and analysis, Thomas Nelson Inc. and Zondervan have announced a joint project to publish an edition of The MacArthur Study Bible (MSB) with the New International Version (NIV 2011) text. All 20,000 study notes, plus outlines, articles, and other study aids will be included in the […]

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