The online version of the NIV 2011 was just released this morning, and the video above is the chairman of the translation committee, Doug Moo, offering an introduction to its release. The translation committee has produced a number of materials that readers will want to consult: an executive summary, translator’s notes, and the text itself.
A word is in order about why Zondervan is putting so much into the release of the NIV 2011. The last two attempts at revising the NIV were met with a great deal of controversy. The first attempt was the NIVI, and the second was the TNIV. Both revisions were controversial because they adopted a gender-inclusive philosophy of translation, and for this reason neither caught-on with American evangelicals. The TNIV in particular was the American revision, and it never established itself as a major translation because of its gender-inclusive approach. If the new NIV were to be rejected as the TNIV was, it would be a disaster for the publisher. Zondervan has a lot riding on the release of the NIV 2011.
The debates in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s over gender-inclusive translation were never really resolved. Although they are still using the TNIV as the textual base for the NIV 2011, the translators of the NIV 2011 are well-aware of those debates (as the translator’s notes make clear). One of the ways that the publisher is addressing the unresolved issues is by hosting an online forum to discuss Bible translation theory. Zondervan has teamed-up with The Gospel Coalition to bring together voices from both sides of the debate to discuss some of the issues. The new blog is called “Perspectives in Translation,” and it’s being moderated by Colin Hansen.
I have already contributed a piece there in answer to the question, “What makes a translation accurate?” Other contributors so far include Jim Hamilton, Tremper Longman, Robert Yarbrough, Ray Van Neste and others. You’ll want to follow the conversation there to see how scholars are discussing the release of the new NIV. [Please note: Our answers to this first question were written before the release of the NIV 2011.]
I’ll be interacting with the NIV 2011 here on this site, on the “Perspectives in Translation” site, in the pages of JBMW and in other publications as there is opportunity. Stay tuned.