Bye Bye TNIV

I'm trying to reserve some judgment on this until I see the updated NIV, but right now I'm heartbroken. Zondervan just announced that they will scrap the Today's New International Version (TNIV) of the Bible and undergo a major revision of the NIV due out 2011.

The TNIV is a gender inclusive translation of the Bible that very responsibly uses references to "men and women" and "humankind" and "brothers and sisters" in its text. Any time the original language used inclusive references, they are stated as such. It keeps the male pronoun for God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. The translation was very liberating for Eric and I. It is such a relief to be directly spoken to as a "sister" in the Bible, as it should be, rather than told "Oh, mankind means everybody. You're overreacting."

I'm not overreacting. Language is powerful, so when I get picky about semantics, it's because they carry meaning far beyond the words themselves. If there is "neither male nor female" then we need to be vigilant about making sure our language reflects that equality.

Several years ago I read a book by a woman who was severely abused by her father, and underwent all sorts of victimization from men. She struggled often with the male-dominance of churches. A gender-inclusive Bible was a big step in her restoration. She cried when she read it.

So I pray that the next version of the NIV will seek God on how to lift up our brothers and sisters through this translation. I don't want to have to fight to be included in a Bible that was written for me, too.

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