Spamming to promote the NIV bible?

I have written a couple of times before about the collapse in confidence in the New International Version (NIV) of the bible.  This happened after Zondervan, the publishers, decided to revise it to be “gender neutral.”  As I wrote in my last such post:

… “gender neutrality” is not a principle of text criticism, nor of biblical theology, but a principle of the modern political movement referred to as “political correctness”.  So the publisher has acted to corrupt the translation in the interests of a modern political lobby – an incredible thing to do.

It is now the 50th anniversary of the publication of the NIV.  It is, of course, a sad anniversary, considering what has happened.  Zondervan have been trying to boost the “translation” by having a website, thenivbible.com, which is of course their right.  The site is conspicuously silent about the controversy, I note, which is not so acceptable.

They have also, even less forgiveably, employed a PR industry firm to pester bloggers.

A few months ago I received a communication from a PR flack, via my contact form.  The message professed to be all excited about how wonderful my site was, and then seamlessly went on to say how I might like to engage with their new site, etc etc.

In other words, they sent me a spam email.  The content suggested to me that they had mined the lists of top 50 biblioblogs, and spammed the lot.  I deleted it, and thought no more of it.

Today I received another one, from the same PR flack, with the same dishonest message, professing again to be giving feedback and actually trying to get me to visit etc that sad old website.  I must confess to feeling contempt for such attempts to gain my support by such threadbare flattery.

I fear that Dante would have assigned an imaginative fate, for those who brought this about, in the Inferno. Perhaps he would have depicted them being endlessly sodomized by (gender neutral!) demons.  But then I am less imaginative than the Florentine master.

5 thoughts on “Spamming to promote the NIV bible?

  1. Thank you for the information. I have been unhappy with NIV translation policies for a long time. Do you know where I could find more information to share with others (regarding questionable NIV practices) for those who might not agree and / or might not know?

  2. I don’t, I’m afraid. I haven’t really looked very far into the subject, since I find it too depressing for words. It is a very nice translation, or was. But who can endure such tampering?

    I’ve read the publisher’s responses, which seemed to me pretty much to admit the facts alleged against them – that words like “brother” are being rendered “brother and sister”, and that they changed this because it might cause politically correct people to be upset. The words they used to defend themselves seemed to me to admit what they were accused of. The way that they persisted in trying to do this also told me that something bad was happening.

    The only other issue I have wondered about is whether “heretic” is being rendered correctly. I understand (I have not checked) that they give “a divisive person”, where the KJV gave “heretic”. If so, this is mistranslation.

    It would be possible, no doubt, for me to examine the NIV. But I don’t want to become a critic of bible translations. Someone has to do it, but not me. I want to sit under the authority of scripture. It must be very hard for any panel of translators in English to avoid feeling superior to the product they produce.

  3. Hi Roger,
    I used to like the NIV because it took alternate readings from the Septuagint seriously rather than slavishly following the Massoretic Text.

    Then I found an example of bias that the preface said they would avoid. The preface states that translators from multiple denominations ‘helped to safeguard the translation from sectarian bias.’

    The bias is this, evangelicals dislike the concept of tradition. There are examples where the New Testament speaks of tradition in a negative way but there are some where the word is used in a more positive way. So in Matthew 15:2, 3, 6 and Mark 7:3, 5, 8, 9, 13 paradosis is translated as ‘tradition.’ But in 2 Thess 2:15 or 1 Cor 11:2 or 2 Thess 3:6 tradition is used more positively so the NIV uses the word ‘teaching’ instead. To be sure the translators put the word tradition in footnotes but this is a cop out.
    Anyone with a basic knowledge of Greek knows that that paradosis (tradition) is different from teaching (didaskalias).

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