The 'New' New N.I.V. 2011 - A brief critique of the latest New International Version of the bible by Colin Tyler
"For all the Athenians and strangers which were there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell or to hear some new thing."
A brother in the Lord recently handed me some notes headed, Updating the New International Version of the Bible: Notes from the Committee on Bible Trsnslation. The notes were dated August 2010 and appear to be a preparatory statement regarding the next edition of the NIV, due for publication sometime early in 2011. To those who love and revere the pure and precious word of God as found in the Authorised Version of 1611, these NIV notes can only be distressing. We grieve over the whole dreadful charade. I had to steel myself to read them. Due to the very serious nature of ongoing corruptions finding their way over subsequent editions onto the pages of the NIV, I felt it necessary to make some comments.
It has been ably demonstrated by a host of competent critics over the last thirty or more years, that the NIV is corrupt. The evidence, for any fair minded Christian with an open-ness to the truth, is available in an abundance of publications. For this reason, I am not going to go over old ground and provide specific rebuttals to all of the textual changes that the NIV Committee list in their 2010 notes. It's like painting the Forth Bridge: no sooner is an exposure made of all the ridiculous and ungodly alterations one edition of the NIV made, than they present us with a whole fresh batch of vain imaginings. I have long been of the mind that an idiot can ask enough questions in five minutes to keep a wise man answering for days. The NIV constantly keeps raising such questions , and responding to them all becomes tiresome. In this article therefore, I propose only to make some general observations upon their stated principles for their new translation and just a few responses to some of the specific texts they propose to alter.
1. The Title
As soon as one picks up a New International Version alarm bells ought to be ringing by the very way it describes itself. The word 'International' should serve as a warning. The concept of internationalism is trendy. It is again the kind of mentality that the New World Order promoters are very keen to create. The world is one big happy family. But the word of God, I believe, warns us about this kind of thinking. Acts 17:26 & 27 reads,
"And hath made one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation:.."
The concept of the United Nations is a godless one. The United Nations is, along with the Church of Rome, arguably the most wicked and corrupt institution on earth. God divided the nations at Babel! The United Nations and the according notion of internationalism is a feature of end-time apostacy. It is the run up to the One World Government and the vicious reign of the Antichrist. Listen again to what God thinks of the destruction of borders and nation states in Proverbs 22:28,
"Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set."
For 'New' and 'International' read 'modern political correctness for suckers.'
About twenty years ago, when I was working in a factory, we had a new foreman come on to the site who was able to accomplish more changes to working practices in a few months than all his predecessors had been able to make in years. I noticed this and I asked him what his secret was. I have never forgotten his answer. He said, "It is a trick I learned when I worked for Birmingham City Council: make small changes, one at a time and no-one notices what is happening."
This technique, I have since learned, is sometimes called incrementalism.
The NIV translators refer to what they call 'the unchanging truths of the Bible'.
Slick! 'Neat, but not gaudy' said the Devil as he painted his tail pea-green.'
They change the text at regular intervals while talking about unchanging truth. They follow the ever more base mores of society and adapt what they call 'the unchanging truths of the Bible' to the growing social decadence. Every new release of their so-called Bible moves further and further away from the words of God. Like the characters working for the setting up of the New World Order, they are constantly doing with their hands what they are denying with their mouths. For example, they write,
"First, it's important to stress that about 95% of the text of the updated NIV is exactly the same as the 1984 text it replaces."
But the 1984 translation was also changed from the one that preceded it, and the one prior to that was a considerable shift from the text of the AV. Besides, 95% means nothing: the real issue is the nature of the changes.
One of the fundamental planks in the NIV translators' platform is their imagined superior knowledge over the translators of the AV. Their whole welter of changes to the text of scripture stands upon their own assertion that they are more knowledgeable than the men who gave us the AV and that the materials that they have access to are also superior to those available to the AV translators.
They cannot of course know this for sure because they cannot know for sure exactly how smart the AV translators were or to exactly what materials they had access. They imagine they know better because they refuse to accept, for whatever reason, that the King James translators actually rejected their preferred materials and ideas. It is true that manuscripts have been discovered since 1611 but it is also undoubtedly true that some manuscripts have been lost.
To illustrate the folly of this kind of conceit consider the following story from history.
Alexander McClure in his book Translators Revived tells of one of the AV translators, Dr. Richard Kilby, travelling with a friend into Derbyshire. On the Sunday Dr. Kilby and his friend visited the local parish church where they were unknown to the preacher.
Not knowing who he had in his congregation, the young preacher gave three reasons why a particular word had been incorrectly translated in the AV.
After the service, the young preacher was informed by Dr. Kilby that the AV translators had themselves considered all three of his reasons and had found thirteen more reasons why they had translated it as printed. It seems clear from reading these preparatory notes on the upcoming NIV that the NIV translators have imbibed the modern mentality towards.
It does not seem to trouble the NIV translators that the English language is degenerating. As western societies move further away from God, indecent, irreverent and careless language has become more current. The NIV translators want to incorporate this degeneracy into their so-called bibles. Only an evolutionary mentality, it seems to me, can account for this. They want their bible, it would appear, to be easily grasped by the man in the street. Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones once said that our job is not to bring the Bible down to the level of the man in the street but to bring the man in the street up to the level of the Bible.
Furthermore, the great bulk of scripture is not addressed to the unsaved anyway, it is addressed to believers. The epistles of Paul, for example, are addressed to the saints. Modern believers are supposed to be separated from the world, so what have we to do with modern modes of speech and language for the most part developed by the ungodly.
Let me say this to the translators of the NIV: I reject your so-called Bible as an abomination. It stinks, and if God spares my life (as Tyndale once said), I will continue to warn the saints of its corruptions. I am aware after years of such endeavor, that just as Jeremiah's warnings went unheeded until it was too late, most saints will not listen.
"Our top priority is locating willing and able members with a high level of expertise in the Greek of the New Testament and/or the Hebrew and Aramaic of the Old Testament. Usually this means scholars with Ph.Ds in one or the other sub-disciplines of Biblical studies. Facility with writing in fluent English is also obviously a high priority."
There priorities, by their own admission, are intellectual. Men like Stephen, of honest report and full of the Holy Ghost, recieve no mention. They would no doubt respond that that is a given. But I think they have made a Freudian slip. They have actually told us what they think matters most. One of Tozer's 'Gems' springs to mind.
"The Devil is a better theologian than any of us and is a devil still."
A close study of the plagues upon Egypt will reveal that the step by step departure from the faith described in Romans chapter 1 answers to the plagues in remarkable detail. Suffice to say here that the darkening of the sun is described as being given over to a reprobate mind. The sun in Egypt may represent the light of human intellect. The sun was the great god of Egypt as the mind and learning of unbelievers is the great god today. God in judgement darkened the whole land of Egypt and today He is allowing the nations to be darkened by the puffed-up intelligence of man. Someone, I have heard it said, once told the Methodists that they needed to fill their pulpits with men with Degrees. So they filled their pulpits with men with Degrees and by degrees they emptied the churches. Scholarship must always go hand in hand with faith and obedience to the word of God.
Restless women who despise God's order for the sexes have always wanted to tell men what to do. A nagging wife is one of the greatest curses in any marriage or family. Such women behave so because they do not respect God's order and they will not trust their husbands in important decisions. So also do irresponsible men, to save themselves the trouble of leadership, encourage women to usurp authority. Male headship in the home and leadership in the Church is clearly taught in my Bible. Just as the feminists have been pushing for the equality of the sexes in society, so have they been pushing for equality in the churches.
The NIV translators, seemingly taking their lead from the godless, want to encourage the Church in feminist error.
The same short paragraph in their notes which describes their scholars uses the word 'diversity' four times.
"The committee today is as diverse as it has ever been, although it recognizes the need to diversify still further...The committee prizes denominational diversity as well...If past committee members are included, this diversity becomes even greater."
'Diversity' is a shibboleth of the politically correct. The NIV has always, even in past editions, struck me as an effort to please men. It has always been weak and effeminate and the up-coming 2011 edition promises to be worse. Plain speaking such as is recorded in the Authorised Version is no longer fashionable. The NIV is just what its translators want it to be: a product of the times.
7. The Standard
Just eight lines into their notes we read,
"In 1611, the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible sought to bring English readers back as close to that original fusion as possible....But just like the original documents, the KJV was unable to escape the effects of time."
But why hark back to the KJV and 1611?
There have been dozens of English translations made since 1611; the flood-gates opening with the Revised Version of 1881. Why do they not compare their work to that or to the Revised Standard Version of the fifties?
Why do they not compare their work to the NASB or to the ESV?
I submit it is because they unwittingly recognize the KJV as the standard.
They, along with the publishers of other modern translations, mostly compare their bibles with the 1611 KJV, seldom with one another. They will usually say something nice about it before telling you we need to move on. But most Christians have 'moved on' if NIV publicity is to be believed, so why keep constantly comparing their bibles with the KJV? It's as though the KJV in particular must be deposed. That, along with making money, seems to be the real agenda here.
On this head, the recent comments of the Trinitarian Bible Society are apropos. They are quoted in The English Churchman, #7808 thus,
"For the NIV translation committee to indicate by its publication year that the NIV is a valid successor to the AV is disingenuous and ignores the great gulf between the approach of the AV translators and those of the NIV, as has increasingly been seen in the editions up to 2011."
We read in The Notes,
"The Corinthian slogan in 1 Corinthians 7:1 was captured best in the original NIV footnote, which has now become the text: "It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman" (a view Paul had to qualify before he could endorse it)."
This is vague enough in the latest NIV to leave open the door for smooching and petting.
The AV 'not to touch' gives a clearer and more definitive warning. Furthermore, 'not to touch' is only three syllables, but 'not to have sexual relations with' amounts to ten syllables. This makes scripture memorization more difficult.
Modern translations are usually wordier even though based upon a shorter Greek text.
The excellent study, Missing in Modern Bibles by Dr. Jack Moorman, gives more details.
Continuing in The Notes,
"And one shouldn't be as easily able to misapply Philippians 4:13 now that it reads, "I can do all this through him who gives me strength" (i.e., to be content in all circumstances, whether in riches or in poverty), rather than "I can do everything through him who gives me strength.""
The AV reads,
"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."
Earlier and later editions of the NIV omit the word 'Christ' having followed the corrupt UBS Greek text. Their latest innovation, inserting the word 'this', has no Greek support. Also it imposes a limitation upon Paul's meaning. When Peter walked on the water, he did it through Christ who strengthened him. This makes a broader application of the text which the latest NIV rendering rules out.
In a section headed, What Happened to Some of the Most Famous Texts on Gender Roles, we read,
"Romans 16:1-2 now reads, "I commend to you our sister, Phoebe, a deacon [diakonos] of the church in Cenchreae. I ask you to receive her in the Lord in a way worthy of his people and to give her any help she may need from you, for she has been the benefactor [prostatis] of many people, including me." Complementarian and egalitarian scholars alike are increasingly agreeing the diakonos here means "deacon" (not just "servant," though "servant is provided as an alternative in the footnote...."
The Greek word 'diakonos' should, in some contexts, be translated as 'deacon'; but not in Romans 16:1 because the Biblical rather than the local context does not allow it as the AV translators were clearly well aware.
All the roles of leadership and authority from Genesis to Revelation are committed to men, not women. Moses and Aaron were chosen to lead Israel out of Egypt, not Miriam. The priesthood in Israel in Old Testament times was given to men, not women. All of the prophets were men, not women, with the exception of Deborah, who proves the rule. The scriptures give us the histories of the kings of Israel, not the queens. The Lord Jesus chose twelve apostles: all men. No doubt had any of the latest batch of NIV translators been alive at the time, holding current prejudices, he would have found fault with the Lord Jesus Himself for not appointing any women.
When the apostles chose deacons in Acts 6 they were all men.
Finally 1 Timothy 3:12 says "Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife..."
It is difficult to see how Phoebe could possibly qualify.
"As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths." Isaiah 3:12
The word ‘saints’ has also been removed from Romans 16:1 which we shall consider below.
The New New NIV translators are trying to bring worldliness into the Church. The other texts discussed by them in this section all derive from the same unbiblical egalitarian mentality.
In a section headed, What Other Improvements Have Been Made? we read ,
“Saints” often becomes “God’s people,” “the Lord’s people,” “the Lord’s holy people” and the like. Most people today think of a particularly good person when they hear the word “saint,” whereas in the Bible it translates terminology that regularly refers to all believers. Sometimes the context suggests an emphasis on God’s having declared them holy or the process of them becoming more and more holy, so a variety of similar expressions were used depending on the context.”
Ah! Rome, there you are! How the papists will love this one. Could there ever be a clearer indication of the NIV translators’ complete indifference to Biblical truth. Because ‘most people today think of a particularly good person when they hear the word “saint”’ we must pander to their ignorance and reserve the word for the likes of John Henry Newman and Pope John Paul 2nd. This one alteration alone ought to be enough to show all real Christians what a godless publication this latest rehash is. It may suffice for ignorant and Christ-rejecting Christendom but every Christian ought to know better.
Continuing in the same section we find,
“There aren’t nearly as many “O”s but a number of additional “for”s. The interjection “O” used in a vocative sense (O God, help me!) is not nearly as common in spoken or written English as it once was. Where the context suggests that it adds nothing of substance to the text, the updated NIV has left it implied by other vocative nouns rather than separately translated. But it remains in many other contexts.”
Dr. A. W. Tozer seems to have prophesied more than fifty years ago when he wrote in an article entitled, Are We Losing Our “Oh!”
“Vocabularies are formed by many minds over long periods and are capable of expressing whatever the mind is capable of entertaining. But when the heart, on its knees, moves into the awesome Presence and hears with fear and wonder things not lawful to utter, then the mind falls flat, and words, previously its faithful servants, become weak and totally incapable of telling what the heart hears and sees. In that awful moment the worshiper (sic) can only cry “Oh!” And that simple exclamation becomes more eloquent than learned speech and, I have no doubt, is dearer to God than any oratory.”
When considering this latest work by the NIV translators, one is reminded of the words of the psalmist,
“O GOD, the heathen are come into thine inheritance; thy holy temple have they defiled; they have laid Jerusalem upon heaps.” Psa. 79:1
Note the “O”! A man told me once that the NIV must be OK because the translators were conservative evangelicals, but the Lord Jesus says, “By their fruits ye shall know them.”
Dr. Tozer continued,
“In theology there is no “Oh!” and this is a significant if not an ominous thing. Theology seeks to reduce what may be known of God to intellectual terms, and as long as the intellect can comprehend it can find words to express itself. When God Himself appears before the mind, awesome, vast and incomprehensible, then the mind sinks into silence and the heart cries out “O Lord God!”… We
Christians should watch lest we lose the “Oh!” from our hearts.”
Dr. Tozer’s pre-emptive assessment of the consequences of shallow Christian experience is now fulfilled in the New New NIV.
In keeping with my introductory remarks, I do not propose a lengthy discussion of texts. I cite just one other in conclusion.
“1984: For everything in the world – the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does- comes not from the Father but from the world
“Updated NIV; “For everything in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – comes not from the Father but from the world.
“Has anyone really improved on the KJV rendering of these three expressions to which the updated NIV returns? Is it unclear even in this four-hundred-year-old wording that John is condemning the evil desires of fallen humanity….The language still communicates, and the poetry and the style to which the NIV has returned is magnificent.”
We welcome this repentance and we are pleased to see at least here their recognition of the magnificence of the AV. When comparing the modern Bibles with the AV, I am often reminded of Hamlet’s rebuke to his mother when comparing two likenesses of his father and his uncle, with which I conclude.
“Look here upon this picture, and on this,
The counterfeit presentment of two brothers.
See, what a grace was seated on this brow;
This was your husband. Look you now, what follows;
Here is your husband; like a mildewed ear,
Blasting his wholesome brother.
Have you eyes?
Could you on this fair mountain leave to feed
And batten on this moor?
Ha! Have you eyes?”
“My son, fear thou the LORD and the king: and meddle not with them that are given to change..” Proverbs 24:21