LifeWay Decides to Continue Selling Updated NIV

The leadership of a major Christian retailer has voted to continue selling the latest translation of the New International Version.

Trustees of LifeWay Christian Resources approved the NIV 2011 for their stores in response to a nonbinding resolution passed by the Southern Baptist Convention in 2011 asking LifeWay to reconsider sale of the controversial translation.

Dr. Douglas J. Moo, chair of the Committee on Bible Translation, which translated the NIV 2011, told The Christian Post that he welcomed the decision on the part of the trustees.

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"I speak for all my colleagues on the Committee on Bible Translation in expressing our satisfaction that Lifeway has recognized the updated NIV as a worthy translation of the Scriptures for our generation," said Moo.

"We appreciate the fact that Lifeway has recognized these qualities in the NIV, and we trust that their carefully considered and unanimous decision will carry significant weight with the Christian public."

The trustees held their meeting on the issue of selling the NIV 2011 from Monday to Tuesday. During the meeting, Moo made a presentation regarding the translation.

"The special committee convened by the board to dig into this matter invited me, as a representative of CBT, to make a presentation," said Moo.

"I was able to explain the translation approach of the NIV and to clear up the many misunderstandings about the NIV and its translation approach."

Released last year, the NIV 2011 was an updated translation of the popular New International Version 1984. Soon after being made available to the public, the translation garnered controversy in some circles over the issue of gender-inclusive language.

Members of the Southern Baptist Convention as well as the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood said the 2011 NIV "cannot be considered sufficiently trustworthy in its translation of gender language."

In an online article, the council compared the NIV 2011 to the TNIV, another controversial translation noted for its very extensive use of gender neutral language.

"In total, we have counted 933 places where gender-neutral translations in the TNIV have been changed in the 2011 NIV, and in most cases they have been replaced with more accurate, gender-specific translations," wrote Denny Burk of the council.

"Even though these are all welcome advances over the TNIV, there are still a great many unresolved issues related to gender language."

In response to such criticisms, the Committee on Bible Translation said every example of gender inclusive language found in the TNIV was "reconsidered," especially when compared to the 1984 NIV.

"Some changes were preserved, some were rescinded in favor of the 1984 rendering, and many were re-worded in a third, still different way," reads an entry from the CBT website's Frequently Asked Questions page.

"All gender decisions for the updated NIV were subjected to rigorous scrutiny in the light of this data to ensure that the words chosen maximize comprehension of the original meaning," the committee maintains.

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