New forum for English Bible translation discussion

Thanks to Facebook friend, Brian Leport of the Near Emmaus blog for the scoop on a new joint venture between The Gospel Coalition and BibleGateway to discuss English Bible translations and specifically the new NIV. Brian is “a bit skeptical” of the venture because of Gospel Coalition’s role in killing the TNIV.

I vainly felt a bit put out that Better Bibles Blog writers weren’t invited to participate in the venture. But such is hubris. We should be glad that people are discussing how to improve Bible translations and I commend Gospel Coalition and Bible Gateway for opening up a forum for discussion of what has been in the past a very divisive Bible translation update.

Read Brian’s post: I’m a Bit Skeptical of This: The Gospel Coalition and BibleGateway.com to “Discuss” Bible Translations

No news on when the forum goes live. But please let us know if you hear about a web address to visit.

Update: Nick Norelli rebuts Brian with some vigor here: To Brian LePort on the Gospel Coalition, the TNIV, and Misplaced Suspicions (or, This Comment Got Too Long So I Made It a Post on My Blog)

23 thoughts on “New forum for English Bible translation discussion

  1. Theophrastus says:

    I vainly felt a bit put out that Better Bibles Blog writers weren’t invited to participate in the venture.

    Does this mean that you will be inviting the Forum’s members to participate in the BBB venture? Or is this a sword that only cuts one way?

  2. Sue says:

    a team of world-class scholars who have reviewed, translated, and studied several different English Bible versions, such as the HCSB, NIV, ESV, NET, and NLT.

    And I vainly feel a bit put out that it is very possible that no women translators will be included and no gender inclusive translations will be considered. We will not be hearing much about Alter’s translation either.

  3. jkgayle says:

    Brian’s skepticism isn’t unfounded, and it’s hard to imagine that this “forum for discussion” will be very open at all. Yes, no Jewish translators (as Sue suggests) and no women translators (especially not Ann Nyland) will be included.

    The Gospel Coalition’s 54 exclusively male members adhere to a confessional statement that is explicitly complementarian. Likewise, Mark Strauss, a member of the Committee on Bible Translation for the NIV 2011 update, states in his interview with Seth Odom the following:

    “If feminism is considered a negative force, anything that is linked in any way with feminism is rejected or looked upon with great suspicion. But we need to separate the basic translation principles-translate the meaning of the text as accurately as possible into contemporary English-from the complementarian/egalitarian debate. I would hope all complementarians believe in the inclusive nature of the gospel-that it is for both men and women-and want to see this reflected in our translations. When a particular passage is referring to both men and women, the most accurate translation will make this clear…. Both D.A. Carson and I wrote books on gender language in the Bible (we are both complementarians).”

  4. Theophrastus says:

    Yes, no Jewish translators (as Sue suggests) and no women translators (especially not Ann Nyland) will be included.

    Doubtlessly the new forum will be emulating the example of the BBB, which sees fit to not include any “authors” who are women, Catholics, Jews, blacks, or people of Asian descent.

    (However, to their credit, the BBB leadership has allowed these groups to at least comment; although I understand many regular commenters recently received private e-mails asking them to confine their posts to certain guidelines.)

  5. David Ker says:

    Sting!

    Just to be clear. We haven’t seen fit to not include any of the groups you mentioned. In fact we have actively recruited in some cases but haven’t got any takers.

  6. Peter Kirk says:

    Sue, since the main point of the discussion is about the new NIV, I think you are prejudging that version without seeing it by suggesting that “no gender inclusive translations will be considered”. Anyway NLT is quite gender inclusive.

  7. Gary Simmons says:

    “Be strong, Philistines! Be men, or you will be subject to the Hebrews, as they have been to you. Be men, and fight!” ~1 Sam 4:9, TNIV. (Personally, I think the phrase “man up” would be more idiomatic, but that might be restricted to US usage.)

  8. jkgayle says:

    How about, “Be people, and dialogue!” ?

    That’s clever-funny David. If you weren’t a people, I’d think you were a god or, at least, a goddess.

  9. Peter Kirk says:

    “Man up” wouldn’t really work in England. It would probably be understood, but be thought of as strange slang, not suitable for a Bible translation.

  10. David Ker says:

    “Man up.”

    Never heard the phrase. But I’ve been ex patria for more than a decade. I only recently learned the phrase, “Word up.”

  11. Wayne Leman says:

    I vainly felt a bit put out that Better Bibles Blog writers weren’t invited to participate in the venture.

    I was invited, perhaps because I have given a lot of input to several of the recently published English Bible versions. So far I haven’t contributed.

  12. C.P. Machovsky says:

    I always thought that the NIV was the translation to end all translations. But as time goes on, there are more and more re-translations, updates, improvements, re-evaluations, etcetera, etcetera. When do you suppose are we ever going to see the Word of God perfectly enough perfected so that there will be no need to perfect it any more?

  13. Peter Kirk says:

    C.P. probably “when that which is perfect is come, [and] that which is in part shall be done away” (1 Corinthians 13:10) – and that verse is not about the close of the canon.

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