Problems with the NIV

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by BrianT, Sep 30, 2003.

  1. BrianT

    BrianT
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    I'm interested in seeing what others think are textual or translational problems in the NIV.

    Rules:
    1. List *one* example of what you think is a mistake (textual, translational, doctrinal, etc.) in the NIV.
    2. Describe briefly but succinctly why you believe it is a problem.
    3. Comparisons to other versions allowed (including the KJV), but no KJV-onlyism allowed (i.e. "it's wrong because it's different from the KJV" is not a good enough reason for this thread). Also try to avoid the common worn-out KJV-O objections (Isa 14:12, 1 John 5:7, etc.), let's try for something new and interesting.

    Keep in mind this is NOT a thread for discussing KJV-onlyism. [​IMG] This thread is about the NIV, and only the NIV. [​IMG]
     
  2. Ed Edwards

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    Alright, we will go into the one version
    that IS NOT automated :(

    2 Thessalonians 2:3 (NIV):

    Don't let anyone deceive you in any way,
    for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs
    and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction

    (footnote says "man of lawlessness" might be
    "man of sin")

    It would be clearer if "depature" were
    instead of "rebellion" like in 14th century
    English Bibles.
    It would be clear if "falling away" were
    instead of "rebellion" like in 17th-19th century
    King James Versions. From the context here
    (like 2 Thess. 2:3) we know this term (i like
    "falling away") refers to the pretribulation
    rapture/resurrection/gathering/transformation.

    I wonder what level a "rebellion" must
    assume to have the man of sin revealed?

    So i could use a little help from my NIV :(

    [​IMG] -- (Baptist Graemlin! only 1 hand raised)
     
  3. Forever settled in heaven

    Forever settled in heaven
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    one example (IMO) wld be 1 Cor. 7:36-38, where the NIV n a few other translations read the verb Gamizo to mean "to get married" rather than "to give in marriage." the entire situation seems turned on its head--fr one of Oriental arranged marriages to one of Western-style dating.

    another verse might be 2 Thes 3:6, where Ataktos is rendered by its application, being lazy, rather than its more generic definition, namely blatant disobedience. Paul was teaching separation fr stubbornly disorderly brothers n not merely lazy fellas, which r but a subset exemplary of a larger group.
     
  4. Marathon Man

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    In answer to the question posed, the problem I have with the NIV is a general one, that it just seems to be a bit too interpretive for my taste. While I don't claim to be an expert in this area, the statement in its preface to the effect that it intends to determine the thoughts and meaning of the Biblical writers just seems to me to indicate a tendency to cross the line from translation to interpretation.

    I just feel much more comfortable with the statement made by the NASB translators in its forward, that it was produced with the conviction that the words of Scripture as originally penned in the Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek were inspired by God.

    Just my .02.
     
  5. Taufgesinnter

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    I used to have two issues with the NIV. One was the extremely paraphrastic marginal note for 1 Cor. 11 that changed the Christian woman's veil into long hair. This is no longer a problem, as the TNIV deleted it. It's been fixed.

    The remaining problem is the mistranslation of porneia. In Matthew 5:32 and 19:9, even though the word is being used in contrast to moicheia there, as in Gal. 5:19 and 1 Cor. 6:9, it is not rendered "fornication." Porneia ("fornication") has a broad meaning of "sexual immorality" and a narrow meaning of "premarital sex"--when used alone, context determines which. When used in contradistinction to a word denoting a specific kind of sexual immorality, such as moicheia ("adultery"), it necessarily has its narrow meaning of "premarital sex."

    Matt. 5:32--"But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery."

    Matt. 19:9--"I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery."

    The mistranslation of these two verses gives the erroneous impression that adultery is grounds for divorce and remarriage.

    1 Cor. 6:9-10--"Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God."

    These verses somehow imply that adultery, prostitution, and homosexuality are not sexually immoral, when actually premarital sex is being listed along with other forms of sex outside of marriage.

    Gal. 5:19--"The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;"

    Here fornication and adultery are being listed along with uncleanness, but neither porneia nor moicheia is correctly translated.

    The TNIV is only marginally improved in Matthew:

    “It has been said, ‘Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery."

    "Jesus replied, 'Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.'”

    The TNIV did not improve at all with regard to my examples from 1 Corinthians and Galatians:

    "Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor practicing homosexuals nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God."

    "The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;"
     
  6. Pastor Larry

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    Strangely enough, this impression is not erroneous. It is, in fact, what Jesus taught.

    ACtually, the NIV has this right. Paul is listing a number of sins that are indicative of unbelief in a person's life.

    Moicheia is not in this verse. That is an addition to Scripture found in the TR. Porneia is correctly translated as sexual immorality.

    There are some actual problems in teh NIV. You have not hit them with this though. One example would be 1 Thess 2:6, which has a bad sentence break in it. They divided the sentence at the wrong place.
     
  7. Michael Hobbs

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    Bro. Ed, I'm disappointed that you didn't bring the following out: ;)
    Which NIV are we to comment on?
    The Holy Bible: New International Version. The New Testament. 1973
    The Holy Bible, New International Version: Containing the Old Testament and the New Testament. 1978
    The Holy Bible: NIrV: New International Reader's Version: New Testament 1995
    The Holy Bible: New International Version. Inclusive Language Edition. 1996
    The New Testament: Today's New International Version. 2002

    :confused: :confused: :confused:
     
  8. TomVols

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    I'm disappointed in the translation of 1 Corinthians 7:1, which in the NIV reads
    The NASB on the other hand reads
    "Touch" is a euphemism for sexual relations. This is an extremely interpretative translation in the NIV. It is much better translated as in the ESV, which reads
    To be fair, context may indeed provide the interpretation given in the text of the NIV, and a footnoted alternate translation for the NIV on 1 Cor 7:1 says
    That's what comes to mind right off the top of my head. I'll be interested in substantive discussion for this thread. So keep the riff-raff to yourselves.

    [ October 06, 2003, 03:43 PM: Message edited by: TomVols ]
     
  9. TomVols

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    While I agree, I think the NIV has attempted to do something noble, particularly with the usage of sarx in the NT. Flesh can mean various things, being more clear in the translation is helpful.
     
  10. russell55

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    This is funny. That's exactly my pet peeve about the NIV--that they translate sarx as "sinful nature".
     
  11. TomVols

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    But can't "flesh" mean "sinful nature" ?
     
  12. russell55

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    Well, some people think it does. And others think it doesn't. So I wish they'd left it "flesh", rather than interpreting the word for us.

    I happen to be one of those people who think we have one nature--either the depraved one we are born with or the changed one we are graciously given at the new birth.

    So it annoys me a bit that the two nature view is shoehorned into the text.....
     
  13. Gunther

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    How about:

    Matthew 5:31
    But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery...

    "marital unfaithfulness" is an invention of the translators. The words for "marital" and "unfaithfulness" are not present in any text. The word is "pornea" which is accurately translated "sexual immorality".

    Once again, the NIV demonstrates that it is a commentary, and not God's word.
     
  14. Taufgesinnter

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    Strangely enough, this impression is not erroneous. It is, in fact, what Jesus taught.

    Even though Jesus never said it anywhere. :rolleyes:

    ACtually, the NIV has this right. Paul is listing a number of sins that are indicative of unbelief in a person's life.

    So you agree with the NIV that homosexuality and adultery are not sexually immoral? :eek:


    Moicheia is not in this verse. That is an addition to Scripture found in the TR. Porneia is correctly translated as sexual immorality.

    I accept this explanation. No matter how I tried, I could not load the NA/UBS text into e-sword, so all I had on my drive was the TR.
    </font>[/QUOTE]
     
  15. Taufgesinnter

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    Accidental duplicate post deleted.

    [ October 06, 2003, 10:39 PM: Message edited by: Taufgesinnter ]
     
  16. Taufgesinnter

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    Accidental duplicate post deleted.

    [ October 06, 2003, 10:41 PM: Message edited by: Taufgesinnter ]
     
  17. Taufgesinnter

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    Michael Hobbs wrote:

    Which NIV are we to comment on?
    The Holy Bible: New International Version. The New Testament. 1973
    The Holy Bible, New International Version: Containing the Old Testament and the New Testament. 1978
    The Holy Bible: NIrV: New International Reader's Version: New Testament 1995
    The Holy Bible: New International Version. Inclusive Language Edition. 1996
    The New Testament: Today's New International Version. 2002

    I would think the Holy Bible, New International Version. 1984. The NIrV is technically not the NIV, and the NIVI is British--I just figured we would be talking about the American edition. The last NIV issued under the name NIV was the 1984 revision.

    [ October 06, 2003, 10:45 PM: Message edited by: Taufgesinnter ]
     
  18. TomVols

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    Russell55 wrote:
    Sarx can mean </font>
    • human body (2 Cor 12:7)</font>
    • man (Gal 1:16)</font>
    • descendants (Rom 9:3)</font>
    among others. (Source: Colin Brown's New International Dictionary of NT Theology)

    I hear what you're saying. But I do still believe that some clarification is necessary for sarx that doesn't rile my feathers too awful bad. [​IMG]
     
  19. Michael Hobbs

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    You may be right, I got my info from Bible Research

    However, my point was that Bro. Ed always loves to use the statement: Which KJV are you referring to?

    So I thought it would be only fair to use it for the NIV. [​IMG]
     
  20. Pastor Larry

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    Did you think about this?? If a person is married and sexual immorality takes place, it is by definition "marital unfaithfulness." Therefore, the NIV is exactly right.
     

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