Tuesday, October 09, 2012

The 2011 NIV goes off the rails.

Robert+ Munday is examining the 2011 New International Version translation of the Bible.  And already he has noticed an enormity that disqualifies the whole enterprise in my mind.   (And I should note now that he deals with this more gently than I will.)

Here is Psalm 8: 4-6 in the 1984 NIV:

4 what is man that you are mindful of him,
the son of man that you care for him?
5 You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings
and crowned him with glory and honor.
6 You made him ruler over the works of your hands;
you put everything under his feet

I’ve never been a fan of the NIV.  But I have no objections there. That is a fair and accurate rendering.  But now look at what that passage has become in the  2011 NIV:

4 what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
human beings that you care for them?
5 You have made them a little lower than the angels
and crowned them with glory and honor.
6 You made them rulers over the works of your hands;
you put everything under their feet

As Munday points out (Again, more politely than I.), the 2011 rubs out an important Messianic term, “the son of man,” replacing it with the vomitous “human beings” to appease the gods of gender neutrality or inclusiveness or whatever that clap trap is called.

“Son of man” is an important Messianic title in both Old and New Testaments, used frequently by Jesus no less.   And this passage in particular is quoted as referring to the Messiah in Hebrews 2:5-9.  There is no excuse for rubbing this important title out of Psalm 8.  None.

It’s not for nothing that Missouri Synod Lutherans are joining Southern Baptists in recommending the NIV 2011 not be used.

This reminds me of my Oxford encounter with the New Revised Standard Version, in which the very same Messianic title “Son of man” is rubbed out in Daniel 7:13 in favor of – you guessed it – “human being.”

I am generally not in favor of burning Bibles.  But I might make exceptions for the 2011 NIV and for the NRSV.

1 comment:

Robert S. Munday said...

Good post, Wannabe Anglican. Like you, I cannot reconcile myself with burning a Bible--even such a poorly translated one as the 2011 NIV or the NRSV (which I may tackle next on my blog if I have the time). But it will certainly be a cold day in the infernal regions before I use such a translation.