The joint statement below, signed by 110 ministry leaders, was issued Tuesday May 28, 2002 by The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. A press release issued at the same time quoted Randy Stinson, the Council's Executive Director, as saying, "This list reveals the depth and breadth of the Evangelical resistance to the TNIV. These leaders represent various types of ministries, denominations, and theological persuasions, but all have a passionate concern about the Bible and the translation process. We are hopeful that Zondervan and the International Bible Society will reconsider and make the necessary changes so that the TNIV will conform to the Colorado Springs Guidelines which were designed to govern the translation of gender-related language ... This translation has plunged the evangelical world into a crucial decision-making process that will affect the future direction of Bible translation in the English speaking world and will determine for years to come what kinds of Bibles will be commonly accepted as the preaching, teaching, devotional, memorizing Bibles of the church."


Statement of Concern about the TNIV Bible

Recently, the International Bible Society (IBS) and Zondervan Publishing announced their joint decision to publish a new translation of the Bible, known as Today's New International Version (TNIV). The TNIV makes significant changes in the gender language that is in the NIV. The TNIV raises more concern in this regard than previous Bible versions because, riding on the reputation of the NIV, the TNIV may vie for a place as the church's commonly accepted Bible. We believe that any commonly accepted Bible of the church should be more faithful to the language of the original.

We acknowledge that Bible scholars sometimes disagree about translation methods and about which English words best translate the original languages. We also agree that it is appropriate to use gender-neutral expressions where the original language does not include any male or female meaning. However, we believe the TNIV has gone beyond acceptable translation standards in several important respects:

Thus, in hundreds of verses, the TNIV changes language with masculine meaning in the original Greek to something more generic. It does this in many ways, such as changing

We wonder how the TNIV translators can be sure that this masculine language in God's very words does not carry meaning that God wants us to see.

Gender problems are not the only serious problems with the TNIV. For example: How do the TNIV translators know that changing "Jews" to "Jewish leaders," for example in Acts 13:50 and 21:11, does not make a false claim, and obscure a possible corporate meaning? How do they know that changing "saints" to "those" in Acts 9:13 or to "believers" in Acts 9:32 or to "Godís people" in Romans 8:27 does not sacrifice precious connotations of holiness which the Greek word carries? To justify translating "saints" as "believers" because it refers to believers is like justifying translating "sweetheart" as "wife" because thatís who it refers to.

Because of these and other misgivings, we cannot endorse the TNIV as sufficiently trustworthy to commend to the church. We do not believe it is a translation suitable for use as a normal preaching and teaching text of the church or for a common memorizing, study, and reading Bible of the Christian community.