TNIV Bible is Being Phased Out

TNIV BibleThe TNIV (Today’s New International Version) is being phased out.  The translation, a revision of the best-selling NIV, has faced constant criticism from conservative evangelicals since its inception due to its “gender inclusive” language.

Rather than continue with the TNIV, the plan now is to go back and revise the NIV for a 2011 release.

Christianity Today has more on this issue.  You can find their article here.

I find it interesting because when I was in seminary only four years ago, the publisher was making a strong push to get pastors to use the TNIV.  I received multiple copies of the version for free in an effort to get me to use it.

My thoughts about the translation are that it is actually a pretty good one.  I disagreed in a few places where the TNIV changed the traditional translation of a passage (see 1 Timothy 3:11 where “wives” is translated “women who are deacons” – this has actually beed changed in more recent printings of the TNIV), but overall, I enjoyed it.  In many ways, I prefer it over the NIV.  Of course, I am not an NIV user either.  I primarily use the English Standard Version (ESV).

My hunch is that this really all comes down to marketing and sales.  The NIV has long-been the best-selling English version of the Bible.  The TNIV, its successor, has not caught on and sales are not very good.  New versions, like the ESV, are becoming more and more popular and eating into NIV sales.  The publishers are working to keep the sales that they are losing.

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4 Responses to TNIV Bible is Being Phased Out

  1. Joel says:

    My hunch is that this really all comes down to marketing and sales. The NIV has long-been the best-selling English version of the Bible. The TNIV, its successor, has not caught on and sales are not very good. New versions, like the ESV, are becoming more and more popular and eating into NIV sales. The publishers are working to keep the sales that they are losing.

    There’s also widespread talk (as I point out, along with many others) that one of the key factors is the role of gendered language in the translations. Douglas Moo, the chair of the translating committee, is quoted here as saying that his committee will “review every single gender-related decision we have made.”

  2. Tim Farley says:

    Joel:

    I wonder what this means for other “gender neutral” translations like the NLT and NRSV. They seem to have a wide acceptance.

  3. Ben A says:

    When I heard about this, I thought it was all just in the name. The name NIV sells. The name TNIV does not. You could put Dr Suess into the NIV and people would buy it (at least for a while).

    I don’t think sales will increase with the new NIV. But I think that they’ll lessen less.

    The truth is that the NIV needs a major overhaul even larger than what they’re planning. They have missed out on the smooth reading that others are able to employ. The NIV ready very choppy to me whereas NLT reads fluidly and naturally. I can read at least three times as long in my NLT b/c my mind is able to glide over the words easier.

    I haven’t picked up my trusted NIV since Seminary, I think.

  4. Davo says:

    A good friend and professor gave my wife a TNIV for graduation, and I have to say, I like it, too. I’m sad to hear it’s being phased out. I appreciate the inclusive language used for translation.

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