In late January, news broadcaster Paula Zahn's producer called professor Wayne Grudem of Phoenix Seminary to invite a critique of the new "gender accurate" New Testament, Today's New International Version. Cable News Network, best known for its war coverage, had found another firefight.
With more than 30 percent of the Bible market, the NIV has a large and loyal following. When translators in 1997 introduced an inclusive language update of the NIV in the British market, American critics sounded the alarm. The International Bible Society, the NIV's copyright holder, said at the time that it had "abandoned all plans for gender-related changes in future editions of the New International Version."
Within days of the IBS announcement of the TNIV New Testament, conservative journalists and others took aim again (CT, Feb. 4, p. 19). WorldNetDaily called the translation "Today's New International Perversion." World magazine's headline called it "The NIV's Twisted Sister" (see "Why the TNIV Draws Ire," p. 36).
IBS and publisher Zondervan laid out a comprehensive media strategy to build public support. Sample copies were mailed to pastors, educators, and ministry leaders. IBS created a Web site that offered the entire New Testament, downloadable in Adobe PDF. IBS also held a public forum in Colorado Springs in late February to answer consumers' questions. John Ortberg, teaching pastor at Willow Creek Community Church in suburban Chicago, said on the Web site, "The TNIV combines a careful scholarly treatment of the text with great clarity for the contemporary reader."
The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood has been a leading critic of gender-focused changes in new English translations of the Bible. The group rallied ...