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The Southern Baptist Convention questioned the integrity of the Today's New International Version Bible at the denomination's annual meeting in St. Louis on June 11-12.

In the convention's resolution, Southern Baptists expressed "profound disappointment with the International Bible Society (IBS) and Zondervan Publishing House for this inaccurate translation of God's inspired Scripture" and said the denomination cannot recommend its use.

Jimmy Draper, president of SBC publisher LifeWay Christian Resources, said his agency will not sell the TNIV New Testament in LifeWay bookstores. (The complete TNIV Bible will not be available until 2005.)

Critics accuse TNIV translators of "erasing gender-specific details … in the original language" by frequently using they or them instead of he or him and obscuring references to father, son, and brother in passages about people. In references to God or Jesus, the TNIV uses he, father, and son. Critics say the TNIV "inserts English words into the text whose meaning does not appear in the original languages."

R. Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, said TNIV inaccuracies resulted from an inappropriate attempt by translators to adapt Scripture to contemporary culture. "None of us is without the responsibility to check our cultural context and to try our best to make sure we are not driven by extrabiblical considerations," Mohler said.

A spokesman for the International Bible Society denies that TNIV translators were swayed by secular culture. "These people have accused us of having an agenda, when in fact they're the ones that have an agenda," Larry Lincoln said. "Because you don't agree with a particular rendering does not make it inaccurate. I think it would serve ...

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In the Magazine

August 5, 2002

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