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Even to describe the battle over the New International Version: Inclusive Language Version of the Bible (NIVI) is to enter part of the fight. There are too many issues begging for emphasis, too many players to name, and too many outcomes to interpret.

It's clear, however, that one of the most important moments was World magazine's article, "Femme fatale: The feminist seduction of the evangelical church." Appearing in the March 29, 1997, issue of the magazine with the cover tag "The Stealth Bible," the article emphasized procedure. Writer Susan Olasky warned that inclusive language would replace gender-specific pronouns in much of the New International Version (NIV), and that the original version would no longer be available. The NIVI was mentioned, but when Olasky wrote about what the new NIV might look like she used examples from the New Revised Standard Version (see below).

It wasn't until International Bible Society and Zondervan Publishing House complained that World had misrepresented their plans that World issued a specific list of problematic passages in the NIVI. In an April 19, 1997, article, Trinity International University theologian Wayne Grudem (then president of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood) compared several verses in the NIV and NIVI, giving reasons why he believed the changes compromised Christian theology. "Such revisions are not the words God originally caused to be written, and thus they are not the words of God," he wrote. "They are human words that men have substituted for the words of God, and they have no place in the Bible."

The Committee on Bible Translation (CBT), which translated the NIV, NIVI, and the recently announced Today's New International Version (TNIV) clearly disagrees with ...

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