Dr. Poythress assumes that the guiding principle behind the TNIV is to avoid offense. This is wrong. The guiding principle is to translate God's Word as accurately as possible. I am sure that Paul's condemnation of homosexual behavior, his commands for wives to submit to their husbands, and his assertion that the husband is the head of the wife are just as offensive in the TNIV as in the NIV. The TNIV does not update the meaning of the text, but communicates the original meaning in today's language.
Dr. Poythress is concerned about losing "details of meaning." So am I. This is precisely why the TNIV is needed. English has changed, so that when people read the NIV's man, many hear male instead of Paul's meaning, person. This is a significant loss of meaning. Thirty years ago the NIV translators meant for words like man and brother to be understood generically. Generic means referring to people in general. The problem is these words no longer sound generic to many readers, potentially misrepresenting the author's intention.
Now a new twist: Dr. Poythress claims that these are not true generics at all, but male representative words, where a male example teaches a general principle. But he offers no evidence for this theory, nor any criteria for determining when a passage is a male representative. Then he claims the TNIV distorts the meaning by using a true generic!
Dr. Poythress repeatedly calls for the retention of Greek forms (person, number, etc.). But the NIV has always been a meaning-based translation (the philosophy of most international Bible translation). The TNIV continues this tradition.
I should add that I do not believe the TNIV always gets it right. Like every translation, the TNIV was produced by fallible people wrestling ...1
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