New inclusive bible translation launched in UK

By staff writers
March 15, 2005

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New inclusive bible translation launched in UK


For readers of the Bible confused by its archaic language, such as its use of the term "stoned" for a form of execution rather than the effects of smoking dope, help is at hand.

One of the world's most widely read Bibles, the New International Version, has been modernised by a team of 15 American and British scholars.

'Today's New International Version' (TNIV) appears in the UK today following its US launch last month, and has drawn surprisingly little criticism from conservatives.

Zondervan, the US publisher, trumpeted the TNIV as ìthe most accurate and readable Bible translation for todayís generation.î

Gone is the word "aliens", which the academics thought was invariably associated in the minds of the younger generation with extra-terrestrials. It is replaced with "foreigners".

The term "saints" is deemed to be too "ecclesiastical" and has been banished, to be replaced with "God's chosen people". The Virgin Mary is no longer "with child"; she is "pregnant".

Some traditionalists, will however suspect a feminist agenda, as some "inclusive" language has been introduced. However the translation will be seen by others as fairly moderate and mainstream, given other recent radical interpretations of the biblical text.

The TNIV still refers to God as "he" for example. Where the old NIV read: "When God created Man, he made him in the likeness of God"; the new version says: "When God created human beings, he made them in the likeness of God."

For those unfamiliar with the punishments meted out in Biblical times to blasphemers and adulterers, the new version will be helpful, changing "Naboth has been stoned and is dead" to "Naboth has been stoned to death".

More than 45,000 changes - about seven per cent of the text - have been made.

Some Christian conservatives say the 1 million dollar marketing campaign in the US by Zondervan, part of the HarperCollins publishing company, bypassed conservative ìgatekeepersî and appealed directly to readers between 18 and 34 years old

The new version did however cause a small stir in the United States. Paige Patterson, a former president of the Southern Baptist Convention, said that the translators had gone beyond trying to clarify meaning.

"They have an agenda - to attempt to force egalitarian and even feminist perspectives on readers in the name of translation," he said.

But the scholars who worked on the book rejected the charges, saying that their changes were a fair reflection of the original Greek or Hebrew texts or updated colloquial English words.

The new translation is published in the UK by Hodder & Stoughton

A new inclusive bible has been launched in the UK, including inclusive New Testament and Old Testament.

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