Subscribe to Christianity Today
Michael W. Holmes
Today's New International Version
Today's New International Version is a major and substantive revision of the NIV. Though this is not the first time the NIV has been revised—a small number of unannounced changes were incorporated over the years, and an inclusive-language edition appeared in Britain in 1995 (of which only bootleg copies ever circulated in the colonies)—the TNIV is the first large-scale revision of the NIV to be published in the United States. It is also an unusual revision, in that it will not replace the NIV, which will continue to be published.
Earlier this year, the first part of this version, the complete New Testament, was released. According to information supplied by the publisher, Zondervan, about 93 percent of the TNIV New Testament is unchanged from the NIV. Of the changes, about 20 percent affect headings and footnotes, while the remaining 80 percent—about 5.6 percent of the NIV text—involve revision of the translation itself. These revisions fall into several categories.
In some instances, the revisions reflect a change of opinion regarding the wording of the Greek text underlying the translation. At Mark 1:41 the NIV ("filled with compassion") reflects the reading (splagxnistheis) of most manuscripts of the text; the TNIV's "was indignant" apparently reflects the revision committee's decision to adopt the reading (orgistheis) of a significant minority of manuscripts. More noticeable are changes in the treatment of Mark 16:9-20 and John 7:53- 8:11, which are now set off in smaller italic type to signal more clearly that they are later, secondary additions to the text.
In other instances, changes in the translation reflect a difference in judgment regarding how to punctuate the Greek text. In John 1:18 (monogenes theos) both the 1973 ("God the only Son") and 1984 ("God the One and Only") versions of the NIV understand monogenes ("only" or "unique") as an adjective modifying the noun theos. The TNIV places a comma between the two terms (understanding monogenes as an adjective ...