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« So Long, MS Works! You Were Great in ’88 | Main | HCSB 2009: A Brief Survey of Selected Changes »

Bill Mounce Joins the NIV Committee on Bible Translation

mounceWriting today in "A Personal Note on the NIV 2011," at Zondervan Academic's Koinonia blog, Bill Mounce announced that he is joining the NIV Committee on Bible Translation. His joining came at the invitation of other CBT memmbers, Douglas Moo and Mark Strauss.

What makes all this very interesting is that Mounce was the NT chair for the English Standard Version. Further, when the TNIV was released, Mounce was one of the original signers of the "Statement of Concern" regarding the TNIV, although he later asked that his signature be removed.

Of course, you'll want to read Dr. Mounce's entire note for yourself, but here are a few items that This Lamp readers might find interesting:

I don’t want anyone to think that I am unhappy with the ESV or that I am "jumping ship." I am not. I thoroughly enjoy reading and studying from the ESV. But if you have been reading this blog very long, you will know that I strongly believe in different translation philosophies, that there is not a "One Size Fits All," and that the translator’s responsibility is to be consistent with that stated philosophy. So I have no trouble looking at the NIV’s translation philosophy and working within those guidelines.

My biggest concern was the gender language, and the mishandling of the TNIV rollout that has been such a problem, and how that could happen again. You should know that I have been absolutely assured that the gender language is truly on the table for discussion, and since so much of the committee has changed, it is not a foregone conclusion as to how this committee will vote. Without that assurance, I could not have joined.

I am not expecting "brother and sister" to go away (nor should it, given the NIV’s translation philosophy), and thankfully "humankind" never occurs in the NIV/TNIV. What an ugly word! But "mankind" continues to be used as a generic term in English, as does "man." I know there are people who disagree with this point, but the fact that it is used generically over and over again cannot truly be debated; the evidence is everywhere.


And personally, I use "they" as an indefinite singular. But who knows where the NIV 2011 will go and how I will vote.

Of related interest: "Thoughts & Predictions on the 2011 NIV"

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Reader Comments (15)

This is awesome news. I like Mounce. What about Fee?

October 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterT.C. R

According to the most recent listing (which does not yet include Mounce), Fee is still a member:

October 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterR. Mansfield

Thanks, Rick. I've joined the conversation on my blog" rel="nofollow">here.

October 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterT.C. R

Mounce is incredible and it does not appear his only agenda is to make sure the NIV ceases to be "gender accurate." He does say his biggest concern was the gender language and how the TNIV was rolled out. What were his specific issues in that regard?

October 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDan

Very interesting, esp. since Mark Strauss presented his critique of poor English wordings in the ESV at the most recent ETS conference and Mounce said he would respond at the next conference. Personally, I hope he doesn't since Strauss' points were well taken. Mounce is a good scholar who should be good on the CBT. Now if we could just get one or two English scholars on the CBT!

October 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterWayne Leman

@Dan --obviously, I can't speak for Mounce or the CBT, but regarding the release of the TNIV, some were upset because it was such a surprise. Certain individuals in the late nineties agreed (after the furor over the inclusive NIV in Britain) that the NIV would remain as is and would not be updated. Then, all of a sudden, around 2002 (I believe), suddenly the TNIV was announced. The project had been kept under wraps. Many saw this as going back on a previous promise--which of course, it was, but a promise that should have never been made. Of course the recent statement that the NIV 2011 will be the first update in 25 years to the NIV is a bit of revisionism since the TNIV preface clearly states it is an update to the NIV.

October 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterR. Mansfield

Wayne, Mounce has been responding to Strauss' criticisms of ESV in his recent Monday posts at Koinonia - not today, but last week and for several weeks before that. That's what he meant when he wrote "my friend Mark Strauss (who I have been picking on lately in this blog)".

October 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPeter Kirk

Rick, I think you have changed your tune on that TNIV promise. I thought you agreed with me that technically they kept the promise in 2002 because they continued to publish NIV unchanged and launched TNIV as a new version - a revision of NIV, but not a revised NIV if you understand the difference. They plan to break the promise in 2011, it is true, but they didn't in 2002.

October 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPeter Kirk

No, Peter, I haven't changed my tune, and I believe we still agree. I was trying to voice the perspective of some who did not like the way the TNIV was released, but I may not have have done so very well.

Changing the name of the NIV revision to the TNIV was a clever loophole to get around the agreement (which should have never been made in the first place). I think Zondervan and IBS should have shelved all editions of the NIV except for perhaps the brown hardback so as to keep their promise.

October 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterR. Mansfield

Well, I'll admit, I have an open but cautious view at this point. I do find it interesting it's a notable NT Greek Scholar (which is good) but no one's concerned about the OT stuff, well, anyways. This is probably because of the gender issues that come up more frequently in Paul's letters then in other parts of the Bible.

October 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBrian

[...] Rick Mansfield [...]

I think that Bill Mounce is a wonderful teacher and writer, and genuinely nice guy.

But I was surprised that he left Gordon-Conwell to become a working pastor, and he has promoted at least one terrible idea (notably, he has certainly been the most vocal advocate for the "reverse interlinear").

I think that this move puts the lie to the belief of some that the NIV11 will be the TNIV with a new name. IBill Mounce makes it clear that he has strong feelings about language gender issues.

October 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLarry

[...] Rick Mansfield’s post here. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Bill Mounce Joins NIV 2011 TeamThe Finance [...]

I remember when Better Bibles Blog ran an April Fool's post saying Wayne Grudem had joined the TNIV translation team!

It seems again that life imitates art! Or at least humor!

October 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterChuck

There isn't much question that Mounce is against women teaching and how this can best be represented in a Bible translation. See his Koinonia post on gender language.

Since I don't think that restricting women and not restricting women are two positions of equal value, I don't expect to find this Bible of interest.

October 15, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSue

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