New NIV Bible Translation Finds Readers Despite Southern Baptist Resistance

(Trounce)

Zondervan has defended its updated New International Version following criticism of the revision of the world's best-selling Bible translation by a Southern Baptists forum.

The censure came during the denomination's annual meeting in June in Phoenix, when a debate on the 2011 translation was brought forward by a delegate rather than church leadership.

Passed overwhelmingly, the resolution faulted the new NIV, which combines the 1984 NIV and the controversial Today's New International Version, replacing both versions.

Calling the revision an "inaccurate translation," the resolution said the new NIV changes the meaning of hundreds of verses, erasing gender-specific details that appear in the original language.

"We are disappointed that delegates to the Southern Baptist Convention passed a resolution opposing the updated NIV against the wishes of the SBC resolution committee, who affirmed the transparency of the NIV translation process," Zondervan said in a statement.

The resolution encouraged that the Bible not be carried by LifeWay Christian Stores, which are affiliated with the SBC. Al Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, said he regretted that the resolution addressed the chain so directly, according to Baptist Press.

However, LifeWay stores "continue to sell the 2011 NIV, while working through the process of review with our board of trustees," LifeWay Christian Resources Director of Communications Micah Carter told Christian Retailing.

David Rooker, manager of The Scroll Discount Christian Store in Tyler, Texas, said that the new NIV was "being received well." "As far as sales and customer response, it is being accepted," he told Christian Retailing. "We've done pretty well with them so far. ... We accepted Zondervan's original buy-in, which gave us extra terms and discount. It also gave us a much deeper selection of NIV in our Bible department than we had previously. The result has been encouraging. ... The new NIV criticism is much ado about nothing in the wider scheme of things."

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