Blomberg on the TNIV and Inclusive Language

In the last year and a half or so I began to use the TNIV in my English preparation for Greek exams and really liked the correspondence between it as a translation and the Greek text. I was surprised at how well the TNIV expressed the meaning of the original language. Before that I had been a user of the ESV and thought it to be the best translation that captured the meaning of the text, retained the theological language that was lost in the RSV and had a greater readability than something like the NASB.
One question that popped into my head when I began reading the TNIV was what I thought about the issue of inclusive language (e.g. “he and she” instead of “he”). It was around then that I read D.A. Carson’s The Inclusive Language Debate, that settled the issue in my mind and I became a constant reader of the TNIV.
New Testament scholar Craig Blomberg has posted his thoughts as a translator for the TNIV on the Koinonia blog. I agree with him and hope that the TNIV becomes the standard translation for Evangelicals.
Demystifying Bible Translation…



Filed under articles, bible, books, don carson, gender, TNIV, translations

9 responses to “Blomberg on the TNIV and Inclusive Language

  1. Craig Blomberg

    Delighted to hear it!

  2. Darryl

    You’re messing me up! I’ve been using the TNIV since it came out and I’m enjoying it, but I’m also excited about the upcoming ESV Study Bible. I’m disheartened that the TNIV hasn’t really caught on as I had hoped too. Now you’re making my decision harder.

  3. Rogers Meredith

    I have never been a big fan of the NIV theory of translation and am not sure what to make of the idea of “inclusive language”; I wonder what sort of thinking lies behind it.
    Question: How does the TNIV render passages where the masculine is required? For instance in 1 Timothy 3.1 does “he or she desire a good work”?
    I have been using the ESV for a while and am not blown away by it. Once I wear out the copy I have now I will probablly go back to the NKJ.

  4. Ian

    NKJ? Dude, at least get away from the Majority Text!
    I’m sure you can find the TNIV at and check all the key verses.

  5. Anonymous

    1Ti 3:1 Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task.

    That’s from the TNIV. The most scholarly and accurate translation available in teh market today IMHO.

    The TNIV is catching on in many circles: Campus Crusade for Christ, Young Life, Urbana are just a few examples. Andy Stanley of NorthPointe Church preaches from it. Rob Bell endorses it. The Catalyst crowd loves it. The TNIV Reference Bible premium edition comes out in December and there is a new NoteWorthy NT just released in TNIV that is really cool.

  6. Rogers Meredith

    Why are you calling me “Dude”?
    Seriouslly what reasons can you give for your suggestion?

  7. Jeremy W. Johnston

    Give me NASB or give me death! OK, I am not that fanatical, but I appreciate the literal translation over the paraphrase of NIV or TNIV. I don’t really buy the readability complaint about NASB… But, then again, I have used NASB for over ten years now. I suppose I am used to the awkward syntax and peculiar nuances. I have not made the jump to ESV, but I understand it is intended to be just as literal but more readable. It seems to me that the heart of the matter is the literal vs. paraphrase. I think readability is a secondary issue. NIV and TNIV takes some liberties in interpretation, and the original intent of the text is sometimes harder to discern. When I hear biblical preaching from NIV, the minister frequently prefaces a statement with, “a better translation of this verse is…” and then he cites the verse in NASB. Why not teach and preach from NASB? Perhaps people will soon get over the “awkward” and get to the heart of the text.

  8. Ian

    Hehe, yeah, I guess a cowboy like you wouldn’t like being called dude!
    I’ve never sat down and worked through a text by text comparison of the TNIV and ESV. I’m fine with either translation and will use both – though I favour the TNIV.
    I first started using the TNIV in second year Greek in preparation for my Galatians exam. Pat had an old beat-up copy of the TNIV NT that I think I bought for $4. As I read and re-read it I found it to be much more coherent than the ESV – it took me a while to conclude that though.
    Last year we worked through Phillippians and 2 Corinthians and I used the TNIV primarily alongside the Greek text. I can’t think of any particular examples off of the top of my head other than I prefer the way the TNIV handles Phil. 2:6. I agree that the translation of harpagmos is better understood to mean “to be used to his own advantage” than merely “grasped.”
    That’s the only thing that pops into my head at the moment. I’d have to look through my exegetical notes to get more.

  9. Ian

    Here’s a good article by Don Carson on the issue:

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