The NIV 2012 and the NIV 1984 compared: Which one is better and more in context? You decide!

Over the past year, I have had several projects that consumed alot of my time and we need to take breaks everynow and then.  All of this time spent on projects has, to say the least, interfered with my time spent reading my Bible.  So my next project is to re-read the entire NT in the NIV 2011 over the next year, which is the version I have changed to because of a number of reasons, contextual accuracy being one of them.  Recently I purchased new Bible software because mine was aging and there had been some interesting imporvements in software that made the purchase worth while.  One of those improvements was the inclusion of the NIV 2011 with the ability to put the NIV 2011 right along side of the NIV 1984, tracking each version verse for verse.  The NIV 1984 is of course the defacto modern English standard of patriarchal/complimentarian believers because of its extreme male orientation.  Over the last year, I have read a number of complaint type articles  about how the more contexturally accurate inclusive language in the NIV 2011 is going to be the worst thing to happen to the church and how it changes the meaning of the Bible’s language, yada yada yada….  Because of these articles, I decided to read the NIV 2011 along side of the NIV 1984 verse for verse, word for word, and every place there is a difference in translation, copy both into my word processor.  So far, I have made it through the first 10 chapters of Matthew.  Guess what I have found?  There is not one place in the first five chapters of Matthew where inclusive language is used out of context.  I also found where the translators have corrected some very gross translation errors that the NIV 1984 (and other older versions) has made because of their male orientation.  Am I biased?  Yes.  However, putting the verses side by side is a fair a method that helps control my bias and hopefully it will do the same for anyone who reads this.  If I see something that I feel is out of context in the 2011, then I will point that out.  If I see something that has been an improvement in the translation besides the inclusive language, I will point that out.  However, for the most part, I am going to let the side by side comparisons speak for themselves and try to avoid comments.  All that said, here are the first five chapters of Matthew.  Remember, I will only post the verses that differ for any reason.  I will also eventually be posting this in a pdf format to my web site on gender equality in the Churches of Christ http://www.wherethespiritleads.org

NIV 2011 will be in blue for this post

Matthew Chapter 1

Matthew 1:18 (NIV2011)  This is how the birth of Jesus the
Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but
before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy
Spirit.

Matthew 1:18 (NIV) This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was
pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found
to be with child through the Holy Spirit.

Matthew 1:23 (NIV2011) “The virgin will conceive and give
birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).

Matthew 1:23 (NIV)  “The virgin will be with child and
will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”–which means,
“God with us.”

Matthew 1:25 (NIV2011) But he did not consummate their
marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.

Matthew 1:25 (NIV) But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave
him the name Jesus.

Matthew Chapter 2

Matthew 2:2 (NIV2011) and asked, “Where is the one who has
been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to
worship him.”

Matthew 2:2 (NIV) and asked, “Where is the one who has
been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to
worship him.”

Matthew 2:8 (NIV2011) He sent them to Bethlehem and said,
“Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me,
so that I too may go and worship him.”

Matthew 2:8 (NIV) He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”

Matthew 2:9 (NIV2011) After they had heard the king, they
went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them
until it stopped over the place where the child was.

Matthew 2:9 (NIV) After they had heard the king, they went
on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until
it stopped over the place where the child was.

Matthew Chapter 3

Matthew 3:1 (NIV2011)In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the
wilderness of Judea

Matthew 3:1 (NIV) In those days John the Baptist came,
preaching in the Desert of Judea

Matthew 3:2 (NIV2011) and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom
of heaven has come near.”

Matthew 3:2 (NIV) and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom
of heaven is near.”

Matthew 3:3 (NIV2011) This is he who was spoken of through
the prophet Isaiah: “A voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way
for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’ ”

Matthew 3:3 (NIV) This is he who was spoken of through the
prophet Isaiah: “A voice of one calling in the desert, ‘Prepare the way
for the Lord, make straight paths for him.'”

Matthew 3:16 (NIV2011) As soon as Jesus was baptized, he
went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the
Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him.

Matthew 3:16 (NIV) As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up
out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of
God descending like a dove and lighting on him.

Matthew Chapter 4

Matthew 4:12 (NIV2011) When Jesus heard that John had been
put in prison, he withdrew to Galilee.

Matthew 4:12 (NIV) When Jesus heard that John had been put
in prison, he returned to Galilee.

Matthew 4:15 (NIV2011) “Land of Zebulun and land of
Naphtali, the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles—

Matthew 4:15 (NIV) “Land of Zebulun and land of
Naphtali, the way to the sea, along the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles–

Matthew 4:17 (NIV2011) From that time on Jesus began to
preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”

Matthew 4:17 (NIV) From that time on Jesus began to preach,
“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.”

Matthew 4:19 (NIV2011) “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I
will send you out to fish for people.”

Matthew 4:19 (NIV) “Come, follow me,” Jesus said,
“and I will make you fishers of men.”

Matthew Chapter 5

Matthew 5:9 (NIV2011) Blessed are the peacemakers, for they
will be called children of God.

Matthew 5:9 (NIV) Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will
be called sons of God.

Matthew 5:16 (NIV2011) In the same way, let your light shine
before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in
heaven.

Matthew 5:16 (NIV) In the same way, let your light shine
before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

Matthew 5:19 (NIV2011) Therefore anyone who sets aside one
of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called
least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these
commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 5:19 (NIV) Anyone who breaks one of the least of
these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in
the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be
called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 5:22 (NIV2011) But I tell you that anyone who is
angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who
says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who
says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.

Matthew 5:22 (NIV) But I tell you that anyone who is angry
with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his
brother, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, ‘You
fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.

Matthew 5:23 (NIV2011) “Therefore, if you are offering your
gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something
against you,

Matthew 5:23 (NIV) “Therefore, if you are offering your
gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against
you,

Matthew 5:24 (NIV2011) leave your gift there in front of the
altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.

Matthew 5:24 (NIV) leave your gift there in front of the
altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your
gift.

Matthew 5:25 (NIV2011) “Settle matters quickly with your
adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still together on the
way, or your adversary may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand
you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison.

Matthew 5:25 (NIV) “Settle matters quickly with your
adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still with him on the
way, or he may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to
the officer, and you may be thrown into prison.

Matthew 5:32 (NIV2011) But I tell you that anyone who
divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her the victim of
adultery, and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

Matthew 5:32 (NIV) But I tell you that anyone who divorces
his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an
adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery.

Matthew 5:32 has been a problem translation for centuries.  Traditionally, it has been translated to mean that the divorced wife is an adultress because she is divorce by the husband.  This has been addressed by theologians in the last half of the 20th Century in several booklets and papers that have been published that show the translation is most correctly written makes her the victim of adultry or causes her to be adulterated.  The translation used in the NIV 1984, the traditional translation, has caused much undeserved hurt to be directed toward and felt by women from something that they could not control.  Wineskins Magazine had an excellent article on this subject a number of years back and a small booklet published by Star Bible Publishing titled  “Marriage is God’s Plan” has some very pertinent information on this subject.

Matthew 5:40 (NIV2011) And if anyone wants to sue you and
take your shirt, hand over your coat as well.

Matthew 5:40 (NIV) And if someone wants to sue you and take
your tunic, let him have your cloak as well.

Matthew 5:45 (NIV2011) that you may be children of your
Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends
rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

Matthew 5:45 (NIV) that you may be sons of your Father in
heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on
the righteous and the unrighteous.

Matthew 5:40 (NIV2011) And if anyone wants to sue you and
take your shirt, hand over your coat as well.

Matthew 5:40 (NIV) And if someone wants to sue you and take
your tunic, let him have your cloak as well.

Matthew 5:45 (NIV2011) that you may be children of your
Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends
rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

Matthew 5:45 (NIV) that you may be sons of your Father in
heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on
the righteous and the unrighteous.

I guess you can see the level of a challenge I have given myself for the coming year.  I will post the next five chapters in a few days.  I hope each reader will have a wonderful Thanksgiving with their families and friends, which ever the case may be.

 

About Wiley

I am a Christian Biblical Egalitarian who is 67 years young who retired on Feb 24, 2011 after being employed by Securitas Security Services at the Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant since August 26, 1983 as a Central Alarm Station operator and an Armed Security Officer. Comanche Peak is a nuclear powered high pressure reactor electric generating facility owned by Luminant. I have a wonderful wife, Linda, to whom I have been happily married for over 42 years. We have three daughters and son-in-laws and five grandchildren. My wife and I have lived in rural North Central Texas on a small ranch for 37 years. I started blogging because I can be very opinionated and this has turned out to be a very good way to state my opinions! If you want further info, see my web page titled "About Us" on http://www.clarksons.org
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