Over at the Better Bibles Blog, they carry an interesting post regarding the latest Bible sales figures in the USA. What the Blog finds particularly of note is the absence of the TNIV in the top ten. There is some dismay in the comments section at the lack of support the TNIV seems to be receiving from both its publisher (Zondervan) and retail stores. I can't believe this situation. The TNIV has been bullied out of fashion.
I am convinced that gender neutral language with respect to translating pronouns is accurate. You won't hear many folk in the street using generic 'he' in conversation any more. Yet many scholars who should know better, have reacted furiously to the TNIV, accusing it of a politically correct or even feminist agenda. Ok, so when I refuse to use the word 'gay' to describe happy, am I bowing to linguistic pressure from pink-pressure groups? No, I'm merely using common sense. Sure, homosexual pressure groups have commandeered the word and the meaning has changed. But to accuse someone, who verbally adapts to the new change, of succumbing to political pressure is nonsense. I believe the same is the case with masculine pronouns. Go to the TNIV website and you will find a sound linguistic rationale for each and every change from the NIV.
Furthermore, if you read Carson's book on the matter the unavoidable impression you get is that the opponents of the TNIV are naive linguistic fundamentalists. It's rather akin to the movement who opposed the removal of 'thees' and 'thous' in our old versions. Linguistic conservatism is an unnecessary stumbling block to those coming to faith. It creates the impression that we're terrified of feminists and conservative for conservative's sake. Someone might reason, "If they're so extreme and yet so wrong about this issue, what else are they wrong about?" In short, it damages the gospel. The only offense in our words should be the offense of the cross, not the offense of unnecessary and stuffy language. It's hard to find a credible linguistic expert who backs the cause of Grudem, Piper, et al. Those who consider themselves Reformed should back away from this insane fight.
The silly agreement made by the IBS (International Bible Society) not to replace NIV with a gender accurate version should be revoked. It was an agreement made under pressure from linguistic fundamentalists, and is therefore an ungodly and unfair treaty. The TNIV is sliding because of pressure. Up the ante I say and replace the NIV by re-naming the TNIV "The NIV".