Iconic books are texts revered as objects of power rather than just as words of instruction, information, or insight. In religious and secular rituals around the globe, people carry, show, wave, touch and kiss books and other texts, as well as read them. This blog chronicles such events and activities. (For more about iconic books, see the links to the Iconic Books Project at left.)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

New International Version to be Updated

Biblica announced today that it is preparing an "update" of "the world's most popular Bible." The press release accompanying the announcement presents an array of points worth considering in the transmission of an iconic text, including the positioning of the new NIV in the tradition (and on the 400th anniversary) of the KJV, the expressed goals of the new translation, and the claim to the authority to make the translation:
"We want to reach English speakers across the globe with a Bible that is accurate, accessible and that speaks to its readers in a language they can understand," said Keith Danby, Global President and CEO of Biblica. "This is why we are recommitting ourselves today to the original NIV charter, complete with its charge to monitor and reflect developments in English usage and Biblical scholarship by regularly updating the NIV Bible text.

"As time passes and English changes, the NIV we have at present is becoming increasingly dated. If we want a Bible that English speakers around the world can understand, we have to listen to, and respect, the vocabulary they are using today."

The CBT [Committee on Bible Translation] represents the very best in evangelical biblical scholarship and its members are drawn from denominations across the world. As an independent body, it alone has the authority to revise and update the text of the NIV Bible.

"The committee exists to ensure that the NIV continues to articulate the words of God, as we find them recorded in the original languages, in a form of English that is comprehensible to the broadest possible audience," said CBT Chairman, Professor Douglas Moo.

"As a committee, our response to this challenge has always been to follow the example of the original Bible writers who wrote in forms of Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek that reflected the language spoken by the everyday working people of their day. Just as the New Testament is written in 'Koine' or 'common' Greek, our aim with the NIV Bible is — and has always been — to translate the Bible into what you might call 'Koine' or 'common' English.

"So it is fitting that the new edition of the NIV Bible will be coming out in 2011, the year which marks the 400th anniversary of the King James Version," said Moo. "Our goal in the NIV Bible translation mirrors that of the 17th Century translators themselves: to produce a Bible that removes all unnecessary obstacles to comprehension by drawing on the best available scholarship."

1 comment:

Jim Watts said...

Other publishers are also aiming for the KJV's 400th anniversary in 2011. The United Methodist Publishing House has recruited an ecumenical team of scholars to create a new general-purpose translation, the Common English Bible. The goal is the replace the NRSV with more up-to-date English that is easier to read. (Full disclosure: I am a consulting translator on the project for Exodus.)