Negative reaction to TNIV is both warranted and founded—in the Truth.

A response to the dissertation of Professor Mark L. Strauss in rebuttal to Chaplain Bill’s letter on the TNIV version of the Bible.

© 2002 Michael A. Baker

The rebuttal of Mark L. Strauss, Ph.D., professor of New Testament and Greek at Bethel Seminary in San Diego, to the commentary by Chaplain Bill of the Inland Police Officer’s Coalition, has become standard party line by those seeking to defend the new translation known as the “Today’s New International Version.” (TNIV)

The honorable Mr. Strauss insinuates, as do many who seek to defend this particular version, including the International Bible Society (IBS), and Zondervan Publishing in their form letter to me, those who oppose this have not studied the issue and transliteration in depth. I am vexed by their propensity to do so.

I have. So have many, many others. For the sake of brevity, a small sampling of growing online resources can be found at:

May I point out to the honorable Mr. Strauss, Ph.D., that many nationally known Bible scholars and Church leaders more credentialed than he have gone on the record as opposing this version. Furthermore, law enforcement professionals, active duty or retired, like many I company with, as in the case of Chaplain Bill, are not apt to make trivial or whimsical public statements in their investigations. It is outside their very nature as unqualified professionals.

This being the case, the sharp divide this controversy has caused in the Spirit-filled Church and leadership demands that “uncredentialed” insignificants such as myself who do not sport a fancy Ph.D. title to flash around, utilize our God-given analytical, critical, objective thinking skills, to research the matter ourselves.

To this point, the controversy and debate over this issue has remained superficial; the response from those defending this version—as well as others—cursory at best. The very context of this debate hasn’t been examined. This is the foundation which has such destructive potential. The refusal of the particulars involved to do so suggests improper motives.

The honorable Mr. Strauss states that the kind of gender language used in the TNIV has in fact become standard in Bible translation over the last 20 years—due to changes in the English language. Yet, it is the decline of Western civilization and the growing ineffectiveness of the Church to impact our culture in defining the course of that language that launches the red flags.

Is the TNIV translation questionable? Are Zondervan and the IBS succumbing to political correctness/cultural pressure in deciding to craft this version? Sure they are. That conclusion, in light of current social mores, by those who are politically aware, is inescapable. The preface to the NRSV explains exactly what led to this: It was a requirement from the National Council of Churches, a notoriously liberal organization not representative of the true Church, to eliminate “masculine-oriented language,” to “mute the patriarchalism of the culture of the biblical writers.”

And this is sanctioned by the Lord and the Holy Spirit, this alteration of the Word of God? I think not. It is the corruption of Western culture conforming the Church—and her heretofore trusted operational manual, the Bible—to its standard, the “new orthodoxy,” instead of vice-versa.

Unfortunately, intellectualists and ministerial “Ph.D.’s” tell us how to think, that is, they interpret the Bible as they wish instead of allowing the Bible to interpret itself. Thus, we have intellectualists who testify that Christ was not God, that women can be preachers, that sodomites can be preachers of the Gospel and valid communicants of churches, etc. To them truth is culturally determined instead of eternal.

Secular humanism, cultural Marxism, and Post-modernist thought—outside influences on the true Church—are evident throughout the context of this debate. The controversy surrounding this demonstrates that.

Until the honorable Mr. Strauss and like-minded company make the effort to address and discredit the evident and incontestably evil outside cultural influences affecting Christianity in this nation as well as this issue—and indeed, in many Christian’s opinion, fueling these newer interpretations—moving deeper than doting about questions and strifes of words, the Today’s New International Version will remain grievously suspect.

“Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.” (Proverbs 35: 5-6)

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Related links to the controversy
Kept The Faith
TNIV Resources - Understanding Today's New International Version - Zondervan to Release 'Gender-Accurate' NIV
New NIV translation is ‘desecration of God’s Holy Word’
Chaplain Bill in