Southern Baptists Decry NIV 2011

As an ardent supporter of the NLT – I’ve never read the NIV 2011. No need too. :) But this was a bit surprising.

In a surprising and dramatic move moments ago, messengers voted first to consider a resolution highly critical of the TNIV 2011 and then passed the resolution nearly unanimously. The resolution came from the floor — introduced by messenger Tim Overton — and not from the Resolutions Committee. Overturn’s appeal for messengers to consider the resolution passed by at least a 2-to-1 margin, and the resolution itself got only a handful of opposing votes. The Resolutions Committee had asked messengers not to consider the resolution.

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Joel L. Watts
Joel L. Watts holds a Masters of Arts from United Theological Seminary with a focus in literary and rhetorical criticism of the New Testament. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).

14 thoughts on “Southern Baptists Decry NIV 2011

  1. Way to marginalize yourselves even further, SBC.

    Take it from this SBCer: using the TNIV or NIV 2011 won’t make you break out in a rash or get an angel sent to ask to check your baptism.


      1. The translations I use regularly are (in this order)

        1. NET
        2. NRSV
        3. NLT
        4. HCSB
        5. KJV

        Indeed, I recently admitted an NABRE was my favorite bible edition of late

        So yeah, “burn baby, burn”.

        I wonder if this means Lifeway is gonna pull all the NIV 2011s from their store shelves?

        1. Lifeway will probably do whatever will make them money. I went to nobts, and of that I am sure, lifeway is a business first and foremost.

          Btw, your list of translations made me smile.

          1. Shh. Don’t tell anyone but a local LIfeway is selling NRSV WITH Apocrypha Reader Editions.
            Actually, they’ve shelved them. Whether any LIfeway customers will buy an NRSVA is another story.

            I just gave my Sunday School teacher, a deacon, an NRSVA. Yeah, first hit of heresy is free.

  2. As an SBCer myself, I almost have to laugh. The convention has nearly turned into a circus sideshow, which is a real shame. There are a great many things the SBC does well, but running a convention is usually not one of them. The number of attendees goes down every year which makes it even easier for the fringe to get an airing.

  3. If HCSB is branded as an SBC Bible where does the fault lie? I own a couple of HCSBs and I’m a Lutheran. I own an NIV84, aTNIV and an NIV2011. OK, I’m a Bible geek.

    I sho at Lifeway occasionally. There is one nearby.

    1. Me too. In fact, Lifeway is the only Christian bookstore within 30 miles. They are kind enough to order my NOAB 4th edition for me. Although I did get a funny look when I asked for the one with the Apocrypha.

  4. I’ve lost my scorecard, so does anyone know which translations are verboten in the SBC? The only resolutions I can remember are the TNIV and now the NIV (2011 edition). Is it still ok with them to use the NRSV? Also, have they ever had a resolution against the JW Bible?

  5. I grew up in the SBC (Merrimon Ave. Baptist Church, in NC), but I was confirmed in the Episcopal Church and still worship there. Our “official” Bible translation is the NRSV, in which the translators go to extraordinary lengths to avoid using “he, him, his.” Today’s gospel reading, Matthew 10:40-42, is a good example. A close translation of verse 42 would be, “And whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold [water] in the name of a disciple [because s/he is a disciple], truly I tell you, will not miss his {autou] reward.” In contrast, the NRSV declines to translate autou in the final clause, since it sounds masculine, and the conclusion of verse 42 in the NRSV instead reads, “… — truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward,” which alters the wording a lot, IMHO. Taking my Greek Testament to church on Sunday mornings, just to see how much the NRSV translators changed or left out, has been a revelation. There are two types of translations on the market, I think: those that aim at accuracy, and those, like the NRSV and TNIV, that don’t.

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