Internet to air Bible scholars' debate over gender-neutral TNIV translation

by Art Toalston, posted Friday, May 17, 2002 (16 years ago)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--A debate over the gender-neutral Today's New International Version translation of the Bible will be aired May 21 over the Internet.

The debate between Mark Strauss, one of the TNIV's endorsers, and Wayne Grudem, who has challenged the TNIV's rendering of numerous gender-related Bible passages, will begin at 7:30 p.m. Pacific time Tuesday in Concordia University's gymnasium in the Los Angeles area.

The webcast of the debate can be accessed at

After the debate, the audio will be available at

The debate is part of a "Questions of Controversy" series sponsored by two Los Angeles-area Christian radio stations, KKLA 99.5 FM and 95.9 The Fish, affiliated with Salem Communications Corp., the nation's leading Christian broadcasting company with stations in 34 markets.

The two radio stations have titled the debate, "The TNIV -- A Bible Translation for Today or Political Movement for Tomorrow."

The website hosting the debate, meanwhile, is Faith & Values Media, a coalition of Jewish and Christian faith groups dedicated to media production, distribution and promotion.

The TNIV is the new gender-neutral "Today's New International Version" unveiled Jan. 28 by the International Bible Society and Zondervan publishing house. It is a revision of the widely used 1984 New International Version (NIV) Bible translation.

Strauss is associate professor of New Testament at Bethel Theological Seminary-West Campus in San Diego and the author of "Distorting Scripture? The Challenge of Bible Translation and Gender Accuracy," published in 1998 by InterVarsity Press. Strauss also has taught at Biola University, Christian Heritage College and Talbot School of Theology.

Grudem is a research professor of theology and Bible at Phoenix Seminary and coauthor of the book, "The Gender-Neutral Bible Controversy," with Vern S. Poythress, published in 2000 by Broadman & Holman Publishers. Grudem is a past president of the Evangelical Theological Society and the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood and a former 20-year faculty member at the Chicago-area Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.

Strauss, in endorsing the new translation released earlier this year, stated, "The TNIV takes the clearest and most accurate English Bible version -- the NIV -- and makes it even better. By updating the NIV with reference to textual, linguistic and historical issues, the TNIV represents the cutting edge of contemporary Bible translation."

Grudem, meanwhile, is among the signers of a statement by the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood declaring, "In light of troubling translation inaccuracies -- primarily (but not exclusively) in relation to gender language -- that introduce distortions of the meanings that were conveyed better by the original NIV, we cannot endorse the TNIV translation as sufficiently accurate to commend to the church."

Strauss holds a Ph.D. from the University of Aberdeen; master of divinity and theology degrees from Talbot; and a B.A. from Westmont College.

Grudem holds a Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge; master of divinity from Westminster Theological Seminary; and a B.A. from Harvard University.

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