Tuesday, October 02, 2012

What should We Think of the New International Version 2011? (Part 1)

Those who know me well have heard me express my concerns about the 2011 edition of the New International Version of the Bible.  Today I ran across this passage, which has changed significantly from the 1984 to the 2011 edition:

Romans 1:4
New International Version 1984 (NIV 1984): "4 and who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord."

Romans 1:4
New International Version 2011 (NIV 2011):"4 and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord."

Do you see the difference?  We are talking about the translation of ὁρισθέντος (horisthentos).  The phrase is "τοῦ ὁρισθέντος υἱοῦ θεοῦ," which the NIV 2011 translates as "appointed the Son of God," and which every other English translation I can find translates as "declared" (or a word with an equivalent meaning such as shown, proved, marked out, or demonstrated) to be the Son of God"

GREEK: τοῦ ὁρισθέντος υἱοῦ θεοῦ
NASB: who was declared the Son of God
KJV: And declared [to be] the Son of God
INT: having been declared Son of God

Romans 1:4 is the only occurrence of ὁρισθέντος in the New Testament, while ὡρισμένος (hōrismenos) in Acts 10:42 and ὥρισεν (horisen) in Acts 17:31, which are translated as appointed, are related but not the same word.
 
While ὁρισθέντος may be translated as appointed, a better translation is marked out, determined to be, or declared.  It is significant that virtually every English translation translates it this way: 
(KJ21) 4 and was declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness by the resurrection from the dead,
(ASV)who was declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead; even Jesus Christ our Lord,
(CEB)He was publicly identified as God’s Son with power through his resurrection from the dead, which was based on the Spirit of holiness. This Son is Jesus Christ our Lord.
(CJB)he was powerfully demonstrated to be Son of God spiritually, set apart by his having been resurrected from the dead; he is Yeshua the Messiah, our Lord.
(CEV) 3-4 This good news is about his Son, our Lord Jesus Christ! As a human, he was from the family of David. But the Holy Spirit proved that Jesus is the powerful Son of God, because he was raised from death.
(DARBY)marked out Son of God in power, according to [the] Spirit of holiness, by resurrection of [the] dead) Jesus Christ our Lord;
(ERV) 3-4 The Good News is about God’s Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. As a human, he was born from the family of David, but through the Holy Spirit he was shown to be God’s powerful Son when he was raised from death.
(ESV)and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord,
(ESVUK)and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord,
(GW)In his spiritual, holy nature he was declared the Son of God. This was shown in a powerful way when he came back to life.
(GNT)as to his divine holiness, he was shown with great power to be the Son of God by being raised from death.
(HCSB)and who has been declared to be the powerful Son of God by the resurrection from the dead according to the Spirit of holiness.
(PHILLIPS) 3-6 The Gospel is centred in God’s Son, a descendant of David by human genealogy and patently marked out as the Son of God by the power of that Spirit of holiness which raised him to life again from the dead. He is our Lord, Jesus Christ, from whom we received grace and our commission in his name to forward obedience to the faith in all nations. And of this great number you at Rome are also called to belong to him.
(KJV)And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:
(LEB)who was declared Son of God in power according to the Holy Spirit by the resurrection from the dead of Jesus Christ our Lord,
(MSG) 2-7 The sacred writings contain preliminary reports by the prophets on God’s Son. His descent from David roots him in history; his unique identity as Son of God was shown by the Spirit when Jesus was raised from the dead, setting him apart as the Messiah, our Master. Through him we received both the generous gift of his life and the urgent task of passing it on to others who receive it by entering into obedient trust in Jesus. You are who you are through this gift and call of Jesus Christ! And I greet you now with all the generosity of God our Father and our Master Jesus, the Messiah.
(NASB) who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord,
(NCV) 3-4 The Good News is about God's Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. As a man, he was born from the family of David. But through the Spirit of holiness he was declared to be God's Son with great power by rising from the dead.
(NKJV)and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.
(NLV)The Holy Spirit proved by a powerful act that Jesus our Lord is the Son of God because He was raised from the dead. 
(NLT)and he was shown to be the Son of God when he was raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit. He is Jesus Christ our Lord.
(NRSV) and was declared to be Son of God with power according to the spiritb of holiness by resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord,
(YLT)who is marked out Son of God in power, according to the Spirit of sanctification, by the rising again from the dead,) Jesus Christ our Lord;

The NIV 1984 edition is consistent with all other translations:

(NIV1984)and who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord.

Then comes the updated family of New International Version Bibles, the NIV 2011, followed by the UK version, the NIV Reader's Version (a version for young people) and the Today's New International Version (TNIV) which was discontinued at the same time as  publication of the NIV 2011 began.
 
(NIV) [2011]and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord.
(NIVUK)and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord.
(NIRV)By the power of the Holy Spirit, he was appointed to be the mighty Son of God because he rose from the dead. He is Jesus Christ our Lord.
(TNIV)and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord.

The reason why this matters so much is the Christological heresy known as adoptionism, the view that Jesus was born merely human and that he became divine—adopted as God's son—later in his life.  No theologically knowledgeable translator could be unaware of the error of adoptionism, and to translate Romans 1:4 in a way unlike any other English translation—a way that opens the door to this erroneous view—is inexcusable. 

This is only the beginning of a whole catalog of problems I am finding with the NIV (2011).  I'll return to this subject as time permits.

1 comment:

The Underground Pewster said...

This translation will surely lead some along the path of adoptionism. Good pick up. How many other ticking time bombs are in there?