Sunday 4 October 2009

Battle of the Evangelical Bibles

Is that a howling sound coming from the publishers of the ESV; the sound of a carnivore about to descend, all teeth and claws, on its hapless prey? Perhaps so. The gibbering hordes at Crossway seem to have decided (given the evidence over on Cyberbrethren) that this is a Pepsi moment. Galvanized by the move to dump the NIV and TNIV and replace them both with something new in 2011, they have apparently decided that now is the time, and Coke will topple.

The great evil of the impending NIV is, naturally, "the trap of gender inclusivity and neutrality that plagues much of modern Protestantism and Christianity." Oh dear lord, not gender inclusivity and neutrality! What to do? Let's tweak the 1952 RSV! "And it was so."

No denying that the NIV brand is a bit shopworn, or that the TNIV went down like a lead balloon among its natural constituency. No denying that the ESV brand has an appeal to conservative Christians. So, who knows, maybe the ESV will topple the NIV from its throne. We won't have long to wait, the bull-roaring season ends and the Big Fight commences in 2011, be sure to grab your NRSV, a large bag of popcorn, and a good seat, this one is unlikely to be an early KO.

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