POC Blog

The random technotheolosophical blogging of Reid S. Monaghan

TNIV musings continued

As I continue reading stuff on the TNIV I am continually surprised at the views I am running across...especially as one interested in philosophy of language. It is interesting that the TNIV promotional material seems to be saying that "culture" is always some neutral form out there - that whatever culture is doing with language etc. must be taken as "the way things are" - It seems to neglect that culture may change its language and descriptions on things to avoid certain realities it no longer feels worthy. This is represented in the TNIV FAQ on the web:
The TNIV is the most accurate translation for 18- to 34-year-olds because it is written in today’s language. As Dr. Ronald Youngblood, longtime CBT member, says, “English is always changing. As a result, we must continue the work of translation to guarantee that the Bible is accurately communicated in the language of the day.” So how do you understand the language of the day? How does someone twenty years younger understand language?
This is very interesting (especially as someone who grew up without church, without reading the Bible, and is still just 32 years old). It seems from such statements that we would accept the manner of speach of the 18 year old and then change the words of God (which is what we mean by plenary, verbal inspiration) to match the persons vocabulary. So what would keep us (really, I mean this) from changing God from "Heavenly Father" to "Heavenly Parent" if the "youner generation" no longer accepts the conception of God as Father? Assertions that "we will never do that" seem very hollow as many church traditions are already doing "God our Father/Mother" and "Worshipping the Goddess" etc. NOW, in our generation. Now I want to have a Bible in today's idiom, but issues that effect the very view of "gender" to reflect a "culture" that is deeply rejecting certain Biblical concepts of gender is quite a different animal. A hermeunitic control is given to the interpreters to change words to reflect todays understanding of gender...where male/female distinction in roles or design by God are muted or outright changed in the words of God. The influence of postmodern philosphies of language is on the table of course:
The English language keeps on changing. In 2003 when Merriam-Webster updated its collegiate dictionary, lexicographers made more than 100,000 changes and added more than 10,000 new words and phrases that did not appear in 1993. Even school and college textbooks have changed over the years, as “men” rarely refers to both men and women today. Now consider the fact that the NIV was first published more than 30 years ago.
This is quite interesting - I guess we should have new English Bibles in even shorter life cycles in the coming years - "new for todays 20 year old" and whatever cultural beliefs they express with their languages - be it nature worship, transgenderism, or whatever else comes in the name of "culture" Now to Zondervan's research on my generation:

Clearly, the TNIV is not the translation for everyone; no Bible translation is. But TNIV critics are not in the 18- to 34-year-old audience that the TNIV speaks to.

Well, call me Exhibit A - again, unchurched, unBibled, 32 and a critic...they continue
But our primary focus is on the fact that there is an overwhelming need to reach 18- to 34-year-olds with the Bible. According to research, 40% of children who grow up in church no longer attend church as adults. It is tough to argue with an accurate translation that is overwhelmingly supported by a group of people who desperately need to be re-engaged, or engaged for the first time, with the Bible.
Why on earth would we think that those who "no longer going to church" should be some sort infallible guide to the translation of God's Word - is this not just marketing schmack. Do not women and men who are my age have minds to understand that "aner" means "man" and "anthropos" means "people". I share a deep passion to reach those of my generation, to connect with them, to love them, for they are me. But I also want to reach them with the timeless truth (yes, there is such a thing) of God's Word. I think in our day of Sola Cultura we need to look hard at understanding things that are transcultural in nature - in the way things are. I offer just a few (yes, from the noumenal realm - they way things ARE - Kantianism not withstanding):
  • The created nature of human beings - in the image of God - we share a common humanity - this exists across cultures
  • The created nature of human beings - as male and female - in the created order itself, in ourselves - this exists across cultures
  • The world itself that God created and used to speak to us - I'll name here only a few - 1) the nature of man (he took it upon himself to speak to us through the incarnation) 2) the faculty of language and reason - which he used in the incarnation and which all humans possess 3) ALL THINGS - rocks, trees, seeds that grow, space, the stars, the vastness of the universe, rivers, oceans, rain, ants, birth processes, the sky, mud and mire - we live in this same world - and God indeed uses it to speak to us.
  • The Law of God - Written on the Hearts - The moral law, as reall as physics, but bearing not upon physical bodies, but upon the souls of women and men.
  • The Word of God - Using language, using words, using all the things above as referents to speak to us in a way that can be understood.

The cultural currents rage - the flowers fade, and the grass withers - but the WORD of the Lord stands forever...

Convinced that I will further my progress in Greek and Hebrew and stand on the walls for my generation - for the Word that will change them and properly order our lives. What we need is the word from God - with all its "Father" language included. For this is indeed our God - the very Creator God - Father, Son, Holy Spirit - and these names are not ancient culture - but the represntative monikers given to us - God's self revelation of the one who is I AM.