Maybe you have heard this, but the NIV has been updated.
Because I was going to be talking about Col 1:28-29 in YM Orienteering, I wanted to add a slide to my powerpoint and drop that text in (even though it was to be memorized for the class). I opened up www.biblegateway.com and typed in Col 1 and scrolled down and read:
28 He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. 29 To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.
I read it again. Scrolled up and looked to make sure that I had it on NIV. Yep. Scrolled down. Same think. Switched to NASB. Scrolled down. Read it. Yep that is NASB version. Switched back and scrolled down. What? That isn’t the NIV. Col 1:28-29 in NIV reads:
“We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me.”
I switched to www.blueletterbible.org (which I love for Greek and Hebrew helps) and read Col 1. Yep, it was right there.
I clicked on the Biblegateway.com tab and reread it. I thought to myself, “What is going on?”
Then I clicked on a link that said the Updated NIV. When did this happen? It happened in August 2010. It is now more in line with the TNIV which updated the NIV several years ago. Now the NIV has been changed to reflect the current English speaking and mindset changes.
I have always complained that “presenting everyone PERFECT in Christ” was off base. The Greek word telios does not truly convey a perfection and many believers may get the wrong impression. It is about maturity or completeness. The updated NIV renders Col 1:28-29 right on: so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. Yes! That is it. No more telios incorrectly translated.
I did a quick skim of some other passages. Oh no, some of my NIV theology and memory verses are going to have to be changed. It is because scholars are learning more and trying to convey the message of the Greek and Hebrew in a more true meaning… You’ve heard the phrase, “Lost in Translation.” Ideas get lost when they have to leave the language they were first written or spoken in and translated to another language by which those words and symbols may have slightly different meanings when interpreted in the brain than what the original author first meant.
That is why Bible and Theology classes are so important on this campus. That is why I want you to be a serious student of Pentateuch and Pauline Epistles class as well as Greek. You have to understand the tennor of depth of the what is going on so that you can better communicate the real message of God to your students. Youth Ministry isn’t just hanging out! What an illustration with this.
I can hear a lot of non-Greek thinking people in the church getting up in arms about the changes. “How can they change the word of God?” How great it will be when you can explain what telios means and that this updated version does a much more faithful job in communicating what Paul really said! You will be able to speak as an educated leader who knows what is going on. You will be able to speak as a leader who is telios!
I am bummed about one thing… the updated version changed the translation of hagios in several places when it is referring to believers. It isn’t that it is wrong, it is that it misses the theological punch. That is okay, when I preach, I can point that out and the contrast can be even more powerful.
However, check it out for yourself. Are there any Greek words that the translators have messed up on? You better check it out before you teach or preach the next time.
If you want to read the changes in the updated NIV and the rationale, here is the link:
Blessings. And may we we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. 29 To this end [WE] strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.