Wednesday, December 7, 2011

ELS doctrine committee recommends against NIV 2011

A big hat tip to our brothers in the Evangelical Lutheran Synod. The following recommendation of the ELS Doctrine Committee can be found here. The highlighting below is mine.

    Doctrine Committee recommendation regarding Bible translations

    Many congregations of the ELS currently use the NIV (1984) Bible for worship and Christian education. This edition of the NIV will no longer be available for purchase at the end of 2011. It has been replaced with the NIV (2011) which makes significant changes to the text of the NIV (1984). These changes have diminished the accuracy of the NIV. Therefore, based on preliminary study of the NIV (2011), the Doctrine Committee recommends against the use of the NIV (2011).

    The Doctrine Committee recommends for use in the Evangelical Lutheran Synod translations such as: New King James Version (NKJV), English Standard Version (ESV), An American Translation (Beck, AAT), and the New American Standard Bible 1995 (NASB95). These translations are accurate and understandable. If a new Lutheran translation is prepared in the future this also could be an option for use in the ELS.

    The following essay from the WELS website is suggested for further study on this matter. (Other essays at that site are also of benefit.)

    ELS Doctrine Committee

    December 6, 2011


Mr. Douglas Lindee said...

I'll only note, here, the essay that the ELS Doctrine Committee highlights: Rev. Brian Keller's essay, Evaluating Bible Translations: Alle Schrift von Gott eingegeben. I would also point you to his appendicies: Appendix A and Appendix B.

This essay has been mentioned twice on this blog, as an excellent and very important essay, in the blog post On "Emasculated Bibles" and being "Objective" and in commentary to the blog post The LORD (no longer) Our Righteousness in NIV 2011. It is truly a good essay, and I would encourage our readers to take the time to examine it.

Anonymous said...

Great news and good leadership by the ELS concerning faithfulness to the purity of God's Word.


Pastor Spencer said...

It should be noted and emphasized that the ELS Doctrine Committee did not merely recommend certain translations, but actually singled out the NIV 2011 and recommended AGAINST it! They are not simply saying what Bibles they think their members ought to use, but also advising them on which ONE in particular to stay away from! Thus, they are not at all “neutral” about the NIV 2011. They are clearly in the “against” camp. In addition, their reason is crystal clear. They state quite bluntly that the changes made in the 2011 version of the NIV have "diminished the accuracy" of the previous 1984 version. Thus, a group of our fellow Pastors - well-trained theological men, all - have passed judgment on the NIV 2011. In the words of Daniel, the NIV 2011 has been "weighed on the scales and found deficient." (Daniel 5:27) That pretty much says it all. What say you, WELS?

Pastor Spencer

Anonymous said...

Could the Doctrine Committee have left a window open (because the WELS has not closed the door?)? What does this mean:

"...based on preliminary study of the NIV (2011)..."

Will there be more study that could change the Doctrine Committee's recommendation?

Rev. James Schulz

Rev. Paul A. Rydecki said...

From a conversation with DC member, my understanding is that the DC will have to put some more time into studying the NIV if NPH starts putting out educational materials in the new NIV, because a bigger decision will be required of the ELS in that case: continue to recommend NPH to its members or recommend against NPH. I'm sure they'll want to have thoroughly studied the issue before they would make such a divisive (but possibly necessary) recommendation.

Anonymous said...

I grew up WELS and am still a WELS member (or WINO: WELS In Name Only). I recently moved to an area where there is a WELS church and an ELS church. I, as a WELS member, attend the ELS church because it is more Means of Grace focused. I visited the WELS church and they had their big ol' screen up front with watered down Law and Gospel (hardly recognizable). My point is: I find the ELS to be more orthodox than most WELS churches these days and I think this report presents that it in print.

Mitch Forte

Joe Krohn said...

Mitch...probably so from your perspective. ELS is starting a church here in Cedar Park, Texas. So far from what I have seen is they are partnering with Holy Word (WELS) to get their new mission up and going. I know there are members at HW that are looking for more confessionalism locally and are hoping to get it. But I wonder...Means of Grace and reverence seem to be taking a back seat to relaxed and relevant re: WELS in the greater Austin area...and many in LC-MS...I have seen it.


Norman Teigen said...

I am a member of an ELS congregation. Bible, catechism, and hymn book are serious matters within the little synod.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone read the paper by Pastor Brian R Keller titled Evaluating Bible Translations?

I have copied the link below.

In his final comments he raises the issue of partnering with LC-MS and ELS to do a Confessional Lutheran Bible Translation. I have often wondered why we would not consider this as an option. Thoughts?

Lee Liermann

Anonymous said...

I've heard "sectarianism" being bandied about as an excuse, but it is a poor excuse. Personally, I really don't care if we don't fit in with Protestantism [the very definition of sectarianism], especially of the American variety.

I think a revision of an existing translation (based on the KJV tradition [e.g. NKJV et. al.]) would be a better option, though I am not really sure of the necessity of such a project. The barrier that I see would be copyright, at least for the modern translations. (An errata booklet for any of the above-mentioned translations would be cheaper to produce than the NIV2011.) [ "...copies of the NIV 2011 sold by NPH be accompanied by a booklet, prepared by experts, which identifies and remediates the errors it contains."]

Jerod Butt

Anonymous said...

I seem to remember it being mentioned at least once that Intrepid Lutheran's might develop printed materials for use in explaining our objections to the NNIV. Has anything been done in this regard?

Lee Liermann

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