I already knew Piper didn’t like the TNIV

But my goodness, you sure can’t miss the fact here:

HT: Stephen Smuts


17 thoughts on “I already knew Piper didn’t like the TNIV

  1. What a bitter little man! As if he bases a sermon on two words anyway. What a terrible way to preach!

    As for the claim he isn’t selling anything – He is one of the first people in the ESV who recommends it! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. Wow. I don’t use the NIV and I have never even held a TNIV, so I don’t really have a dog in the fight. However I would hope that Dr. Piper has more than that.


  3. The NIV leaves out some words because as I understand it, Greek uses a lot of connecting words that aren’t always necessary in English. If you notice, ESV often uses the word “for” over and over and over. Look at 1 Cor 1:17 – 2:2 which is one I’m familiar with.

    I’ve read commentaries in the past and the commentator would talk about a connecting word in the Greek and say “which the NIV left untranslated” if the NIV is used for the commentary and I would think, why not? Why would they leave words out?

    Maybe the TNIV advocate he spoke to explained it to him.

    I may have just made a fool of myself but I think that’s a part of it anyway.

  4. Stephen: He is indeed! Part of what bothers me on this particular argument is that’s what a KJVO advocate would say. “Buy a Bible with all the words.”

    Mark: I agree with Piper on many things. He is on point in so many areas, but this is not one in which I can agree with him. AND the fact that he recommends the ESV liberally is also well noted.

    Martin: Piper’s stance on this in the past has surprised me. This is over the top.

    Jeff: To my regret, I don’t know Greek (or Hebrew), so I can’t study the original languages, but that’s my understanding also.

    Maybe the TNIV advocate he spoke to explained it to him. That made me chuckle. I hadn’t thought of that, but I do hope he (or *gasp* she) at least tried.

  5. Part of what bothers me on this particular argument is thatโ€™s what a KJVO advocate would say. โ€œBuy a Bible with all the words.โ€

    ==I had not thought about it that way but, and I hate to say this about Piper, it is true. His argument here is very, very weak. If he does not like the TNIV or the NIV, that is fine. However if he is going to preach against those versions he needs to have more reasons than simply their wording being different from other English translations. After all, that is the mistake KJVO folks like Steven Anderson make all the time.

    I’m afraid that the problem here is preference. There is nothing wrong with preferences, we all have them. I prefer the NASB above the KJV, NKJV, ESV, NIV, NLT, (etc) but I don’t condemn those other translations. Sure there are differences of wording (etc) but I understand the reasons behind those differences. I may disagree with how the KJV translators worded a certain text, but I’m not going to blast away at the KJV because of that.

    Piper, and Mohler, needs to calm down a bit. We have bigger fish to fry than the NIV (or TNIV). As Christians we need to be preaching the Gospel (unedited), refuting the error of men like Joel Osteen and Steven Anderson, defending the truth, visiting the sick, discipling the saved, etc. If the NIV (or TNIV) was guilty of perverting the Word of God I would stand up strongly and loudly against it. But that is not the case. We can discuss differences among translations and the reasons behind those differences. But this kind of hyper overreaction is not good.


  6. Piper and Mohler (and others) just don’t know everything. And in a way I think it’s a good thing when they speak out and show they are ignorant in some areas to keep people from thinking too highly of them.

    Obviously biblical history and translations are not their thing. Many people listen to them though and hang on to their every word. There will be those that believe the untruths told about particular versions because of what these men have to say about them.

  7. yeah, this is way over the top – quite off putting. Really, he should know better. If he has any inkling of the biblical languages and how they work along with even a basic understanding of linguistics, he would not be so hard on the TNIV – and he’s understand why it seems like words are added or words are missing (when really that is not the case necessarily but merely a matter of how translation from one language to another works.

    Ever heard a spanish translator for someone speaking English for example? The English speaker will say something and then the translator will seem to say a whole lot more than the Emglish speak did – is he adding to what was said? No, of course not, he is simple translating into Spanish whatever it was the English speaker said.

    It’s not hard to understand that really.

  8. Brian, Surely someone like Piper has that understanding, wouldn’t you think? He’s an intelligent man that is well read. I guess that’s part of what floors me when he starts talking about two words and making this mountain out of a molehill. He can say all he wants that he doesn’t have a vested interest in any version, but his insistence here is, at the very least, odd behavior for such a well read man. Same for Mohler and any of the others that are being less than gracious right now.

    Martin is right, they do have much bigger fish to fry and their preferences shouldn’t allow for the maligning other translations.

  9. Bitsy, I think you’re right. I would have to say that Piper knows Greek but he just hasn’t accepted the TNIV in his heart. Maybe one day, I hope.

    Brian, I listen to Piper a lot and get inspired by his teaching/preaching but it takes time for someone to be more open-minded about the truth.

  10. N. T. Wright doesn’t like the NIV either, and his reason is that it does change / edit the underlying Greek in ways that distort. I forget the passages he was using as examples… but later when I have time, if you’re interested, I could hunt for that bit — it’s in Justification.

  11. We’ve been reading, slowly, through his main series Christian Origins and the Question of God. I first discovered him when, on my own, I started wondering about how well the Gospels and the letters harmonize and cohere, and why the Gospels don’t record Jesus speaking plainly about the things Paul talks about.

    Justification: God’s Plan and Paul’s Vision is Wright’s response to Piper’s critique of his views on justification.

    I read fast, which in the case of Wright has been problematic. It’s interesting, and flows well enough while reading, but I can’t seem to articulate what it is he’s been saying.

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