By N. B. Hardeman I next call your attention to the first roman writer of note. Caius Cornelius Tacitus, whose ancestors are unknown, was born about the middle of the first century and died in the year 117. Thus he lived contemporary with the apostles and early Christians. He was chosen praetor of Rome in the year 88, and was made consul in 97. He wrote, Description of Germany, The Life of Agricola (his father-in-law), History of Rome, and Annals of Rome. He is one of the most reliable of Roman writers and his superiority of style is such that two of his books are used as texts in our best colleges. Tacitus had no respect for Christians and speaks of them in the bitterest of terms. His evidence, therefore, is the evidence of a foe, and becomes all the stronger because of such. Summing up his testimony, we offer the following:
Many of the TNIV supporters are upset about the general rejection of the TNIV. These supporters cannot understand why there is a continued backlash against the TNIV. While it appears that there has been an effort by TNIV attackers to prevent the TNIV from successfully replacing the NIV, I believe there are other reasons why the TNIV has lacked support. The TNIV did it to itself.
Before the completed TNIV was released, the New Testament of the TNIV was released to the general public for purchase. I have in my hands a TNIV New Testament published in 2001 by the International Bible Society. Being a sucker for new translations and willing to try new translations, I immediately purchased the TNIV NT, just like I purchased a HCSB NT when it was released before the translation was completed. There were a number of translations in the TNIV NT that I found simply unacceptable, which caused me to quickly reject the TNIV.
In the 2001 TNIV NT, 1 Timothy 3:11 reads, “In the same way, women who are deacons are to be worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything.” When the TNIV already had swirling controversy about the “gender inclusive language” and then releases a New Testament that has a reading advocating women deacons, I think one can see another reason why there was rejection among conservative preachers, teachers, and churches. The phrase “who are deacons” is not in the Greek, but was supplied by the translators. Some may argue that this is the proper interpretation of 1 Timothy 3:11, but this reading is not what the text says.
When the TNIV was finally released as a completed Bible, 1 Timothy 3:11 was changed to read as it reads now: “In the same way, the women are to be worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything.” This is correct. The phrase is vague and must be left up to the student to determine what Paul meant when spoke about the women or wives needing to be worthy of respect.
The point is that I assume I was not the only one who wrote off the TNIV when I saw these kinds of translation choices made in the TNIV NT. It is now seven years later and only last month did I purchase the TNIV Reference Bible to give it another try. Perhaps I will find other favorable changes and like the TNIV more this time around. But the TNIV brought some of the rejection and fury upon themselves with the 2001 New Testament release.