Fox News, the NIV, and Rupert Murdoch are a Triune Force for Evil

Let me clarify this Fox News/NIV link. Rupert Murdoch created and owns News Corp, which own Fox News. Fox was launched in 1986 by News Corp. In 1989, Rupert Murdoch bought Harper Collins. Zondervan is a imprint (brand name) of Harper Collins, used to market books to Christians. The NIV is owned and controlled by Zondervan. Thus, though the NIV was not translated under the evil tyrant hand of the (apparently) "born-again" Christian, Rupert Murdoch, profits from NIV sales go to Rupert.

Of course, this is only one of many reasons not to use the NIV. As far as translations go, it is more biased than necessary and often loose in its translation. One of the primary problems with it is that, though there were many scholars involved, each book is primarily the work of one person, for better or for worse. Thus, parts of it are fantastic. For instance, the Psalms are rendered beautifully in the NIV, but there are part where it is weak at best, misleading at worst. Also, the Greek and Hebrew manuscripts the NIV choose to use were not always the most reliable. The NIV was essentially created in order to place Jesus into the Old Testament, regardless of whether Jesus is there or not. They also resolve contradictions in the text (which, despite what I was taught, are all over the Bible).

One of the passages that bothers me most in the NIV is when they translated a female name as a male name in order to take away an argument from those who argue for women in leadership roles. In Romans 16:7, Paul greets Junia (a female name) as an apostle. The NIV, with no manuscript evidence to back this up, changed the name to Junias (a male name). Their reasoning is that women are not in leadership roles and therefore, Paul wouldn't have greeted a woman in a leadership role.

The NRSV, on the other hand, was translated by an ecumenical committee of scholars who had accuracy in mind. They used the best and most reliable manuscripts. And, though it is far from perfect and is a bit harder to read than the NIV, it is far and away the best translation of which I am aware.

When I was young, I was taught to hate the NRSV. I was told that it stood for "New Reviled Sub-standard Perversion. I have also heard "No Redeeming Social Value." Very clever indeed. Let me try one with NIV: "Never Intoxicate Verbs." hmm... that needs some work. Whoever comes up with the best new acronym wins an eighteen trillion points.

There are a few reasons churches tend to prefer the NIV. First, it is marketed better and cheaper. Second, the NRSV is a very academic translation, and there is a great deal of mistrust concerning this in the evangelical community. Third, the NRSV is the greatest thing since sliced bread and you know how Evangelicals feel about sliced bread.

In other words, I am hot for the NRSV.