Monday, June 07, 2010

RIP TNIV: Order "TNIV Books of the Bible" yesterday if not sooner

Although I am not sure anyone is telling the whole story..

(some of it is ugly and political...and don't get me started on James Dobson's role (see Bob Robinson's "This is why I no longer like Dobson, Bully"! You'd think he had been hanging with crabby Colson when he encouraged the eventually successful...sigh..ban)

...if you want some backstory,

here is an archive of all articles in Christianity Today chronicling the debate and demise of one of the best translations we have ever had:

the TNIV.

Never heard of it?

Of course not! Conspiracy!

Heard of it, and heard it was heretical?


Click here for the doomed translation's website.
See who recommended it, and ask why you never heard about it!!
You can also click the "TNIV" label at bottom to see my other posts on the topic of this translation, including Rob Bell's ringing endorsement (Ha, that may have been the death knell) on video.

All that to say:
Rest in peace, now that you have been banned.


Order your "
TNIV Books of the Bible" while you can (SpyScott bought our church a discounted case..thanks!) as it too will soon be out of print.
(Though I am delighted it will continue to be printed next year, just with the new NIV translation..see the comment from the publisher at bottom of this post!).
There is currently one left on Amazon, and several here on the official website. Kudos to Biblica (formerly International Bible Society for this amazing project.

What's so different/great about it? You can read all about it below. I recommend reading the preface here which explains the format. Suffice to say the book introductions themselves (Like Intro to Revelation) are way worth the price. I know no other Bible that does justice to structural issues: chiasm/inclusio, for one.

Here you go:

The Books of The Bible project encourages better Bible reading, particularly by emphasizing the reading of whole books. The result is an inviting and clean visual presentation of the Bible that can be understood and enjoyed more easily. The Books of The Bible differs from the format of most current Bibles in significant ways:
  • chapter and verse numbers are removed from the text (a chapter-and-verse range is at the bottom of each page)
  • individual books are presented with the literary divisions that their authors have indicated
  • footnotes, section headings and other supplementary materials have been removed from the text (translators’ notes are available at the back of each book)
  • the books of the Bible have been placed in an order that provides more help in understanding, based on literary genre, historical circumstance and theological tradition
  • single books that later translations or tradition divided
    into two or more books are made whole again
    (example: Luke-Acts)
  • single-column setting that clearly and naturally presents the
    literary forms of the Bible’s books


    “At last a publisher has brought us back to the reality of the first fifteen hundred years of the church: a Bible without numbers. Although the numbers are a great convenience for ‘finding things,’ they in fact get in the way of good Bible reading. So in the language Augustine heard many centuries ago, ‘Take up and read; take up and read!’ with heavy emphasis on the ‘read.’ ”
    —Gordon D. Fee, Author of How to Read the Bible Book by Book
    "International Bible Society has given Christianity many gifts over the years, but The Books of the Bible is most surely among the greatest of these. Sacred scripture, like any other form of often-read literature, can become so familiar to us as to be lost to our attention and—alas—to our energetic appreciation. By the simple, but daring, decision to remove the accustomed markers of chapters, verses, and volumes, The Books of the Bible interrupts our sense of business as usual and demands that we look with more attentive minds and hearts at what the words are and, more importantly, at what they actually say. And those words, rendered in Today's New International Version, are as fresh as the method of their presentation is bold and affective.
    Phyllis Tickle, founding editor of the Religion Department of Publishers Weekly and author of Divine Hours

    “Wow. This looks so smart. This is the wisest ‘new idea’ I've seen in Bible publishing that I can remember. As an old English major, it makes so much sense. Just having the reflections on chapters and verses in the Preface is worthwhile! I've been a bit of a fanatic about being ‘versus verses’ for exactly the reasons you address. The perspective on book order and genre make sense. This is a truly significant undertaking.”
    —Brian McLaren, Pastor & Author
    “Finally, a Bible that allows you to hear the voices of the biblical authors without the background noise.”
    —Dr. James D. Cartin, Pastor, Western Avenue Baptist Church (SBC), Statesville, NC

    “First off, let me say that I love it. It has been so refreshing to read God’s Word in this new format. Just one paragraph into it, it was as if some part of my soul sighed in relief. This is good. This is the way it is to be read. I didn’t know how needed it was until I had it. Thank you for your work and vision and for thinking outside the box on this one.
    —Shannon Taylor, ServLife International

    “What an interesting idea—the simplicity of reading through the Bible without the distraction of numbers! Simple makes sense for this invitation into the life-changing reading of Scripture, especially for young people in our biblically-illiterate society unacquainted with biblical richness. I believe its impact can be huge.”
    —Luci Shaw, Poet & Author

    “Sometimes the best ideas are the simplest. The Books of The Bible sweeps away many of the pious additions that can obscure the ancient text of Scripture, revealing connections that readers have all too often missed. I will be turning to this edition often to clear my mind and refocus my attention on the grand story that addresses us from the Bible's pages.”
    —Andy Crouch, Journalist & Author

    “This Bible is very much like the Bible of the pre-modern (ancient) world in that it is not broken down into chapters and verses. Like the ancient manuscripts, this Bible follows a natural narrative that reads like a story. Today, the postmodern world has rediscovered some of the values of the pre-modern world and one of these values is the story. By dropping the modern invention of compartmentalizing the Bible into chapters and verses, we now can recover the powerful, all-encompassing divine story of the world.”
    —The late Dr. Robert Webber

    “You are encouraging readers to devour the whole book at once. I like that! I especially appreciated seeing Luke and Acts placed together and the Pauline epistles in a more chronological order. Thanks for your work!”
    —Dean Deppe, Professor of New Testament, Calvin Theological Seminary

    “The Bible is meant to be read—both aloud and privately. There is no Bible more suited to reading the Bible—from the beginning of the book to the end—than The Books of The Bible. This ‘new’ approach is actually the original approach, and I love it.”
    —Scot McKnight, Karl A. Olsson Professor in Religious Studies, North Park University


    - official website.


      1. Hey, nice treatment of the project, thank you! We seriously believe this kind of elegantly simple format does lead to more and better Bible reading. I'm Glenn Paauw, Bible publisher at Biblica (formerly International Bible Society). Thought you'd like to know two things: first, TBoTB will continue to be published in the refreshed NIV that's coming out in 2011 (in fact it will be a nicer edition); second, said NIV is a revision, yes, but the translation committee is working from the latest edition of the NIV, that is, Today's NIV. That's the text it will be closest to.

      2. Glenn: Thanks so much for the post,and info.
        I touched up the post.

        What great news that TBoTB. Also, confirmed the good rumors about the new NIV. Thanks to you and your team for the vital ministry. Will be spreading the word


      Hey, thanks for engaging the conversation!