…Like ham in beef chow mein…

I'd never cry if I did find
A blue whale in my soup...
Nor would I mind a porcupine
Inside a chicken coop.
Yes life is fine when things combine,
Like ham in beef chow mein...
But lord, this time I think I mind,
They've put acid in my rain.
--- Milo Bloom

(from the mind of Berkeley Breathed, author of the beloved Bloom County comic strip)
Not necessarily acid in my rain, but a sneaky new version of the New International Version (NIV) Bible in place of the traditional NIV normally served.  
To begin with, I’m a fan of the English Standard Version (ESV) of the Bible.  It works hard to maintain textual integrity/faithfulness to the literal wording of the original Hebrew and Greek, while also making efforts to be readable in English.  It’s considered to be more textually faithful than the NIV.  For additional information on the usefulness/accuracy of the ESV, you can refer to this somewhat lengthier document.  
But I use the NIV oftentimes for quick reference.  Particularly, I’m fond of using the popular Bible site www.biblegateway.com for  quick reference or use as I’m working on Bible studies.  Thanks to Gene Veith’s blog  for letting me know that the NIV at this site – and soon to be all NIV sites and prints – has been changed.  
The NIV was originally published in 1978 and revised in 1984.  There was an effort in the early part of the new millenia to update the NIV again in a form known as Today’s NIV (TNIV).  There was a fair amount of controversy about this translation because it utilized gender-inclusive language as opposed to the original masculine pronouns in many parts of the translation.  I’m not a fan of gender-inclusive language unless it’s appropriate or intended.  Changing how we translate a document as important as the Bible simply because of sensitivity (misplaced, in my opinion) that the Bible is somehow gender-offensive is dangerous precedent.  Beyond the philosophical level, there are other very good reasons to be careful how the Bible is translated in light of modern sensibilities.  For a very brief but very helpful analysis of this, this article  by Wayne Grudem is extremely useful.  
In any event, the TNIV did not enjoy a very widespread adoption.  I assume this means that people didn’t buy many copies, which is always disappointing to a publisher as well as the group that has funded the research for the translation.  It’s probably also disappointing to people who have an agenda of furthering the reach of gender-inclusive language.
The NIV is scheduled to be replaced completely  in 2011, with the traditional NIV and the TNIV no longer being published or made available.  If you like the NIV, I suggest you hold on to your copies of it because you won’t be able to buy a new one after next year.  And, you won’t necessarily know that there’s a difference because despite there being some pretty substantial changes, it’s going to continue to be called the NIV.   So unless you’re very careful, you may be already referencing the new NIV when you’re using online Bible sites.  I was very surprised by this, and very disappointed that there wasn’t some effort made to indicate that there was a change.  
I’m sure that part of my concern is also driven by personal preference.  In some ways, it’s not much different than those who grew up with the King James Version.  It’s not a matter of accuracy, but a matter of familiarity and comfort.  An argument could be made that the gender-inclusive language is not a crucial issue.  However, it’s a change based on a very recent cultural (and mostly Western culture) issue regarding feminism and language.  I don’t see how the issues of a comparatively small percentage of people worldwide ought to dictate or influence the way one of the most widely known translations of the Bible is updated and made available.   I am also suspicious that this is an effort to push people to buy more Bibles, and the thought of marketing playing a part in all of this just sickens me.  
Whatever the reasons, and whatever your stance on those reasons, the most important thing is to be informed so you can make good decisions.  Hopefully this helps!

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