Houston’s First Baptist Church pastor Gregg Matte announced at the start of this year that he will no longer be preaching from the New International Version (NIV) of the Bible.
The NIV has been the most familiar, best-selling Bible for decades; however, some Baptist pastors like Matte now say the NIV is no longer accurate after updates were made to the translation last year, including the adoption of gender-neutral language.
The Southern Baptist Convention denounced the updated NIV last summer and asked its popular bookstore affiliate, LifeWay, to stop selling the 2011 version. Individual Southern Baptist congregations operate autonomously and may use whatever Bible translation they would like.
The biggest issue with the new NIV was its incorporation of gender-neutral pronouns in places where the word-for-word translation would render a male pronoun. That was part of Matte’s concerns over accuracy, said Steven Murray, spokesman for Houston’s First.
The pastor believes the updated translation has gotten further away from the original biblical texts in other examples, including using “servants” instead of “slaves” in the New Testament.
Starting in 2012, Houston’s First will use the lesser-known and fairly new Holman Christian Standard Bible instead of the NIV during lessons from the pulpit and Bible studies. Members and guests are still welcome to use whatever Bible version they’d like.
What do you think?
A bunch of hoopla about nothing, or a good decision based on truth?
Would love to hear your thoughts.