(RNS) Zondervan and the International Bible Society have announcedplans to publish an edition of the Bible called "Today's NewInternational Version," an adaptation of the popular "NIV" that willinclude some gender-neutral references.

Some TNIV Changes
  • In Matthew 5:9, "sons of God" has changed to "children of God."
  • In Romans 3:28, "a man is justified by faith" has changed to "a person is ..."
  • References to "the Jews" are described more specifically, such as "the Jews there."
  • The word "pregnant" replaces "with child."

  • The new version, which is being called the "TNIV," will change 7percent from the NIV, officials of the Grand Rapids, Mich.-basedpublishing company and the Bible society said in their announcementMonday (Jan. 28).

    Among the changes will be some regarding gender. For example, "sonsof God" will become "children of God" and "brothers" will be translatedas "brothers and sisters" when scholars determined the original text didnot intend any specific gender reference. References to God and Jesuswill remain masculine.

    "We firmly believe that to effect positive change in our world, wemust communicate with today's generations in the English they are beingtaught and that they speak," said Peter Bradley, president of theColorado Springs-based Bible society, in a statement. "To accomplishthis mission, we must make certain that Scripture is presented in a waythat is unquestionably accurate and perfectly clear."

    Other changes in the new version include describing Mary, the motherof Jesus, as "`pregnant" rather than "with child." Jesus will be calledMessiah rather than "Christ" when the text refers to belief in hismessianic status but will still be called "Jesus Christ" when Christ isused as part of his personal name. Also, some references to Jews will bemore specific, using phrases such as "the Jews there" or "the Jewishleaders."

    The TNIV translation of the New Testament will be released in thespring and the complete text, including the Old Testament, is scheduledto appear in 2005. The NIV also will continue to be published.

    "With the confidence of IBS, we look forward to the responsibilityof bringing this new edition to millions of people around the world whowill receive a fresh, new, accurate understanding of God's word," saidBruce Ryskamp, CEO and president of Zondervan, in the statement.