(RNS) Zondervan and the International Bible Society have announced plans to publish an edition of the Bible called "Today's New International Version," an adaptation of the popular "NIV" that will include 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 7 percent from the NIV, officials of the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based publishing company and the Bible society said in their announcement Monday (Jan. 28).

    Among the changes will be some regarding gender. For example, "sons of God" will become "children of God" and "brothers" will be translated as "brothers and sisters" when scholars determined the original text did not intend any specific gender reference. References to God and Jesus will remain masculine.

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

    Other changes in the new version include describing Mary, the mother of Jesus, as "`pregnant" rather than "with child." Jesus will be called Messiah rather than "Christ" when the text refers to belief in his messianic status but will still be called "Jesus Christ" when Christ is used as part of his personal name. Also, some references to Jews will be more specific, using phrases such as "the Jews there" or "the Jewish leaders."

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

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

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