What is your opinion of the NIV Translation Committee? It is my understanding that there were as many as three homosexuals assisting them in some capacity. When I compare the NIV to the KJV I also see many passages that simply don't have the same meaning. This leaves me with the question of which is more accurate as well. I'll cite an example of some of the confusion caused. Several years ago a friend asked me why the Bible (NIV in Luke 2:33) said that Joseph was Jesus' father, when God was supposed to be. I couldn't answer it, and thought he was just lacking faith. The KJV does however say "Joseph and Jesus' mother," and not "Jesus' father and mother." Now if God has said that church leaders are bound by certain moral standards, these same principles I think should apply to any group of people involved in translating his word. Any insight you could provide would be greatly appreciated. -- Bryan (Atlanta)

In general, I am impressed with the NIV. Like all translations, it has its faults, but not the one you cited. The KJV supplies the word "Joseph" in Luke 2:33. It is not present in the Greek, which reads "his father and his mother." Joseph was legally Jesus' father, and this is not the only passage that clearly says as much. If you want a translation that follows the Greek closely, try the NAS. If you want a version that is accurate and readable, try the 1999 Holman Christian Standard Bible. I certainly would not lock myself into the NIV -- or any one translation, though that is not to say that millions have not benefited for its readability and overall accuracy.

As for translation, it is a secular, not a spiritual enterprise. I learned my Latin, Greek, and Hebrew from non-believers. I do not think I am any worse for it, and I know plenty of Bible believers who are sloppy with their Greek. No translator is without bias, but most -- even the most liberal -- are reluctant to deliberately mistranslate. If, for example, they are living a lifestyle at odds with God's word, they are more likely to believe that "times have changed," or that a biblical writer was simply wrong, than to take liberties with the text. Finally, as much as I deplore the confused and immoral values of many modern persons, many have fine minds and have much to offer.

Thanks for your question. I do hope these thoughts are helpful. And as you live in Atlanta, not far from my family, I am confident our paths will cross again in the near future.

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