More On Bible Translations

Q. I saw your answer concerning various Bible translations and I have a question to add to it.

Romans 8:1 in the KJV says “there is no condemnation…for those who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit”.

The NIV leaves out, although there is a footnote, “that walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit”. There are other places where the NIV leaves out portions of scripture but has a similar footnote. some claim this is a good reason to avoid the NIV.

I like the NIV and read it frequently, and will continue to do so. But why did the translators publish the NIV this way? is it unethical, or intellectually dishonest?

A. The NIV’s footnote on Romans 8:1 explains that the phrase “that walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit” is only found in some later Greek manuscripts. That means the earliest ones, that are generally considered to be more reliable, did not contain it. It’s really a moot point since the phrase can be found a couple of sentences later in Romans 8:4.

Where there is doubt about a passage, the NIV translators usually went with the earliest manuscript and put the alternate translation in a foot note so you could see both. There is nothing unethical or intellectually wrong with presenting it this way.

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