Thursday, October 21, 2010

The NIV strikes again! (Acts 16:34)

Once again the ideological skew of the original NIV's translators strikes again!  The NIV of Acts 16:34 reads, "The jailer brought them [Paul and Silas] into his house and set a meal before them: he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God--he and his whole family."

What the Greek of the last line actually says is, "and he rejoiced with his whole house, he having come to believe in God."  The "having come to believe" is nominative singular, and thus refers to the jailer alone.  What's going on here?  As usual, the translators didn't want anyone to get the impression that anything evil like infant baptism was going on here. :-)
Doug Moo, you out there?  Please take this pervasive theological ax grinding out of the N2IV!


Nathan said...

To be fair, other translations do the same, including the KJV. I think it would be difficult to accuse the KJV committed of being opposed to infant baptism. The NRSV gets it right though.

Nathan said...

Ack, I meant "committee," not "committed." The KJV translation committee was made up of Puritans and Anglicans I think.

Ken Schenck said...

The KJV has "having believed with all his house." I can see the argument. The order in Greek is "he rejoiced with all his house having believed in God." It seems to me most naturally to take it as he rejoiced with all his house, having believed in God. What it certainly does not say is "all his house having believed." I can see that one might translate it "with all his house he having believed."

Angie Van De Merwe said...

This is a scary scenario for a real person! People who think that the literalization of a text is applicable to real situations in the modern world, are deluded!

Post-modernism at least allows room for a "reader-response" stance to text, although I still think that this stance leaves individuals dependent on an outside source of authority.

The "reader response" is a projection of one's conscience on the text. There is nothing wrong with this, UNLESS one wants to absolutize their understanding onto everyone, which is what evangelicalism has done!

And a Puritan/Anglican committee? That would be a combo for sure. And I'm sure that Paul love to know that his life was being "reproduced", just like Jesus' :)!!! No more individuality, there....only little Jesuss and Pauls!

Nathan said...

Does the Greek imply that his household was rejoicing? It seems like that's the case, but many translations seem to distinguish between him rejoicing and him and his household believing. The NASB, NIV, NET, KJV, NKJV, and Tyndale all do this. Funny enough, the ASV gets it right and the NASB doesn't.

Among the translations agreeing with you are the ESV, Douay-Rheims, ERV, YLT, and WEB.