INDIANAPOLIS — An Indiana pastor has submitted a proposed
resolution to the Resolutions Committee expressing concern over the 2011 New
International Version (NIV) Bible and its usage of gender neutral language.
That doesn’t mean it will make it to the floor of the Southern Baptist
Convention (SBC) annual meeting. According to SBC Bylaw 20, only resolutions
recommended by the committee may be considered by messengers.
The proposed resolution by pastor Tim Overton of Halteman Village Baptist
Church in Muncie, Ind., says the newest NIV “alters the meaning of hundreds of
verses, most significantly by erasing gender-specific details which appear in
the original language.” The resolution, dated May 25, further asserts that “seventy-five
percent of the inaccurate gender language found in the TNIV is retained in the
2011 NIV.” The TNIV was a 2005 translation criticized by many evangelical
leaders for its gender neutral language.
Overton gave a copy of his proposed resolution to Baptist Press after
submitting it to the committee.
The proposed resolution would have messengers “respectfully request” that
LifeWay Christian Stores not carry the Bible. It also would have messengers go
on record as stating “we cannot commend the 2011 NIV to Southern Baptists or
the larger Christian community.”
Neither the subject nor the language of any submitted resolution has standing
until the Resolutions Committee presents its report at the Southern Baptist
Convention annual meeting on Wednesday, June 15. The Resolutions Committee
could accept the resolution, modify it or decline it.