In my review of the book Logical Criticism of Textual Criticism, Dr. Gordon H. Clark has pointed out the mistranslation of two texts in the book of Hebrews in the NIV — namely Heb. 1:5 and 11:11. I had then decided to check out the bible versions themselves electronically on the Biblegateway website. What I saw confirmed the claims of Dr. Gordon Clark and places serious doubts on the fidelity of the NIV and TNIV (which claims to be an improvement over the NIV) at least at those two verses.
Here are the verses in the different versions:
For to which of the angels did God ever say, “You are my Son, today I have begotten you”? (Heb. 1:5a — ESV)
For to which of the angels did God ever say, "You are my Son; today I have become your Father"? (Heb. 1:5a — NIV)
For to which of the angels did God ever say, "You are my Son; today I have become your Father"? (Heb. 1:5a — TNIV)
By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised. (Heb. 11:11 — ESV)
By faith Abraham, even though he was past age—and Sarah herself was barren—was enabled to become a father because he considered him faithful who had made the promise (Heb. 11:11 — NIV)
And by faith even Sarah, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because she considered him faithful who had made the promise. (Heb. 11:11 — TNIV)
As I have said in my review:
As it can be seen, the NIV and TNIV in Heb. 1:5a changed the traditional phrase "begotten you" to "have become your Father", which alters the meaning of the text rather significantly. There is a footnote there giving the rendering of "begotten", but the question then is why is the phrase "have become" used here, since there is no textual variant that can be translated "have become" here? Furthermore, this footnote is found only in the NIV not in the later TNIV, so why is that the case?
With regards to Heb. 11:11, the distortion of the text in the NIV and the TNIV is simply amazing. The NIV comes up with a complete novel proposition and places the correct rendering in a footnote, all done without any textual rationale for doing so. The TNIV which is later and supposed to be better reverts back to the correct rendering of the passage (which is good), but inexplicably it places the false rendering of the passage in a footnote for the text! So much for improvement of the NIV! Oh well, I guess swapping the text and footnote text is an improvement after all, but still in error.
So what do the NIV and TNIV supporters have to say about this?