After the Statement of Concern about the TNIV Bible issued by more than 100 evangelical leaders on May 28, 2002, the International Bible Society found itself increasingly isolated from the mainstream of evangelicals. On June 11 the Southern Baptist Convention adopted at their yearly meeting a strongly worded resolution against the TNIV. On the same day, in a forlorn attempt to repair its credibility the IBS issued a press release asserting that the Forum of Bible Agencies (a professional association of Bible publishers and distributors) had in some manner officially approved of the TNIV. But this move backfired when the FBA itself promptly responded with an official press release, dated June 24, in which it denied the IBS assertion. Below is the first part of the IBS release,* and the FBA release in its entirety.

IBS Press Release

Larry Lincoln, for International Bible Society, (719) 867-2619
Wendy Greenfield, for Zondervan, (312) 751-3525

Forum of Bible Agencies Says TNIV Falls Within Established Translation Guidelines

Statement Provides Definitive Voice on Translation Guidelines; Other Translation Experts Speak Up

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (June 11, 2002) - The Forum of Bible Agencies (FBA) has issued a statement supporting the TNIV's adherence to established translation standards.

"It is the consensus of the FBA that the TNIV falls within the Forum's translation principles and procedures," the FBA's statement said.

The FBA represents the world's leading experts on Bible translation and its members are responsible for 90 percent of all Bible translation work. Members of the FBA are:

The Bible League
Open Doors International
Book of Hope International
Pioneer Bible Translators
Evangel Bible Translators
Scripture Union International
Hosanna Ministries
SIM International
Institute of Bible Translation
Trans World Radio
International Bible Society
American Bible Society
The Jesus Film Project
United Bible Society
Lutheran Bible Translators
World Bible Translation Center
New Tribes Mission
Wycliffe Bible Translators & SIL

"The FBA is a definitive source on Bible translation," said Scott Bolinder, executive vice president and publisher for Zondervan. "We hope their announcement will help correct misinformation about Today's New International Version."

International Bible Society (IBS) officials said criticism of the TNIV does not reflect the opinion of most evangelical Christians.

"We continue to receive support because people know and trust the Committee on Bible Translation, and they understand that the CBT's sole objective is to faithfully and accurately translate God's Word," said Larry Lincoln, director of communications for IBS. "The CBT's work can't be influenced by any special interest group or ideology - liberal, conservative or otherwise."

Well-respected members of the translation community also are coming forward ...

FBA Press Release



A. Larry Ross (972) 267-1111 x223 (469) 774-6362-cell
Giles Hudson (972) 267-1111 x223 (972) 489-3521-cell

NEW YORK - June 24 - Contrary to a June 11 news release issued by the International Bible Society (IBS) and Zondervan, the Forum of Bible Agencies (FBA) today announced it has neither approved nor disapproved Today's New International Version (TNIV) of the Bible.

In addition, the FBA emphasized it has never endorsed the TNIV, as strongly implied in the release issued by Forum member IBS in conjunction with Zondervan. Other Forum members are aggrieved by the release because of the confusion it has generated among their constituents, as it is not the policy of the FBA to approve, endorse or support members' translations.

The Forum has adopted basic "principles and procedures for Bible translation." This set of guidelines for best practice translation is mutually agreed upon and accepted by all members.

Forum Members include:
The Bible League,
Book of Hope International,
Evangel Bible Translators,
Hosanna Ministries,
Institute of Bible Translation,
International Bible Society,
The Jesus Film Project,
Lutheran Bible Translators,
New Tribes Mission,
Open Doors International,
Pioneer Bible Translators,
Scripture Gift Mission,
Scripture Union International,
SIL International,
SIM International,
Trans World Radio,
United Bible Societies,
World Bible Translation Center, and
Wycliffe Bible Translators International.

The Forum of Bible Agencies is a collaborative venture and voluntary association of the principal international Bible translation and distribution agencies. The Forum meets annually for fellowship, mutual encouragement, and the sharing of news of each other's activities and plans. The group also formulates strategic thinking, develops cooperative projects and discusses matters of mutual interest.

The Forum will issue a more detailed statement next week.

The IBS release continued with remarks from three supporters: John Kohlenberger, Mark Strauss, and Craig Blomberg. These three were by no means just then "coming forward," but had been strident advocates of the TNIV since before it was even published.

By 27 June the IBS had removed "Trans World Radio" and "New Tribes Mission" from the list of FBA members in their online press release, after receiving protests from those agencies. On July 1st the press release was taken down from the site.

*Online at the TNIV promotional site: