TNIV and John 3:16

I just bought the TNIV red letter edition. Nothing fancy or expensive. It’s one of those TruTone Ultra Thin Reference bibles. I already own the New Testament, but I wanted to have the Old Testament so that is why I bought it.

I was reading an comparing some verses when suddenly I realized that John 3:16-21 was not printed in RED. At first I thought this was a printing error, but it just so happens that I just finish taking a course in the Historical Reliability of the NT, and remembered that the Professor discussed this very topic. He was saying that it is difficult from John’s writing to tell when he is saying something, and when Jesus is saying something. I am not a Greek scholar so maybe a Greek scholar who reads this can expound a bit more.

John 3:16-21 is a classic example of this. It is difficult for bible scholars to determine if this is Jesus talking or John. Well, TNIV has taken the BOLD step and not print in RED indicating that it is John narrating and not Jesus speaking.

What bugs me is not the RED letter stuff, but that TNIV would take this BOLD step, but yet translate John 3:16 in the safe traditional manner.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. – TNIV

When in fact a better translation would be (according to Greek scholars such as William Mounce):

For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. – HCSB

OR:

For this is the way God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. – NETBible

Go figure.

(bold added by me)
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3 Responses

  1. Excellent point Robert and I look forward to reading more of your comments.

    Dan

  2. Hey Dan great to hear from you!

    You have to follow up on the post I just did on “Does Historic Christianity Matter?” just follow the links in the post. I think you will find that topic is really interesting. It’s kind of funny that Michael just posted that topic as it is one of the issues I plan to tackle this year.

  3. Maybe if we didn’t have red-letter texts, we wouldn’t have this problem. Just a thought!

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