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I came across a blog post the other day that said the NIV translators deliberately mistranslate. While this is not my normal blog topic, I thought I would chime in. As I was the NT Chair of the ESV for ten years and am currently on the CBT, I have quite a lot of experience in translation committees.
I can say quite honestly that I have never seen a translator "mistranslate" any verse in the Bible based on his or her beliefs. When a blogger uses words like "Deliberate Mistranslation," they are saying that translators “know” the verse means one thing, but that they choose to make it say something else. That simply is not true, at least not in my experience.
As I read on the rather lengthy post, I quickly realized that the author had confused interpretation with deliberate mistranslation. Basically, it seems that wherever the blogger held a different interpretation of a verse, that the NIV had deliberately mistranslated. Apples and oranges.
For example, the blogger said: “Ephesians 2:20–22 — The Greek says ‘you are being constructed into a habitation of God in spirit (en pneumati)’, but the NIV interprets this as ‘in the Spirit’ (i.e. the Holy Spirit) without textual warrant. [See BeDuhn, p. 151.] Throughout the epistles, the NIV shows a theological bias to translate ‘in spirit’ as “in the (Holy) Spirit” wherever possible.”
One of the difficult points in translation is how to handle πνεῦμα. Since Greek was originally all capitals, the written form of the text simply does not give us a clue as to whether the author is speaking of "spirit" or "Spirit." You have to make a choice, and in this case they are mutually exclusive choices. But that is a far cry from saying it is a deliberate mistranslation.