New Bible drops gender-neutral language of ’05 version

The world’s best-selling Bible is getting an upgrade.

At stake are millions of dollars in publishing revenue and the trust of millions of churchgoers.

Since its debut in 1978, the New International Version — known as the NIV — has been the Bible of choice for evangelicals, selling more copies than any other version. But a 2005 gender-inclusive edition bombed after being condemned as too liberal.

Translators hope their latest edition, which debuted online this month, will avoid a similar fate. They’ve retained some of the language of the 2005 edition. But they also made changes — like going back to using words like “mankind” and “man” instead of “human beings” and “people” — in order to appease critics.

It’s available for preview at, with print versions expected in March.

Wheaton College Bible scholar Doug Moo, head of the translation committee, said the group tried to create an accurate English Bible without ticking off readers.

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