I have been doing quite a bit of research lately concerning the moral defect man has been born with and how salvation and sanctification deals with this problem.
A large part of this study has included the different doctrinal postions concerning whether this moral defect is inherited from Adam’s fall or this is the way God has made man.
The No-Sin-Nature teaching, which Pelagius taught, holds that any moral defect that man has is not a result of the fall of Adam. The Sinful Nature doctrine, held by James Arminius, teaches that that a fallen nature has been passed on to all of Adam’s decendants.
One of the key points concerning these two different position was how Sarx (flesh) is translated in the book of Romans. Sarx is a Greek word that has a context dependent meaning.
In Romans chapter 7 and 8 the NIV version translates Sarx as Sinful Nature 11 times. The NIV is one of the few translations that does this.
The following is a number of articles that I have found helpful concerning why the NIV should or shouldn’t translate Sarx as sinful nature. Some of the shorter articles are listed for the value of their blog comments so you may want to take time to check the comments on any of the blogged articles.
Included in this list of articles is a chapter from Doug Moo’s book THe Challenge of Bible Translation which I have put at the top. Doug is the chair of the CBT that has charge of the NIV version. The chapter, FLESH in Romans: A Challenge for the Translator, sheds some light on the Sin Nature position and also on why Sarx in some cases was translated sin nature in the NIV.
Better Bibles Blog: The production of the TNIV/NIV Bible–the Standard of Integrity
God Didn’t Say That: Translating Words That Mean More Than One Thing
Zealot Outside the Building: The Sinful Nature Translation Dilemma and the Upcoming NIV Revision
NT Blog: The Revised NIV and sinful nature
Clayboy: Justifying the flesh as a good translation of Paul
New Leaven: Rethinking 1 Corinthians 5:4-5: Death or Discipline?
Christian Monthly Standard: The Sinful Nature
Christian Monthly Standard: Looking At The Bible Versions- NIV (1984)
Jesus Walk: Understanding the Flesh, the Sinful Nature, in Romans 7-8
KME ministries: The Sinful Nature Translation Dilemma and the Upcoming NIV Revision
Trinitarian Bible Society: New International Version: What today’s Christian needs to know about the NIV