Some are getting rather worked up one way or another over the decision to discontinue the publication of the TNIV Bible. Scot McKnight has some great thoughts on "translation tribalism" (parts 1 & 2). In one respect I suppose all the emotion is understandable; we are after all talking about the Bible and people want to read a translation they can trust, but, as Scot notes, we tend to divide up into camps and each camp over-states why translations other than their favorites are deficient.
As I traverse the worlds of scholarship and pastoral ministry, I have a dual concern when it comes to Bible translations and reading the Bible in general. As one who works in the biblical languages, I have a concern that Bible study is based on competent versions of the Bible. To say that a Bible is a version or a translation-- and there is a difference; a version is always a translation but a translation is not necessarily a version-- is to affirm that it is rendered from the biblical languages, but translators also have other things in mind as well. What is the reading level being targeted in the translation? Is the translation formally equivalent (word for word, phrase for phrase)? or dynamically equivalent (word or phrase to concept)? What is the theological bent of the translators? (It can in places make a difference.)
One of the things I do with my seminary students and with my parishioners in Bible study is to talk about versions and translations and detail the similarities and the differences between the NRSV or the NIV, for example. I encourage them to use a version for serious Bible study; and I inform them of my preferences and why, but I do not insist that one version is superior to another.
As a pastor I have another concern-- I just want people to read the Bible. I may cringe inside when I see a parishioner bring a paraphrase into Sunday School class, but I have known more than a few parishioners in churches I have served over the years, who began reading the Bible after they purchased or received a paraphrase as a gift. While, at some point, I want them to move into reading a version, I am not about to put a damper on their new-found excitement in reading God's Word now that they have a Bible they can understand. I know some pastors who are NRSV or NIV or KJV fundamentalists. No one in their churches would dare bring anything into a Bible study that is other than what the pastor insists is the only acceptable Bible. And those who are not so crassly honest about it find subtler ways to dig at parishioners who are reading a Bible other than what they have come to deem as the best in the English language.
One more thing-- pastors and scholars can tend to forget that in every church there are adults who have very different levels of reading comprehension. One size does not fit all. Some adults may find the NRSV difficult to get through, but can comprehend TEV more easily. That alone is reason enough to cast off our translation fundamentalism.
I am thankful for the excellent scholars who have given us some wonderful versions and translations of the Bible. At the same time, I just want people to read the Bible. I might prefer someone read the NRSV, but if she or he has connected to the biblical world and deepened their relationship with Jesus Christ in reading The Message, I am not about to discourage them.