IN a world where change is the staple, the Holy Bible will not be left behind.

The International Bible Society (IBS), a Colorado-based Protestant Christian organization, will publish an updated version of the New Testament in April. A version that includes the Old Testament will come out in 2005.

Called Today’s New International Version (TNIV), it will differ from its earlier edition, the New International Version, by using less outdated terms and being more gender-sensitive.

Changes such as the use of “children of God” rather than “sons of God,” “brothers and sisters” in lieu of simply “brothers,” and “a person is justified by faith” over “a man is justified by faith” will be incorporated in the TNIV. Terms referring to God and Jesus Christ will not be altered.

However, changes made to gender reference were opposed by the more conservative sectors of the southern Baptist congregation who view the roles of sexes as “complementary” but not necessarily on equal footing.

Meanwhile, IBS president Peter Bradley said he firmly believes that to effect changes in the world, communication with the present generation should be done in the language they are familiar and comfortable with.

So, rather than saying Mary is “with child,” the TIV will simply say she is “pregnant.”

IBS spokesperson Larry Lincoln quickly dismissed implications that their scholars are in effect altering the meaning of the Bible.

“There is another generation of people today who do not see the Bible as relevant because they don’t understand the language. We want to reach that generation,” he said. Marlon M. Castor with reports from AP, AFP

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