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"I Can Do All Things" and Bad Christian T-Shirts

I was recently reading Rodney Decker‘s “Evaluation” of the 2011 NIV in Themelios (available here). I recommend the article as a careful summary of the issues, strengths and weaknesses of the latest edition of the NIV. In this post, I only wish to highlight a small section on “Changes Due to the Need for Greater Clarity”:

Likewise the clarification in Phil 4:13 avoids a common misunderstanding. Paul does not claim an unqualified ability to do absolutely anything. Rather, he anaphorically refers to what he has just discussed in the context: being content in all circumstances.

  • NIV84, Phil 4:13, “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”
  • NIV11, Phil 4:13, “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”

I happen to like the new edition’s rendering much much better! Perhaps we will see fewer bad Christian T-Shirts (yes, I know those who produce and buy these are well-intentioned) like the one pictured here that suggest Paul’s words in Phil 4:13 have something to do with success in sports!

Filed Under: NT

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