New NIV online November 1, 2010

Thanks to Keith Williams for a link to this exciting bit of news:

“The NIV has become part of our culture – part of the shared experience of millions of people,” said Keith Danby, International CEO of Biblica. “This is the reason why we felt it was appropriate to make the update available online as soon as it was ready.  We’re responding to the desires of scholars, pastors and Christians across the globe who are eager to experience the updated text.” (Source)

Personally I am praying that this version updates the language and scholarship of the NIV and also is acceptable to those who rejected the TNIV.

Last month I mentioned Your Bible litmus test. I bet people are going to be turning to several of these “proof texts” looking for how gender was handled.


14 thoughts on “New NIV online November 1, 2010

  1. Wayne Leman says:

    Boy, that was fast, after the revision work of the CBT this summer. Maybe they did some preparatory revision work before they met together in the summer.

    Thanks for posting this good news, David.

  2. Peter Kirk says:

    Let’s pray that this version is also acceptable to those who embraced the TNIV and would feel badly let down if the new version reverts to sexist language.

  3. Cory Howell says:

    Should be interesting to see the results. The way I see it, there is tremendous potential for disappointment. Not to be negative, but if the new NIV is too much like the 1984 NIV, people who embraced the TNIV are going to be disappointed. However, if the new NIV retains too much of the TNIV’s changes to gender language, many NIV readers are going to be upset, especially since Zondervan and Biblica have announced that this update is supposed to replace the 1984 version. No matter how you look at it, they are treading a fine line.

  4. Jon says:

    Here’s what I predict..

    The 2011 will be the same as the TNIV in every way except for the most controversial gender stuff, which will either be rolled-back to 1984 and/or footnoted clearly so the ready won’t be misled. As for the other non-gender stuff, I expect to see continued improvements.

    What I wish we’d see is footnotes informing the reader of the non-literal rendering, which is inexcusable and misleading.

    That said, folks who’ve invested time in the NIV over many years will stick to it, but will not have a reliable primary translation for indepth study.

    Readers of the NET and ISV on the other hand will, but those two translations will never overtake the NIV given NIV’s strong foothold, so they’ll remain in distant place.

    The HCSB might be the only translation other than the ESV to overtake the NIV. The ESV will probably win out, but will never depart enough from tradition to ever be used independant of a more readable translation.

    In short ESV and NIV will make a nice parallel bible. 😉

  5. Theophrastus says:

    Oh, I suspect that most of the folks who have strong feelings about the TNIV (one way or the other) have already moved onto other translations. Fox-Zondervan has taken a hit, but they are still on top of the CBA bestseller’s list.

    I think Wayne hit the nail on the head: this was out very fast — too fast to really represent much innovation in translation. There is innovation — just no longer in the Fox-Zondervan/CBT camp. With such a short production schedule, what else can this translation be than some sort of compromise between the NIV1984 and TNIV?

    And, since the NIV is already on top in sales, if there is any change in sales rankings, it will be bad news for Fox-Zondervan.

    I suspect most of the Bible translation excitement in the coming year will be over a certain 400th anniversary; over a media property not controlled by Rupert Murdoch. When things calm down in 2012, we can see who the winners are.

  6. David Ker says:

    Good comments, all. I am also interested in the the 400th anniversary of the KJV. Might change my reading Bible over for the year. Also, let’s keep this announcement in perspective. Many language populations don’t have to fret over new versions of their treasured Bible since they don’t have any Bible at all.

  7. Jon says:

    Given it’s going to be the 400th year, it would be cool to see the ESV and other Tyndale-based translations include the TR/MT texts in the footnotes.

  8. Peter Kirk says:

    My feeling is that they were quick because they had been doing ongoing revision through the years since TNIV came out and only had to finalise things. They also had to take into account the comments they received, but these were probably not very many and mostly about issues that had already been well discussed. And of course they had to decide what to do about gender language, but once the decision had been made implementation was probably a simple matter, as they probably already had various renderings for each controversial place.

  9. Cory Howell says:

    One thing I find confusing about all this NIV/TNIV hubbub is this: if you go to the website, you will still find the online TNIV, along with all kinds of endorsements. In other words, according to the website, the TNIV is “uncompromisingly accurate,” an excellent translation. What happens when the new NIV rolls out in a couple weeks? Does all of that disappear? Will the online TNIV disappear, or will it remain on their website, as a historical artifact? Zondervan and Biblica have already announced that they will no longer publish the TNIV, and that the new NIV will become THE NIV. Are they hoping that all the controversy that exploded over the TNIV will not happen this time around? The whole thing is being handled really poorly, in my opinion.

  10. Tim Chesterton says:

    I can’t see how they can resolve the controversy without backtracking on some of the gender-relayed aspects of the TNIV. And since the gender-relayed things are part of the reason that many people (myself included) liked the TNIV, any move away from them will alienate those people. It’s a no-win situation for Biblica. And as both sides claim to have accurate scholarship on their side, the final decision about what to publish will probably boil down to a political decision: which group do we least want to alienate.

    Personally, I would have been quite happy for the TNIV to continue as it was (with the twin provisos that (a) it be published in some more standard formats and with a larger typeface, and, (b) be available in an edition that included the Apocrypha). But since that will probably not happen, I’ve accepted that my future Bible reading and preaching is more likely to be built around the NRSV/REB/CEB matrix. In other words, as Theophrastus said, I’ve moved on.

  11. David Ker says:

    Tim, you’re quite right. Even very “evangelical” translations like ESV and NLT offer Apocrypha. Well, in a few more days people will be able to review the new NIV online and make up their own minds.

  12. BobinKy says:

    I tried very hard to embrace the TNIV. I purchased two different TNIV editions. I also own several Greek/Hebrew language aids, which are built around the NIV for serious non-scholar Bible readers.

    I wish Zondervan would “shake the ESV dust” and continue with the TNIV. Maybe that is what they are doing, but just picking a new name. Collecting customer input, after all, is a nice way to say “you spoke, we listened, here is the Bible you asked for…”

    What do I want in a version update to the NIV?

    I have to echo Tim Chesterton’s comment: (a) published in more formats and with a larger typeface, and, (b) be available in an edition that includes the Apocrypha.

    Like Tim C., I am crossing over to the 20-year version NRSV, which is published by Zondervan’s parent company–HarperCollins. My favorite reading Bible now is the HarperOne NRSV XL Edition.

    Finally, I wish to add–no matter what–I will probably continue to use the NIV part of the time because I am already outfitted for the NIV language aids. I just do not see myself purchasing a whole new outfit for the NRSV or the NIV update.


  13. Gary Simmons says:

    I also think there’s no substantive way to resolve the controversy. Due to the fact that there are two camps of thought on gender in language, the idea of one single unified dialect of English is not currently realistic. As such, there cannot be any truly international version.

    Of course, one option would be to use the generic masculine on occasion, though not to the exclusion of more neutral language. The problem with this would be the subjective nature of choosing when and how often.

    As the TNIV stands, there are certain oddities in its rendering that I think members of both camps can agree on. If “man” is only to be used in the TNIV to refer to an adult male, then Genesis 4:1 represents quite an anomaly. One does not give birth to an adult male. Nicodemus was correct on that.

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