Let me make this perfectly clear, if I haven’t already: I love the TNIV!
And if I haven’t made this perfectly clear as well, let me say it again: I am 54 years old, and a conservative, evangelical Christian.
I know the two don’t go hand-in-hand in a lot of people’s minds, but the fact is that I have found the new TNIV to be an outstanding, conservative, evangelical, English translation of the Bible.
So what am I complaining about? Take a little time and go over to any of the Bible-sellers on the internet, (Zondervan, Amazon, ChristianBook.com, Cokesbury, etc.) and see what you can find under the name TNIV.
It seems that almost right from the start Zondervan marketed the TNIV to the kids. You’ll find all sorts of TNIVs with small print and green, blue, purple, pink, and orange covers. You’ll find them in stripes as well, and fancy European leather with curves and contrasting stitching. They even make some SQUARE Bibles!
Zondervan has also done their Zondervan thing by making a number of different versions like the TNIV Strive Bible for Men. Or the Faithgirlz Bible or whatever it’s called. They really like to make Bibles that don’t look like Bibles. (Because people don’t want other people to know it’s a Bible?)
Lately they have come out with a few TNIVs that look a bit more like Bibles, and the TNIV XL even has larger print so older eyes can read the text easier. But still, these are Thinline Bibles. They’re only 3/4 of an inch thick! They always have to have a gimmick.
And the new TNIV Study Bible is wonderful, but in order to get text and notes big enough for these old eyes to read, I have to go with the standard size TNIV Study Bible, and I don’t want to buy a wheel-barrow to cart the thing around in! Well…(ugh!)…maybe this one’s worth it…(huff…puff)…Maybe!
In a few long months Zondervan will finally give us something they should have given us years ago: a real TNIV reference Bible, complete with black leather cover! And it’s supposed to have the text in a size big enough that I can probably even read it! Too bad I have to wait until September.
I know there’s work involved, and it takes time. But I wish Zondervan had marketed the TNIV as the newest version of the venerable NIV all along, and given us Bibles that looked like real Bibles right from the start. Full-size (6 1/2″ X 9 1/2″) reference Bibles with leather covers in black, burgundy, and Zondervan’s favorite blue. Same for the personal-size (5 1/2″ X 8 1/2″) reference Bibles, leather covers, etc.. I don’t care if they want to put them out in their new soft-feel imitation leather covers, either. From what I’ve seen of those, they’re very nice. Make some of them wild and beautiful, and make some of them very conservative (and beautiful!). But please…make them!
It appears that the new TNIV reference Bible is a winner. It’s a good size, with black leather cover, and a very reasonable price. I’ve seen them advertised as low as $19.95. When I bought my NIV and NASB personal size bonded leather Bibles (both from Zondervan) a couple years ago, I paid upwards of $50 each! Maybe they’re starting to realize that a lot of people want a decent, comfortable-to-use Bible at a good price. Be that as it may, the new TNIV reference Bible is a great value!
The only other thing I can think of is the sad attack that was mounted against the TNIV from early on. I can only assume that it caused Zondervan to hold back a bit in their marketing of this fine translation. If it weren’t for that attack, we may have had more conservative TNIVs by now.
(Then again, maybe Zondervan should have said, “Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!” and promoted the TNIV as it deserved.)