This is a time I’m just not very familiar with, as far as Bible translations go. We’re at an in-between time, sort of. We have the 1984 NIV, and we have the TNIV. Next year both will be retired, as in, they will no longer be published. Instead we will be given the opportunity to purchase the NEW 2011 NIV (actually just called the “NIV”, period.)
So right now I’m continuing to use what has become my favorite translation, the TNIV, with occasional forays into the old NIV, especially my 2002 NIV Study Bible…which uses the 1984 version of the NIV, to make things even more confusing. But I have found that I’m much more comfortable with the TNIV than I was with the old NIV; I guess it’s a matter of trust. I have done enough Bible reading and study over the many years of my life to know what is being said, and so I find I can trust the TNIV to give me the meaning accurately, even a little bit better than the old NIV.
The news that came to us several months ago, when it was first told to us that there would be a new NIV to replace both the 1984 NIV and the TNIV left me with real hope, since we were told that the new NIV would be 95% TNIV. There are many things in the TNIV that were clearly better than the old NIV. And the TNIV was greeted with such a smear campaign that many people were not willing to even give it a look. And that’s really too bad, because the TNIV was, as the saying goes, the “best Bible nobody read”!
But I’m getting anxious. I want to see the new NIV and hold it in my hands, and use it! It’s supposedly the best of both worlds. It will be the latest and greatest the Committee on Bible Translation has to offer to us. But for the time being, all I can do is use my TNIV and think, “The new NIV will be 95% of this!”
Am I setting myself up for disappointment? I don’t really think so. I have been so happy with the TNIV; I would have been just as happy to continue using it for as long as I could still get replacements when they wore out. But now I have hope that the new NIV will be almost everything the TNIV is, maybe without a few of the more controversial passages or features so it will be accepted once more by the evangelical community. (Actually it’s good enough that it should be accepted by any Christian community!) So I’m really looking forward to it!
One thing I am really looking forward to is the marketing of the new NIV. We know Zondervan will be putting their full weight into marketing this new Bible; they’re not going to sit back and allow it to languish. There will be many, many different “types” of NIV Bibles, just as there are now, only with the updated text. That means they have recognized that this will not be a Bible that is “just” for the young people, which was one of the mistakes they made in their marketing of the TNIV. There will be new NIVs for anybody and everybody. I expect that I will even be able to buy one with large dark print, black letter (I hope!), two columns of text, leather cover, full cross-references and text notes…that’s what I want!
But for now I’m just sitting back and waiting…and waiting…and waiting…