It is with sadness that I am reporting to you that there are already people out there who are shunning the new 2011 NIV revision. I don’t know how big this group of people is, but they may be significant.
I expected the KJV-ONLY crowd to raise a stink, of course, and it doesn’t surprise me if there are ESV people out there who will do the same. But what I am hearing at this point is from people who embraced the 1984 version of the NIV. Then when the TNIV came along they were disgusted by the “inclusive language” and were fearful that the TNIV was the “feminist” Bible that referred to God as “she” and “Mother” instead of the Father, and so on and so forth. And these are, for the most part, very well-intentioned believers. They are very concerned that Biblica/Zondervan/Murdoch et al are trying to foist upon the Christian community a Bible that is going to push a liberal political agenda, lead people astray and destroy their faith in Christ and their salvation.
The fact is, the NIV, even the new NIV revision, is very much a middle-of-the-road translation, and an excellent one at that. It is surprisingly literally accurate when you consider that many assume it is a dynamic equivalence translation or a paraphrase, neither of which it is. There are far more paraphrastic versions on the market. And yet, the new NIV is very easy to read and understand when compared to the other, more formal translations like the KJV, NKJV, ESV, and NASB.
This revision was necessary because the English language has changed so dramatically just over the past 25 years, that even the English of the 1984 NIV has become quite dated. The new NIV can be more easily understood by today’s English-speakers wherever they live and work. And besides being easy to read, the new NIV includes the latest evangelical scholarship (yes, there is such a thing).
People will choose to use other versions for various reasons, most of them legitimate. But when people reject the new NIV because of such false information, that is a sad thing.