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In my own personal Bible study I just finished the Gospel of Luke. As so often happens, I started off reading in one translation, but pretty soon I find myself reading in other translations, and often cross-checking between them. In this case, I started in the new NIV, but soon was reading a lot in my NASB 1977, and as I went along I was cross-checking in just about all the different translations I own.

Generally I have been extremely pleased with the new NIV. I use it and highly recommend it. But lately in my reading it sometimes almost seems…uh…sort of dull. When I cross-check with other translations, particularly with the more formal-equivalence translations, I am usually extremely pleased with the comparative accuracy in the new NIV. Nearly all the nuances that I pick up on in the formal translations are there in the NIV, too. Plus, I can see the examples of the latest scholarship, and am comforted that we have such an accurate, yet easy-to-read translation. I find the new NIV a very good Bible to use for serious Bible study.

But there seems to be something wrong. The NIV just doesn’t “grab” me.

Maybe I’m expecting too much. But one thing I really enjoy about the old 1977 NASB, and perhaps to a lesser extent the updated 1995 NASB, is that I’ll be reading along, and all of a sudden something will reach out and grab me. Not literally, of course, but something I read will really get my attention, like I never read that part before. I find myself using that old NASB77 more and more, instead of the new NIV.

Could it be that the new NIV is just too good? Is it that there just aren’t enough questionable (or surprising) renderings in it to keep me interested? Has the CBT done too good a job?

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