Community answers are sorted based on votes. The higher the vote, the further up an answer is.
In the early 1980's our pastor asked me to write an article for the church magazine reviewing the various translations/paraphrases which were in use at the time. I spent little time on the KJV as the overwhelming majority of the church had long since moved to something written in understandable English. Most, if not all, of those still using the KJV were over 70 years old and of a Brethren background. Our church standard at the time was the RSV (yes, I know it is not a proper translation), and personally I had been using it since my second year at university. I liked it, but that doesn't cut much critical mustard! Co-incident with this critique, we also adopted a policy of giving Bibles to children in the Sunday School when they moved from first school to middle school (at age 9). We decided to give them the Good News Bible. As a parent and a Sunday School teacher, I wholeheartedly approved of this decision. (It is worth noting that about 25% of our Sunday School came from non-church families and may not have had Bibles at home). We quickly discounted the idea of using the New English Bible, as it had received such lukewarm reviews, the most favourable reviews coming from liberal theologians – say no more! We also discounted the Jerusalem Bible because of its Roman Catholic bias. On a personal note, I had started using the NIV some months earlier (and I subsequently discovered that our pastor had also been using it alongside other translations when preparing his sermons). After discussion within the leadership team (both Diaconate and Eldership), we took a proposal to the Church Meeting (we are a Baptist Church after all), that the “official” translation of the Bible should be the NIV. This was agreed overwhelmingly. So, what has changed in recent years? I totally agree with Michael when he says “The greatest 'con' of the 2011 NIV, of course, is the inclusion of gender-neutral language and the necessity of interpreting rather than translating in order to present a more culturally sensitive or politically correct version.” The translation which really annoys me is in the book of Ruth. The term “kinsman-redeemer” is rendered neutral by referring to it as “guardian-redeemer”. This is a deliberately false translation. The redeemer in question had to be the closest male relative as possible. A guardian is not necessarily a member of the same family, and is also not necessarily male. Now, when I preach on Ruth, I explain why that particular translation is perverse! I really shouldn’t have to do that, but I do. So, in conclusion, I say use the NIV – it is a good translation, but avoid anything where present day politics interfere with the Word of God.
One should remember that the Word of God was not originally written in english. It has only been translated in the english language. The KJV is an translation/interpretation of the original Hebrew, Aramaic, & Greek languages. My point is that if you take the original text, in its original language, and convert it to english, it will not produce the readable sentences & paragraphs that we can understand. This means that even the KJV is not a word for word, exact translation of the early scrolls that have the Word of God written on them. It has take people who are highly knowledgeable in these languages to make these readable translations for us. I use the KJV in my studies, along with the NIV & ESV. I have found nothing in the NIV or ESV that varies in truth from the KJV. The NIV has only removed redundant words.
I love the NIV and have copious notes that I put in it. The New International Version (NIV) is a completely original translation of the Bible developed by more than one hundred scholars working from the best available Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek texts. The initial vision for the project was provided by a single individual – an engineer working with General Electric in Seattle by the name of Howard Long. Long was a lifelong devotee of the King James Version, but when he shared it with his friends he was distressed to find that it just didn’t connect. Long saw the need for a translation that captured the truths he loved in the language that his contemporaries spoke. For 10 years, Long and a growing group of like-minded supporters drove this idea. The passion of 1 man became the passion of a church, and ultimately the passion of a whole group of denominations. And finally, in 1965, after several years of preparatory study, a trans-denominational and international group of scholars met in Palos Heights, Illinois, and agreed to begin work on the project – determining to not simply adopt an existing English version of the Bible but to start from scratch with the best available manuscripts in the original languages. Their conclusion was endorsed by a large number of church leaders who met in Chicago in 1966. A self-governing body of 15 biblical scholars, the Committee on Bible Translation (CBT) was formed and charged with responsibility for the version, and in 1968 the New York Bible Society (which subsequently became the International Bible Society and then Biblica) generously undertook the financial sponsorship of the project. The translation of each book was assigned to translation teams, each made up of 2 lead translators, 2 translation consultants, and 1 stylistic consultant where necessary. The initial translations produced by these teams were carefully scrutinized and revised by intermediate editorial committees of five biblical scholars to check them against the source texts and assess them for comprehensibility. Each edited text was then submitted to a general committee of 8-12 members before being distributed to selected outside critics and all members of the CBT in preparation for a final review. Samples of the translation were tested for clarity and ease of reading with pastors, students, scholars, and laypeople across the full breadth of the intended audience. Perhaps no other translation has undergone a more thorough process of review and revision. From the very start, the NIV sought to bring modern Bible readers as close as possible to the experience of the very 1st Bible readers: providing the best possible blend of transparency to the original documents and comprehension of the original meaning in every verse. With this clarity of focus, however, came the realization that the work of translating the NIV would never be truly complete. As discoveries were made about the biblical world and its languages, and as the norms of English usage developed and changed over time, the NIV would also need to change to hold to its original vision. And so in the original NIV charter, provision was made not just to issue periodic updates to the text but also to create a mechanism for constant monitoring of changes in biblical scholarship and English usage. The CBT was charged to meet every year to review, maintain, and strengthen the NIV’s ability to accurately and faithfully render God’s unchanging Word in modern English. The 2011 update to the NIV is the latest fruit of this process. By working with input from pastors and Bible scholars, by grappling with the latest discoveries about biblical languages and the biblical world, and by using cutting-edge research on English usage, the Committee on Bible Translation has updated the text to ensure that the New International Version of the Bible remains faithful to Howard Long’s original inspiration. The NVI in Spanish follows the NIV.
All answers are REVIEWED and MODERATED.
Please ensure your answer MEETS all our guidelines.
A good answer provides new insight and perspective. Here are guidelines to help facilitate a meaningful learning experience for everyone.