Monday, November 01, 2010

NIV, pronounced dead at 37

The NIV2010 revision is now available online.  My spot check leads me to conclude that the NIV is now dead at the age of 37. 

The NIV was never a very good translation from an inductive Bible study perspective.  It wore the theology of its translators on its sleeves in numerous places where it added words and played interpretive possibilities.

The TNIV was a definite improvement, and I was prepared to make it the default for all my church and university writing.  Of course politically, the use of "brothers and sisters" for "brothers" opened a door that the ESV walked through.  The ESV has quickly become the (Calvinist) evangelical favorite.  It is a better formal equivalence translation than the NIV ever was.

In this context, the NIV2010 would have had to hit some sort of wacky home run, and I was very curious to see what they would do.  Instead, it is less than expected.  It reverses clear gains of the TNIV while keeping the one aspect of the TNIV that ticked its clientele off--"brothers and sisters."  So it now combines the skew of the NIV with the marketing challenges of the TNIV.

It's dead.  There is nothing here to excite anyone and all the old embarrassments.  I wash my hands of the NIV. 


Dan said...

Well it's a good thing the ESV doesn't wear it's theology on its sleeve! ;)

Perhaps you could be a little more specific as to how the NIV2011 reverses the gains of the NIV? For one, they move to the use of "flesh" for sarx and away from what I thought was less effective: "sinful nature." I thought that was positive.

What has reversed the gains of the TNIV?


Ken Schenck said...

The first thing I noticed was that it seems to re-muddle Romans 1:17. TNIV as I recall goes to "righteousness of God," as most scholars think. New NIV keeps righteousness of God, but then says "a righteousness by faith...," which implies the older NIV translation's meaning, "a righteousness from God."

Kenny Pierce said...