Well, some of you have noticed and others of you haven’t noticed but the NIV has updated their translation. Many of us read the NIV and have used the 1984 edition since well, 1984. The NIV committee has made changes throughout the way but none big enough to roll out a new copyright date for the version. Until now.
After the debacle that was the TNIV (I blame the militancy of the piperites) they finally came out with an updated version that takes today’s language into account.
I sat in on a talk that Douglas Moo, the head of the NIV translation committee, gave at the Study Center last semester. He explained why the NIV committee updated their language and it made complete sense to me. I mean, why shouldn’t we have a translation that is up to date and helps us to understand biblical truths in today’s language?
Moo outlined the word studies that were done, the language studies that were done and why the changes that were made were made. It was all about making things more understandable, this should be a noble task!
I know a lot of people are getting caught up in the gender issues. I think the committee worked very hard to make sure what the author intended came across. So, if Paul used brothers to mean brothers and sisters, then they changed it to brothers and sisters. What is the problem there? If Paul used men to mean men, then they left it at men. This sounds like a good idea to me.
I also found the following statement from Moo to be very helpful. Wen talking of the translation difference between the NIV, ESV, and NLT he said the following,
The NIV is trying to preserve natural English.
The ESV is trying to make it understandable English, a more formal translation.
The NLT is looking for easy English.
I found that comparison to be very helpful in my understanding.
This is going to wreck havoc on some of my verses I had memorized, but if it makes the biblical text more understandable and is still a good dynamic translation, I’m all for it.
I haven’t yet picked up my copy yet, but I hope to grab one very, very soon.
What say you about the 2011 NIV?