After the debacle that was the Today's New International Version (TNIV) a few years ago, Zondervan has announced a full revision of the best-selling NIV:
The top-selling Bible in North America will undergo its first revision in 25 years, modernizing the language in some sections and promising to reopen a contentious debate about changing gender terms in the sacred text. The New International Version, the Bible of choice for conservative evangelicals, will be revised to reflect changes in English usage and advances in Biblical scholarship, it was announced Tuesday. The revision is scheduled to be completed late next year and published in 2011.
"We want to reach English speakers across the globe with a Bible that is accurate, accessible and that speaks to its readers in a language they can understand," said Keith Danby, global president and CEO of Biblica, a Colorado Springs, Colo.-based Christian ministry that holds the NIV copyright.
But past attempts to remake the NIV for contemporary audiences in different editions have been plagued by controversies about gender language that have pitted theological conservatives against each other.
The NIV is facing a challenge from the English Standard Version, which is a more conservative/literal translation but also very readable. The NASB, too, revised its language last decade, so the NIV is somewhat behind the curve on this. I am not anti-NIV as many are, although I wouldn't personally be comfortable using it as a primary study or pulpit translation. For me, the ESV gives me readability but combines that with a concern for a more literal translation.
A revision of the NIV is a major event in Bible translation. Let's hope they don't blow it.