My New Bible
For the first time since 1982, I am switching Bibles. Actually, I staying with the Holy Bible; I am just changing English translations. Two years into my preaching career I noticed that I spent a lot of my sermon time explaining the various nuances and personality quirks of the KJV, so I started preaching and teaching from the NIV. I still used the KJV (actually I still thought in KJV) and the NASB in my study, but the Bible I read from in class and the pulpit was the NIV. I took some flack from my KJV-only preaching buddies, and one area preacher wrote us off as an unfaithful church when we bought a case of NIV pew Bibles. (This was the same guy that kept a tally of every time the speaker at our men’s retreat “perverted the word of God” by reading from a non-KJV Bible. When I told him that the speaker was teaching from a Greek text and translating on the fly, he said, “Well if he’s smart enough to do that, he should be smart enough to use the KJV.” You think I’m making that up, but I'm not!)
The NIV was updated and revised in 1984, which meant the little pocket NT I used in preaching was slightly different in places from the whole Bible I used in study and class. (Fortunately, our pew Bibles were bought after the revision and that saved some trouble). Today I use multiple translations in my computer study Bible— the NIV, NASB, ESV, NET, NLT, and KJV all open automatically and I have 15 or so more I can open if I need them. But the NIV has been my main teaching and preaching text for almost 30 years.
But this Sunday all that will change. My new main English version is (cue the trumpet blast)… the NIV!!! (cue the applause). OK, perhaps some explanation is needed here. A new revision of the NIV was released online at Biblegateway.com last October and is now available in print form. I received my pre-ordered $14 thinline bonded-leather NIV (2011) from Amazon yesterday... too bad the print is so small that I can’t actually read it. Logos Bible Research (my computer Bible folks) sent me a free update to my computer Bible this morning, so my total expense for the upgrade to the new NIV is $14! Not bad. (Of course, to get the links to all the Greek and Hebrew tools in the new version, I have to pay $289.75… which is 3/4 of the iPad. I still haven’t bought. Those links work just fine in the ESV.)
So what do I get for $14? I don’t want to do a full review of the NIV(2011) because it’s Wednesday, and I really need to be working on my class for tonight. Patrick Mead did a good job introducing the NIV(2011) in his Tentpegs blog last week, (To steal a line from Jim McQuiggen, “Everyone should be forced to read Patrick’s blog… if they want to.”) Also, here are the translator’s notes on the NIV revision.
In my computer Bible anyway, new version of the NIV is known as “NIV” and the old NIV is now NIV1984. So when I quote from the NIV and it sounds different from your NIV, that’s because you are hopeless out of date and I am way cool.