11/06/2010 12:48:00 am

NIV 2011

Posted by Tom French |

For those of us who use the NIV on Bible Gateway, it quietly changed itself up a few days ago.

The new translation of the NIV (the NNIV perhaps?) has been dubbed NIV 2011, but it'll probably just be called the NIV. It won't be out in print till next year but on Tuesday it quietly arrived online. The first I noticed was when I was working on my sermon on Wednesday night and was surprised by the gender inclusive language. It said "brothers and sisters" instead of just "brothers". I thought that perhaps that was just a abnormal translation for this verse that I'd never noticed, and thought nothing more.

But then I found out that it's a new translation. It's odd because it's the NIV but then suddenly it slips a word in your weren't ready for. For instance in youth group tonight we were doing Philippians 2:1-11 and when I was expecting the boys to read this:

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
- Phil 2:5-6 (NIV 1984)

But instead they read this:

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
- Phil 2:5-6 (NIV 2010)

I think it's a better translation, but it jars the ears because you're expecting NIV but you get NNIV. And especially there it jars because you want to sing "Highest Place", that song with too many words per bar, in your head, but you just get thrown out. I'm so used to the NIV and now it's not the NIV and nobody warned me.

I assume they did it to compete with the ESV. Just like Coke brought out New Coke in 1985 to compete with Pepsi. But while you can't improve on Coke's formula, you can always get a better translation.

Anyway as far as I can tell it's a better translation. The language seems more accurate and less clunky. The gender inclusive language is good, and it saves people from having to add it themselves. And as far as I can tell, the translation from the greek is more accurate, but I'm no expert on that.

The NNIV is set to replace both the NIV and the tNIV next year. And it won't be called the NNIV, that's just me being stupid.

If you're interested 60.55% of the NNIV's verses are the same as the NIV. While 8.25% of the NNIV has something completely new from the NIV. If you want to track all the changes you can go here. It's pretty interesting if you're a bible nerd.

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