The New International Version (NIV) of the Bible is far and away the most popular English Bible in the world today. With the recent surge of new English translations on the market today (NLT, ESV, CSB, etc.) I am sure that the NIV may not be carrying the day like it did, say, a decade ago. But nonetheless, because it is still the best-selling Bible in both dollars and units, it is significant that it will go through a major update next year, as announced back on September 1, 2009.
A major update may even be an understatement. Perhaps it would be better labeled an overhaul. We won’t really know the best way to describe it until it is released and compared with the current NIV, which went through its last revision in 1984. That’s 25 years ago. 25 years is a relatively long time when we are living in an age of rapid change, including rapid change in our English language.
Because of the long amount of time since the update and because of the rapid changes occurring in our language, many linguists have labeled the NIV as “out-of-date.” Our King James Version enthusiast friends (KJV-only) would probably find this assertion hilarious, but even the vast majority of them don’t carry around the 1611 KJV. Their version had updates as well, they’re just stuck on the last update.
If you are a NIV fan, I would be interested to hear your reaction to this news. Does this concern you? Does this excite you? Does this confuse you?
In the next few days I will blog about the New International Version. Whether you are a critic or a fan or indifferent, I believe it is important that we are informed about the best-selling English Bible in the world. Wouldn’t you agree?