The New International Version of the Bible is in the midst of a revision that will be released in 2011. There are three significant reasons why the team responsible for this revision, the Committee for Bible Translation (CBT), will probably not be able to publish a product that can continue the success of the current edition of the NIV. Yesterday I presented the first reason: increased competition. Today I present the second reason:
The world’s most popular English selling Bible, the New International Version, is in the revision process with the new NIV to be released in 2011. Responsible for the changes is the NIV’s Committee on Bible Translation (CBT). The CBT faces a herculean task in producing a revision that will continue the success and dominance of the current NIV, which is currently in its 1984 revision form (originally published in 1978). In fact, maintaining the level of success of the New International Version is probably impossible for three reasons, the first of which I will present today:
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since the update and because of the rapid changes occurring in our language, many linguists have labeled the NIV as “out-of-date.”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?