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50 Years On…The NIV

I’ve reviewed the Zondervan NIV Study Bible in the past, and was asked to share some information on the 50th Anniversary of the NIV as a Bible Translation. For those of you who wonder, the reason it’s 50 years is that 1965 was when the plan to make the NIV was first started. It’s 2015. That makes 50.

Growing up, the main Bible translation used in church was the King James Version. It flowed, it was poetic, and everybody knew it. As a young person, though, I found it hard to read. And hard, sometimes, to spell the words from it. “Divers” was “diverse” at school…so who was right? The Bible or the textbook?

As a youth, I got the first Bible I remember picking out. It was an NIV Student Bible, and it had all sorts of cool notes in it. Later on, college life required the first NIV Study Bible. This was a marked improvement in depth and academic study for study notes. In the time since then, I’ve tended more toward using the NASB instead of the NIV, but the NIV is still a Bible that gets used regularly. Especially the aforementioned Zondervan NIV Study Bible, which has become my favorite study Bible at this point.

What’s the overall story of the NIV? What happened with the TNIV, which seemed to be here quickly and then gone, and why the 2011 NIV? What’s up with all of that?

Rather than me tell you the story, let me point you to the web. First, there’s this rather lengthy explanation of the process. It’s worth examining. Then, there are videos, like this one:

which give some good background.

Overall, the heart behind the NIV remains the key: get the Word of God to people in such a way that they understand it. That’s what drove Wycliffe and Tyndale, and it drove the original NIV. It’s a work of love, done by a broad spectrum of scholars who love Jesus and the church of the Living God.

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