What Do You Think About The NIV?

May 20, 2015 — 2 Comments

Apparently, this is the 50th anniversary of the NIV, and there’s a pretty intense new study Bible coming out later this year. I’ll be honest though, the NIV is not usually my translation of choice. I think I grew up with it somewhat, but my first study Bible was NKJV, and then I switched to ESV not long after that. I’ve moved away from thinking of NIV as a second rate (an idea from early Bible college days), as I realized it is just as legitimate as the ESV. If you’re not convinced yet, read this by Doug Moo and this by Bruce Waltke. Over the summer, I’m actually going to try to read the entire Bible in the NIV using a reading plan in Logos. (You could try a similar plan, but stretched out for a year by clicking here)

Zondervan is putting together quite a few resources to really highlight the usefulness and reliability of the NIV. Things like this infographic:WheelGraphic2

You can see more if you click through any of the links above. Given all that, what are your thoughts on the NIV? Do you use it regularly? If not, do you use it comparatively in your studies? I’ve pretty much always been ESV with a splash of NET here and there (and most recently N. T. Wright’s NT translation on occasion). How do you use translations in your reading and studies?


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I’m an avid reader, musician, and high school Bible teacher living in central Florida. I have many paperback books and our house smells of rich glade air freshners. If you want to know more, then let’s connect!

2 responses to What Do You Think About The NIV?

  1. Definitely I use ESV and NASB for studies and the ESV is my central and primary bible translation. With that I use the Strong’s and Word Study, etc. They seem to be a good blend.The NET bible is also helpful for clarifying how something is translated and has shown me a good depth of the language.

    I tend not to use NIV for studies, except if I want to see the text clarified, which is what it seems to do. I think of it as the hard work already done for me when I read the NIV, so I leave it for last lol. For prayer reading, I have used the NIV, though. And the first few times of reading through the bible, in my younger years , I used the NIV.

  2. NIV is the best-selling English translation, so as a pastor I have to know that most of the congregation and many of the students are using it—either in the pew or at home. That being said, I have given many ESV Bibles out to students and visitors because that’s my preferred translation.

    I am looking forward to the Zondervan Study Bible that you mentioned, should be a good resource. Have you seen the NIV 50th Anniversary iOS app? While it’s not the best Bible reading experience, it has some very good articles on the development of the NIV, including the Waltke article you mentioned.

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