Daily Archives: January 26, 2010

The History of the English Bible Part 21: NIV (1978)

Due to dissatisfaction with existing bible translations a committee on bible translation met in 1965. This committee consisted of 15 scholars from different denominations. They met to decide on making a new modern speech translation. In 1967 the International Bible Society (now called the Biblica) agreed to financially sponsor the translation, which would be called (NIV) the New International Version.

This version had 110 evangelical scholars from several English speaking countries working on the translation. The reason for this was to make sure the English used would be modern and internationally recognized. There were 20 teams of translators each team consisted of at least a translator, a cotranslator, 2 consultants, and an English stylist. Once the teams finished their work it was submitted to an editorial committee. Once they finished their work it went to a general committee of critics who would evaluate it. Next a 15 member editorial committee reviewed and revised it before it went to literary consultants. In 1973 the New Testament was published and in 1978 the entire bible was published.
There is very little denominational bias in this translation because 34 denominations were involved in translating. Some of them included; Anglican, Assemblies of God, Baptist, Brethren, Christian Reformed, Church of Christ, Episcopalian, Evangelical Free Church, Lutheran, Mennonite, Methodist, Nazarene, Presbyterian, and Wesleyan Methodist.
This translation was middle ground of word for word and thought for thought. It does lean toward thought for thought in many spots for clarity. Hebrew Idioms were changed for easier understanding, such as “To lift up the voice and weep” was changed to weep aloud.
There are more than 3,350 footnotes indicating textual variances, other translations, parallel scripture quotes and explanatory notes.