Though I left the NIV camp (I’m really referrring to the TNIV) because of my many frustrations with it in Paul’s letters, the updated NIV Bible (2011) has made significant changes to lure me back.
However, I wish the updated NIV Bible had made the following changes/revisions:
1. As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. (Matt. 3:16, bold added)
I understand that “alight” is used in reference to say a bird descends from the air and comes to rest. But it’s not a normal expression for most.
2. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16, bold added)
Perhaps following the lead of the HCSB and the NET Bible would have been good here (“For God loved the world in this way:…”)
3. “What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death!” (Rom. 6:21, bold added)
Behind “benefit” is the Greek karpos, often rendered “fruit.” In fact, it’s rendered “fruit” at Romans 7:4. Both the ESV and HCSB did a good job of anticipating 7:4 by rendering karpos “fruit” at 6:21 and 22.
4. “You learned it from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf” (Col. 1:7, bold added)
I chose Colossians 1:7 to illustrate. But wherever diakonos, (“one who serves”) which is the Greek word behind “minister” occurs, I think it should be rendered “servant.” “Minister” has lost too much. It seems so professional! (You know what I mean!)
Then doulos have have to be rendered “slave” as in the HCSB. By the way, the HCSB renders doulos “slave” and diakonos “servant.” Good stuff!
5. “During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission.” (Heb. 5:7, bold added)
A more literal rendering would be: “In the days of his flesh…” (see ESV, NRSV, NASB). This works well with John 1:14, 1 Timothy 3:16, and 1 John 4:2, keeping that incarnational distinctive intact (Latin incarnare – “in flesh”).
By the way, the updated NIV Bible (2011) returns to “flesh” at 1 Timothy 3:16, no longer the NIV (84) “body.”
I’ve got a few more, but these would suffice for now.
(I already addressed some gender issues here.)