- Leather Bound: 1152 pages
- Publisher: Zondervan (March 1, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0310438578
Many thanks to Zondervan for this review copy of the NIV Thinline Bible, in the updated NIV 2011 format.
1. Font, paper, cover, ribbon, smyth sewn: It’s double-column, no references, and words of Christ in red—a good shade of red. I don’t think it’s any secret about the quality of the NIV Bibles from Zondervan. We’re all too familiar with them. But I’m not that use to Trutone covers. I hear they hold up well. We’ll see.
There’s no concordance in the back. This might be a bummer for some.
2. Translation Issues: Why an update? “This updated NIV builds on both the original NIV and the TNIV and represents the latest effort of the Committee on Bible Translation (CBT) to articulate God’s unchanging Word in the way the original authors might have said it if they had been speaking in English to the global English-speaking audience today.” This is then fleshed out around: 1. Changes in English. 2. Progress in Scholarship; and 3. Concern for Clarity. Further, there’s a note on the updated NIV’s decision on “Inclusive Language.”
Dislikes: I miss “wellspring of life” at Proverbs 4:23 but not a biggie for me, though. When we come to the NT, I wish they’d kept “sons,” rather than going for “children” (Gal. 3:7, 26). Why? Well, I believe there’s something intertextual going on here with retention of “sons,” not to mention our derived sonship in Christ, God’s unique Son.
On some levels, I’m a stickler for the concordance approach. For example, “Compelled” at Gal. 2:3 should have be retained at 2:14, since we’re talking the same Greek term, within the same context.
While I’ve recently expressed my take on Mark 16:9-20 and John 7:53-8:11 here, I don’t care too much for the approach in the updated NIV. These passages in question are both marked off and italicized. Given the larger readership of the NIV, bracketing with a footnote would have worked, as other mainline Bibles have done.
Likes: 1. Gender Approach. Personally, I’m encouraged by most of the gender language decisions. I’ve cringed at reading “man” and “men,” but since they’re still in vogue as universals, and the translators have noted this, then I’ll have to get over the matter. I do like “mankind” at Genesis 1:26f and in various places in the rest of the OT. I’ve even noticed “O mortal” at Micah 6:8.
Yeah, I rather “magi” than “wise men” at Matthew 2:1. I like the retention of “brother” at Matthew 7: 3. At Romans 16:1, yes, Phoebe was clearly a church deacon. There’s no dancing around this one.
2. General Changes. When we come to the NT, I’m a big fan of “flesh” for the Greek sarx – so I was rather encouraged to see that decision made, although some have seen this as a backward step. I’m not convinced. Furthermore, I’m rather impressed with the revisions in the Pauline letters, especially Romans: “appointed,” 1:4. “the obedience that comes from faith,” 1:5. Not to mention the reworking at 3:21-26. The return of “according to the flesh” at 4:1. “Adoption to sonship” at 8:15, 23; 9:4.
I know some people who are going to stick with the older NIV, 1984, largely because of the inclusive language in the updated NIV. Well, that’s there preference. Some are sticking with discontinued-in-print TNIV, as in the case of my wife. As for me, while I didn’t care for the older NIV, and warmed up to the TNIV, but shelved it for the ESV, I see myself embracing the updated NIV, especially because of it’s readability, gender approach, and revisions in Paul.
I think the updated NIV is the Bible for all practical purposes, at least for me. I recommend.
Now it’s waiting for a printed edition that you like. 😉
(for the changes made from NIV84 to TNIV to NIV11, see Robert Slowley’s helpful work here)