This year marks the 50th anniversary
of the existence of the convening of the Committee on Bible Translation to discuss the production [thanks to David McKay for the correction] of the New International Version of the Bible. I have a long history with this translation spanning a little more than ¼ of this time. I confessed Christ as Lord in 2002 but was given an NIV Couples’ Devotional Bible by my friend and now pastor before I was a believer. It was the first Bible that I really read and thought about. It was certainly the first I had ever written in. The blank pages in the back are littered with verses I wanted to memorize and meditate on. The blank pages up front have my thoughts on the interpretation of certain passages. But after I started attending worship gatherings regularly I adopted the KJV because it was what the congregation used. I still held on to my trusty NIV though.
I would eventually begin to teach the 8-14 year old boys in Sunday school and was given an NIV Revolution Bible for Teen Guys. To date this is the only Bible that I have read cover to cover. There aren’t nearly as many markings in this one as in my Couples’ Devotional Bible but it was perfectly designed for reading with its single column layout. Along the way there were plenty of sidebars, summaries, questions & answers, as well as book introductions to keep things interesting. This Bible served me well alongside my others.
When the NIV was updated a few years ago my friend Robert Jimenez graciously sent me a beautiful decorative Italian Duotone edition. This is the Bible that I preach and teach from primarily at church. Throughout the years I have acquired many NIVs and they’ve all served me well, but more than the physical artifacts, I value the translation itself. In the video below Bruce Waltke summarizes my feelings exactly when he says that the NIV is “simple, clear, precise.” I loved the 1984 edition and I love the 2011 update. I pray that it serves me just as well for the next 50 years of its existence should the Lord keep me around that long to use it.