Farewell Old Friend – NIV 84

yorickI remember back (way back) in High School when the NIV New Testament was coming out.  We had at the time the choice between the King James Version, the RSV and the NASB.  The King James was dated, though still loved.  The NASB was rather wooden, though good for study (think if it as a sturdy ancestor of the ESV).  The RSV was not acceptable among most Evangelicals because of some of its translation choices.  (“young girl” instead of “virgin” in Isaiah 7:14.)

I got the NIV NT and then the NIV whole bible later, when it came out in a nice single column format.  It was my bible for years – notes and highlights in the text.  Until finally it wore out.

Its value is a combination of faithfulness to the original text along with readability.  Some translations that were more “literal” were almost unreadable.  So the NIV was a solid bible for anyone.  People who had not grown up in the church could read it.

I am been reading for a year in the New NIV – it is generally like the Old NIV – there are some changes – the most controversial is the attempt at gender neutrality.  When a male pronoun is really a generic pronoun, they translate it generically.  “Brothers” become “brothers and sisters.”  Yet God is still “Father” and Jesus is still the “Son.”  I’m ok with that.  It is how English works these days.

I have noted a few clunks – when “they” is used for “he” it can change the meaning – from singular to plural.  Psalm 32 was an example of this kind of clunk.

However, overall I find the New NIV usable.

Yet, after a transition, the NIV – 84 has been removed from the list of choices on-line.  You can not buy a new old NIV because they are no longer printed. You can not find it on Bible Gateway, because it is no longer there.

“Alas, Old NIV, I knew you well.”

3 thoughts on “Farewell Old Friend – NIV 84

  1. Like you said people without Church background lie I was, the NIV-84 was great and I used it exclusively from ’87 to ’95 when I bought the New Reformation Bible which came in NKJV. I still use it today! It’s in single column format. I am pretty sure the NIV 84 is still on Bible gateway. It was there a few weeks ago when I was looking up something. Hmmm. I just looked at Bible Gateway and it’s not there now. Anyway, I was reading the KJV about a month ago and I was thinking how did anyone get saved with this Bible! To me now, it’s unreadable. I do like the NET Bible, but I found a few clunkers in that as well. I think I’m sticking with the NKJV for now anyway.

    • Yep, it was just recently removed from Gateway. NKJV is a nice choice if you like the poetry of the old KJV but prefer a bible in English. Whatever works for you, read it!

      • Yeah, I think I’m going to stick with the NKJV. I have The New Reformation Bible which is single column NKJV and I recently got the New Spirit Filled Life Bible in double column and it’s also NKJV. I got that one in hardcover used with no marks in it clean for 7 bucks!

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