I 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.”