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Always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience (1 Peter 3:15b-16a ESV)

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10/27/2004

Today in Church History 

October 27, 1978.

An event that would forever shape the course of evangelical dialog in America. AN event that would give rise to a new teaching, a new distinction between believers. A watershed day, one whose importance still, I would hazard, has not fully been understood or appreciated.

On this date in 1978, the New International Version of the Bible was published.

I have to admit that I was, at the beginning of the movement, a KJVOnly. I enjoyed running around pointing at people reading this new version, and informing them that they were reading the Not Inspired Version. I had great fun with that for a long time.

Then my Dad bought an NIV study Bible, to use in preparing Sunday School lessons at church.

I couldn't make fun of my Dad, and he said that it was easier to understand and read, so I decided to read it. I found out that much of what I'd been told was wrong, and I started trying to learn all I could about the translation of the Bible, and the history of the English translations of the Bible. The more I learned, the more I knew I couldn't be KJVOnly anymore.

The NIV still isn't my favorite translation. I've even been known to pull out the Not Inspired Version line from time to time, in jest. I use the ESV and the NKJV in my personal studies, and the NASB at school. I still like the King James -- it's got an elegance that is hard to equal -- the ESV comes VERY close, and that's why I like that one.

The arrival of the NIV opened the floodgates for a plethora of modern translations, especially versions utilizing the dynamic equivalence translation method. The Bible aisles in Christian bookstores look like rows of alphabet soup cans -- NKJV, ESV, NASB, NAB, HCSB, RSV, NRSV, NLT, yadda yadda yadda. Some of the translations are quite good -- others are not. Rather than complain, we should be thrilled that there are people who are reading the Bible in their own language -- whatever form of English that might be -- for the first time. And lives are being changed.


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