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.