The NIV, as it is known to those familiar with it has good and bad points.

The main good point is that it is very readable. It strives to be clear and modern without being dated (the same cannot be said for the "Good News Bible"). One of my seminary professors did some work on the translations of the Psalms.

The rest of my professors assured me that the NIV (which some jokingly referred to as the New International Perversion) was not a very good translation at all. Like all Bible translations, it has a bias. In this particular case the bias is toward interpretations favorable to evangelical sensibilities.

An example of this bias: At one point, Zondervan was considering changing the translation to make it more accurate in the area of gender. Adelphos, a word that most literally means "brother" or "brothers," but was commonly used to address people of both genders (as in "brothers and sisters" or "fellow believers") was to be translated the most appropriate way for particular passage it appeared. This would mean that some uses of "adelphos" would be translated as "brothers and sisters" since that was how they were probably intended. Needless to say, there was a massive stink about this. And Zondervan, facing the wrath of multiple conservative denominations whose members were threatening to ignore their products, backed down. And thus, need for profit can result in a less accurate translation at points.

The profs at my institution (Western Theological Seminary) preferred the NRSV (New Revised Standard Version).

Admittedly, the seminary I went to was of a mainline denomination and therefore tended to disagree with evangelicals at the slightest provocation. Bearing in mind that one of my profs was more or less responsible for the translations of many of the NIV's Psalms, they didn't say too many bad things about that particular section.

The NIV was produced at the behest of Zondervan, a Christian publishing company is owned (oddly enough) by Rupert Murdoch.

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