NIV Popularity

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by uhdum, Aug 9, 2002.

  1. uhdum

    uhdum
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    I've heard the claims that the NIV has become the top-selling Bible in the world. I'd be wary of this claim in itself, as I'm sure the KJV still sells in great numbers.

    But what I'd like to ask is this: Why is the NIV so popular? I've never really used the translation that much. What about its translation style appeals to so many? What are its strengths and weaknesses? I know it is a thought-for-thought translation in the middle between formal and dynamic equivalence...but it is one modern version I've never really used.
     
  2. AVL1984

    AVL1984
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    I'm not really sure why it is so popular. I know back in 1984 after the Garden City Baptist Church was formed after a split from another church in Augusta, Georgia, it was given to all of the church members by the pastor as a Christmas gift. I tried then to read it, but was very KJV oriented at the time.

    It wasn't until around 15 months ago that I started reading this translation. It was much easier for me to read, and seemed to make things come alive for me. I felt a new love towards the things of the Lord and towards His Word. The church we are in now uses the NIV and has the NIV as pew Bibles. I've since also started reading the NASB Updated in my devotions (re-reading the same passage that I had read from the NIV, but doing so for my evening devotions). The Word of God is quick and powerful, whether it's the NIV, the NASB or the KJV.

    B.T.
     
  3. TomVols

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    IMHO, the NIV met a need when it was published. People were longing for a conservative Bible translation that was more literal than a paraphrase, yet more readable than some of the literal Bibles available.
     
  4. Clay Knick

    Clay Knick
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    The NIV is popular because it reads so well.
    J. I. Packer has said it is a "brilliant"
    dynamic equivalent translation and that
    it possesses "vivid clarity." It has
    a very nice and pleasant literary style
    too, in my opinion. It is readable and
    that is what people are looking for when
    they pick up the Bible. The NIV speaks to
    people in a contemporary idiom. That has
    made it successful.

    While the KJV still sells well there are
    many people who desire to read the Bible in
    their own language. The NIV has served the
    church well in the last 20 years and will
    continue to do so in the next twenty. I
    recommend it more than any other translation
    for people who want to read the Bible. I
    still use it in my devotions along with the
    ESV.

    I have found it to be a great translation
    to have beside the NASB, ESV, and RSV when
    I am studying.
     
  5. Chris Temple

    Chris Temple
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    According to the CBA List, the top-sellers are:

    General Versions and Translations - August 2002

    1 New International Version
    2 King James Version
    3 New King James Version
    4 The New Living Translation
    5 Holman Christian Standard Bible
    6 The Message
    7 New American Standard Bible Update
    8 New International Readers Version
    9 Interlinear & parallel texts
    10 The Amplified Bible

    This list is based on actual sales in Christian retail stores in the United States and Canada during June. All rights reserved. Copyright 2002 CBA Service Corp. and Spring Arbor Distributors. Distributed by the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association.
     
  6. BrianT

    BrianT
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    I think another reason it is so popular is due to the "Study Bible" edition, which has some *really* good (and usually unbiased) study notes and tons of cross references. Very popular, and I think it resulted in the NIV's success similarly to Scofield's success with distributing the KJV in the earlier part of the century.
     
  7. DocCas

    DocCas
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    Brian, I agree. I suspect it was the quality of the study notes which boosted the sales of the NIV so high. I was delighted when Zondervon decided to publish a KJV with those same notes! (They also published an NASB with the same notes, which I was not as excited about.) :D
     
  8. go2church

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    The Scofield Bible did more to spread Dispensational Theology then boast KJV sales. It first came out in 1907(?) so the KJV was already well in use by then. It did however set the format bar on how future study bible editions would look.
     
  9. Clay Knick

    Clay Knick
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    I agree. The NIV Study Bible did help
    increase the popularity of the NIV.
    One reason the notes are good is that
    they were written by people who had
    worked on the NIV. That is a real
    plus.

    BTW, the NIV Study Bible will be out
    in a revised edition October 1, 2002.
     
  10. Pete Richert

    Pete Richert
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    I was interested to see the Holman Christian Standard Bible ranked number five. I didn't even know it had been finished yet. Too bad the ESV hasn't made it on the list.
     
  11. Clay Knick

    Clay Knick
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    Pete,

    The HCSB is available only in a NT
    edition.

    The ESV made a quick appearance a
    month or so after it was published,
    but has not appeared on the CBA
    list since then.

    As much as I like the ESV I think it will
    have a difficult time breaking into
    the list again. This is merely my
    opinion and I hope I am wrong.
     
  12. Jude

    Jude
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    I hope you are wrong as well...I really like the ESV, and believe it to be the most-accurate translation on the market. [​IMG]
     
  13. BrianT

    BrianT
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    Yes, you are right. That's what I meant. I was typing faster than I was thinking. :D
     
  14. Marathon Man

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    I feel that, in order for the ESV to break into the best seller list, there needs to be more publishers than just Crossway. My understanding ATTM is that this is not the case.
     
  15. Priscilla Ann

    Priscilla Ann
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    I'm new on this board and just came across this discussion on bible versions. I have been a Baptist for four years, having been a Catholic for more than 30 years. Until the last 10 years, I had not read the bible on my own at all. After trying out several versions (including KJV and NKJV), I settled on the NIV, simply because I found it easiest to understand. I am currently using an NIV Thompson Chain-Reference Bible. I still use other versions to clarify questions I have.

    Did any of you begin studying the bible late in life? What version worked best for you? What is your opinion of the Thompson Chain-Reference Bible?

    Priscilla Ann
     

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