Tuesday, February 26, 2013

WARNING! NIV1984 being Sunsetted from internet resources, users to be redirected to NIV2011

NIV 2011 and filthy lucreMany Christian internet users visit online Bible study resources, like BibleGateway.com, as handy reference tools. For those who use Biblegateway.com, be aware: they are phasing out the NIV1984 completely. Follow this link for Biblegateway.com's explanation (this page no longer exists). If you have links to the NIV or the NIV1984 on your blogs or web pages, they will soon be redirected by Biblegateway.com to the NIV2011, without notice. Other online Bible study resources, while not yet having completed their changeover, will be doing so very shortly. If you like having access to your NIV1984, the only place you will have complete access to it, henceforth, is in the actual physical book on your shelf.

To the NIV user who has not yet made a decision on which translation to begin using: if you plan on using online resources, YOU ARE OUT OF TIME. Now is the time for you to make a decision, as the NIV1984 will no longer be available online, anywhere. If you, while being reluctant to use it, nevertheless simply allow these sites to forward you to the NIV2011, then understand, you are allowing the publisher, Zondervan, to make your decision for you. Don't be such a weakling. Make a positive decision instead of accepting the default.

As for Intrepid Lutherans, we use two resources. One is Biblia.com, which we use in combination with a tool called RefTagger. This tool is inserted into our blog template, where it automatically recognizes unlinked Biblical references in the text of each page, and creates a link to the reference. Hovering over the link, a user is supplied a pop-up style-sheet that displays the reference (up to maximum character count), while clicking the link brings one to that reference on the Biblia.com website. There are many Bible translations to choose from. Currently, we have selected the New King James Version (NKJV) as the translation referenced using this tool, but could also use the English Standard Version (ESV), the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB), and others. It is a handy tool for blogging. It assists blog authors who don't want to go to the trouble to add the reference markup themselves (RefTagger does it automatically), and for commenters who want to make Biblical references, but don't want use up their character count with hypertext markup. Here are some examples of its use. Hover over the references to see the beginning of the verses in a pop-up window, and you can click on the verse to see the whole reference, work with it in context, or explore other related verses:
    John 1:1-5
    John 1:1-5 NKJV
    John 1:1-5 ESV
    John 1:1-5 NASB
    John 1:1-5 HCSB
    John 1:1-5 NIV
The second resource we use is BibleGateway.com (although we could just as easily use Biblia.com for everything). We use BibleGateway.com most frequently when we want to direct a person to Scripture references in a specific translation, like the NASB or the KJV. Not only is the latter the personal preference for more than one of us, it is important to reference it when quoting historical sources, like Hoenecke, Krauth, Kretzmann, etc., who worked from it, or whose translators worked from it. In addition, we have found that the presentation of Biblical references on BibleGateway.com is simply more pleasant to the eye, and that the website is more intuitive to navigate for the average reader. Biblia.com is more of a research tool.

So, dear reader, if you are an internet user and an NIV user, and haven't yet made your decision on whether to go with the wretched NIV2011 or not, NOW is the time to make that decision. On your own. Personally. If you need assistance, we at Intrepid Lutherans have written a number of posts on the subject and collected them in a list at right, under the heading "ISSUES WITH THE NIV 2011".


Anonymous said...


You mentioned:

"If you like having access to your NIV1984, the only place you will have complete access to it, henceforth, is in the actual physical book on your shelf."

There is another alternative. There used to be PC software products available that included the 1984 NIV as one of the translations available. This is an e-version alternative to the online source we have all gotten used to.

But if one were to buy Bible software today, I can imagine you would need to be careful to be sure that if the product advertises NIV, you know which version NIV you are getting with the product. If the product doesn't specify which NIV version, you are probably getting the 2011 NIV.

Also, I was part of a Bible translation team in our church that compared Bible translations for all of the Bible verses referenced in the Luther's Catechism questions pertaining to the Sacraments and the Apostles' Creed. We focussed on a critical area of importance, those verses that are the bases for what the Bible teaches regarding the work of the persons of the Trinity and what it teaches regarding the Sacraments. It surprises me that no one in the WELS considered doing such a focussed analysis on the impact of Bible translations on the basic teachings of Scripture.

We compared the 1984 and 2011 NIV, the ESV, the NKJV and the Holman. As you might imagine, the files containing this work were quite large. And for me, there was nothing like cutting and pasting hundreds of verses from each of the translations to see and understand the profound differences that existed between the translations for some of these verses. I found that for these translations, for the verses referenced on the topics I indicated, the NKJV was most similar to the 1984 NIV, and the 2011 NIV was the most different.

I think many people would prefer to continue to use the 1984 NIV. But the publisher is taking that option away. When you hear it said that the 2011 NIV is not so different than the 1984 NIV, I can say from a 'hands on' perspective, that for important teachings of the Bible regarding the Apostles' Creed and the Sacraments, there are several translations that are much closer to the 1984 NIV than the 2011 NIV.


Mr. Douglas Lindee said...


That is very interesting information. I don't think I knew that you had been involved in such a project. Is your work something that could be published? I think it would be most beneficial for laymen to see.


Anonymous said...

It is particularly interesting that the translation that you found was most similar to the NIV84 (NKJV) is one that the TEC nixed from the outset!

Mr. Joseph Jewell

Anonymous said...


I agree with you. But I think the TEC made it clear that they were looking for something that was an "improvement" over the 1984 NIV; that the language of the 1984 NIV was outdated and no longer relevant to today's culture. So if the 1984 NIV was no longer relevant, than neither was the NKJV. Gender neutrality may be more relevant to today's culture, but I have yet to hear someone explain to me how gender neutrality is a faithful translation to the original text.

Douglas, the file is really really big. I did the Apostles' Creed work myself, so I feel comfortable making that available immediately. I'll send it to you soon.


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