Huh? Ok, that is a strong statement but I think it is important to read from a translation you can understand and feel comfortable with. Here are some loaded and biased questions to convince you to use the NIV over the other translations:
- Did you know that “the authorized version” does not mean that the KJV came straight from the hand of God?
- Did you know that all translation takes some liberty with the original language and requires interpretation to render an accurate translation?
- Did you know that manuscripts have been discovered since the KJV was translated that make a significant difference in the translation of some passages?
- Did you know that the KJV was translated from decent but less than adequate texts?
- Wouldn’t you want to read a translation that doesn’t require you to find a dictionary from the 1600’s to understand?
- Do you realize that all translations have problems and that the NIV’s are no worse than those of the NASB, NRSV, etc?
- Wouldn’t you want to use a translation that allows you to be reading the same words as most of the people in the room with you (depending on where you are)?
- Wouldn’t you want to read a translation that structures poetry like poetry, uses paragraphs, and is generally formatted like many other things you are familiar reading?
- Does the NIV get it all right and that the others don’t? No. None of them get it all right. We wouldn’t ever even know if a translation got it all right because we don’t totally understand everything in the Bible.
Are you convinced? 🙂 Now seriously, the NIV is a pretty good translation. I have some real problems with it but I can handle them a lot easier and they occur less frequently than many of the other translations (possibly save the NRSV). I would go with the NRSV but I like to be reading the same words everyone else is reading and when I read aloud in a Bible class or sermon I like for people to be able to follow along easily and most people in our pews have the NIV.
I would also like to mention that one thing that is left out of the old “my translation is better than your translation” is the fact that in many languages there is no translation or only one translation. We are spoiled and so we can write posts like these. We are blessed to have options as to which version we understand the best. To make translations a salvation issue or a heated discussion is very egocentric.
What questions would you ask to get someone to read from your translation of choice?