The New NIV

A month in to switching back to the NIV, here are some thoughts and comments in no particular order.

I haven’t missed using an ESV at all. Maybe it’s because most of my time this month has been spent in narrative books, but I haven’t once wondered how the ESV would have translated something. I also haven’t found myself translating it as I read it out loud with people. Seeing as this was my original concern with the ESV I’m obviously fairly happy with this.

I’ve really missed the ESV’s amazing concordance. My old tiny pocket bible still had a ten page concordance. My new NIV does not have one at all. This is irritating but it’s not the end of the world because…

I’m still using the ESV iPhone app. Because it’s a lot better than any other app going. It’s fast and has good typesetting and more importantly has a pretty good search program. Annoyingly the search doesn’t do anything more complicated than search for one word at a time but most of the time that’s what you need. By nature of translation the ESV is more suited to a feature like this anyway. The NIV needs to get its act together here, but one of the advantages of the ESV is that its publishing rights are still controlled in one place and so they can develop neat things like that quickly.

And then there is the new typesetting. Unless you’ve picked up an NIV printed in the last six months you won’t have noticed this, but Harper-Collins (who own the commercial publishing rights to the NIV) have just rolled out a new layout and typeset of the UK NIV. This is irritating because there isn’t quite the wide range of NIVs in stock that there used to be, but it’s brilliant because the new typesetting is so excellent. I have no idea what the font is but it’s an almost sans-serif which is wonderfully legible and attractive to read. It’s also got a wider central margin with a smart dotted line down the middle, which sounds stupid but does add to the readability of it.

Can I see myself switching back? No. I’m intrigued to see what happens with the NIV 2.0 but I’ll wait for the dust to settle on it first.

1 Some will say that the TNIV is the NIV 2.0. Wrong. To use a more fitting example, if the original NIV was A New Hope, and the new NIV is aiming to be The Empire Strikes Back, then the TNIV was the Phantom Menace.[2]

2 Or, if you’re really au-fait with your Star Wars knowledge, the Christmas Special.