Philip Yancey on the NIV

I want to extend my congratulations for the 50th anniversary of the New International Version. I have a whole shelf full of Bibles, and some of them have modern, contemporary language, which are kind of fun to read. Some of them work on accuracy, and they’re very stilted, and they’re not so fun to read. I’ve found that the NIV is a wonderful balance between these two things. It communicates well, I understand exactly what it’s saying, and yet it’s also accurate to the text. It strikes that balance, which is a hard thing for a Bible translation to do.

I was privileged fairly early in my career to spend three years doing nothing but studying the NIV Bible. I was working on a study Bible called the NIV Student Bible. So for three years I went through every verse in the NIV. And at the end of the time, I came away impressed all the more with the feat, the achievement, of the translators. I was comparing other translations, and again and again, they nailed it, that balance between accuracy and communication.

I am thrilled the NIV has had such an impact on the entire world, on the Christian community, because it is a trustworthy version. Again and again, the NIV communicates with that directness, with that force, and for the rest of us, it’s just a matter of obeying what it says.

—Philip Yancey, Author