The New International Version 2011 edition is out and some folks are wondering, “is it much different than the 1984 edition?” So using my trusty Logos Bible Software for Mac, I did a quick comparison to see just how different this new translation is from the old.
Below is a comparison of the “New” New International Version (NIV2011) to both “Yesterday”‘s New International Version (NIV1984) and Today’s New International Version (TNIV).
A quick glance shows some helpful statistics:
- On average, the text for the New Testament of the the NIV1984 is 6.25% different than the text of the NIV2011.
- On average, the text of the TNIV is only 1.55% different from the NIV2011.
Conclusion: the TNIV and NIV2011 are substantially the same while the NIV1984 is quite different.
Below is a graph of the same data in the above chart.
A few more observations:
- The book of Galatians is the most changed from both the NIV1984 & the TNIV.
- The book of Luke has the least amount of changes, on average, from both the NIV84 & the TNIV.
- With a variance of 7.9%, the book of Philemon has the largest gap in changes made between in two previous NIV translations.
I don’t know if these changes are good or bad, but I thought it would be fun to share some of the stats.
One quick observation.
Romans Chapter 6 is one of my bellwether chapters for translations. I always check here first on a new translation to see how they deal with some of the more difficult translation issues. As shown above, the entire book of Romans varies in 7.9% of the text of the NIV2011 from the NIV1984 (the TNIV is virtually identical). However, in Romans chapter six, the change jumps from 7.9% up to 10.8%. In other words, Romans chapter 6 is 2% over the average change to the book as a whole.
Some changes I find a bit awkward. For example, the NIV2011 introduces a passive phrase in verse 2 that makes reading it a lot more difficult.
Really? The grammatically passive “are those who have died” sounded better to the translators?
Theologically, I think the translators miss the mark on verse 5.
The NIV2011 translation introduces a new theological wrinkle. Do we, as Christians, participate in the actual death and resurrection of Christ, or do we have a death and resurrection that is only “like” his, but not the same?
The rest of the chapter 6 changes are acceptable and don’t appear to make a whole of of difference to the text one way or the other.
Anyway, those are just a few thoughts for now.
Need to find a good translation?