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(Dr. Douglas Moo) We live in a day and age that’s increasingly distant from the world or the values of the Bible. People stumble about a lot of things the Bible says, understandably. We don’t want to make their job any harder by forcing them to stumble over the English.
(Dr. Karen Jobes) I think all of us take pains to be aware of language changing and particularly English because now it has become a much more global language.
(Dr. Mark Strauss) That’s what unifies us, and that’s what makes our work exciting is because we’re trying to make sure that the Bible stays clear and accurate. But on the base of good, sound linguistics and good, sound translation, philosophy, and translation theory.
(Dr. Paul Swarup) You see, the way the NIV has gone about, particularly in the 2011 version, was really scientific. I mean, we had the Collins database of about 4.4 billion words and their usage.
(Dr. Douglas Moo) It gave us data about how people all over the world were using English in a variety of places, and it was that data that we were then able as translators to use and say, “This is the English that people are speaking, and that’s what we need to use in our translation.”
(Dr. Karen Jobes) The Collins database introduces a more objective way of looking at language.
(Dr. Douglas Moo) We’re given a task under God to translate the Bible into contemporary English to the best of our ability, and we’re going to keep on that road.
(Dr. Karen Jobes) It’s been very encouraging to see the longevity of the NIV and this passing down from the original founders to the next generation and now to the leadership that we have now.
(Dr. Paul Swarup) I think it has to be an ongoing team, and it will good that there’s new members coming in and the old members going out, so there’s some continuity as well.
(Dr. Bill Mounce) I talked to a lot of people about the NIV, and the number one question actually is, “Why are you guys still working on it?”
(Dr. Bruce Waltke) As long as the scholarship keeps improving, no translation is ever going to be perfect.
(Dr. Bill Mounce) They don’t know that it’s always been this ongoing thing. We’re going to constantly be tweaking it, making it better.
(Dr. Bruce Waltke) I think it’s going to continue on the trajectory of becoming ever more precise and always in the language of the people because that’s the philosophy.
(Dr. Douglas Moo) Yes, we have a mission to put God’s Word into a style of English that will communicate broadly and accurately used, we trust, by God in the Spirit ultimately to build his church and to bring people into his kingdom.
Continuing the Mission of the NIV
Translating a Bible is a massive undertaking. And the group that translated the New International Version of the Bible, called the Committee on Bible Translation (CBT), has been continuously refining the NIV for the past 50 years. Their goal is to make it more clear, more accurate, more beautiful, more relevant to the way the English-speaking world uses language.