Zondervan Celebrates 50 Years of the NIV

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“Fifty years is a long time.” Giving homage to five decades of life-altering work, Douglas Moo, chairman for the Committee on Bible Translation (CBT), said at a dinner celebrating the 50-year anniversary of the commissioning of the New International Version (NIV) translation of the Bible. It is hard to imagine 50 years of the NIV, but it has made a deep and lasting impression in the Christian community.

The dinner, hosted by Zondervan, Biblica and the CBT at the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS) convention in San Diego, welcomed more than 600 theologians, scholars, pastors, Bible translators, publishing professionals and Bible enthusiasts.

50 Years of the NIVMoo’s keynote address: “We Still Don’t Get It: Evangelicals and Bible Translation Fifty Years After James Barr,” began with a recollection of the evangelical movement’s status in the mid-1960s. The need for a new Bible translation was eminent, thus the CBT was formed

Moo said, Those of us who write know, publication dates are the end, not the beginning of the work,” referring to the committee’s formation in 1964-1965. The complete NIV Bible was published 1978. “And so it is appropriate'” he said, “that we celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the NIV in 2014 and 2015.”

With more than 450 million copies distributed worldwide, the NIV is the most read modern English translation. Its origination was the outcome of Howard Long, a Christian businessman, who struggled with finding a Bible that was both readable in contemporary language and reliable to the original texts.

Moo pointed out that as the evangelical movement was gaining ground it, “gave birth to the NIV and the NIV in turn, helped to solidify and expand the movement.” Linguistically structured to translate God’s Word into the language of the day, the NIV also carried the “sophistication of evangelical biblical scholars,” meaning that it accurately translates Greek and Hebrew into English.

“The evening was a celebration of the worldwide impact of the NIV and of the vision that led to its creation—an accurate translation of the Bible in contemporary English,” stated Gundry.

“Our hope with the anniversary campaign is to garner the attention of Bible readers, studiers, and future believers to show how the NIV is made to read, made to study, made to share, and really, made for you,” said John Kramp, Senior Vice President and Bible publisher for HarperCollins Christian Publishing in a news release. “We believe that last night’s event really kicked off something incredible. Together, with Biblica and the CBT, we are inspiring people to engage with God’s Word.”

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