The NIV’s 50th Anniversary

NIV Wheel Graphic


Whether it was for summer camp or Bible quizzing, I grew up memorizing the (1984) New International Version. And, yes, I’m still quite fond of the unfortunately discontinued TNIV. Now Zondervan no longer publishes the 1984 NIV, nor the TNIV–instead, the 2011 update to the NIV is the current version.

You might not realize that the NIV is 50 years old this year. Here’s a recent press release:

In 1965, the Committee on Bible Translation took on the most massive translation project of modern times: to prepare a contemporary English translation of the Bible from the best available original manuscripts. Since its release in 1978, the NIV has become the world’s most read and most trusted modern-English Bible translation with over 450 million copies distributed worldwide. Upon the 1978 release of the NIV, readers were ecstatic that they could finally understand the Word of God in contemporary language.

This anniversary got onto my radar screen when I came across the new NIV 50th anniversary app. What I didn’t know till the other day is that the NIV Study Bible is the best-selling study Bible in the last 30 years.

Here’s a video with some recognizable names discussing the work of the Committee on Bible Translation, who produced the NIV:



You can read more about the NIV here.




Disclosure of Material Connection: A Zondervan rep approached me with an invitation/encouragement to post about the NIV, and offered to send an NIV Study Bible. I plan to post about that in due course, too, once I receive it. While I do appreciate the 2011 NIV over the 1984 NIV in a number of ways, said “Material Connection” has not diminished the place in my heart that the TNIV will always have.

6 thoughts on “The NIV’s 50th Anniversary

  1. It was in the early 70’s that I sat in the assembly ready to listen to our preacher–when all of a sudden he began reading a familiar text in a most unfamiliar–and fresh/understandable way. This was my introduction to the NIV–a most welcome discovery. I have now worked my way through two NIV Study Bibles. My primary critique is the “cheapness” of the paper product itself. Neither of the Bibles has held up well to daily use (not abuse). Otherwise, the updated notes have been most helpful. I would prefer if they used a paragraph format like they did in their original publications. 50 years is a nice benchmark–congrats to NIV!

    1. Good point! Though I wonder how my 50-something readers would feel…. 😉

      In BibleWorks you can still use the 1984 NIV if you had an older BibleWorks version–they don’t license it any longer with new versions (true since BW8, I think). But that module is short-named “NIVO,” where I think the “O” stands for “Old.” Maybe at the 100th anniversary they’ll go to NSNIV (Not-So-New International Version).

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