The Library Basement
Reading under ground

Testing the waters of the NIRV

My wife and I ordered a copy of the New International Reader's Version of the Bible, published by Zondervan. She thought it would be useful for Sunday school to have an easy-to-read Bible which was a full translation, unlike most children's bibles. So far I like how it reads.

I'll share one example from the beginning of Hebrews, which I think is one of the more difficult books of the Bible to read. First, in the NIV:

In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe.

And now in the NIRV:

In the past, God spoke to our people through the prophets. He spoke at many times. He spoke in different ways. But in these last days, he has spoken to us through his Son. He is the one whom God appointed to receive all things. God made everything through him.

The first thing that should jump out at you is that the NIV has one sentence, but the NIRV breaks these two verses into six. The sentences are shorter and easier, though splitting them up this results in some repetition (since the verb "he spoke" gets repeated for each adverb).

The vocabulary is simpler, and people and place names are unified (which is something which may give biblical theologians fits). Overall I like it. A real translation which is more accessible to less-experienced readers is a positive in my book. Now let's see who all complains about it.

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