Biblica kills online TNIV and NIV-1984
I am not a fan of the NIV and TNIV translations. But this shocks me:
In February, Biblica (the International Bible Society) officially killed all online versions of the TNIV and NIV-1984. (For some of you this may be old news, but I somehow missed this news when it originally came out, and was surprised to find this out today.)
Apparently, the older versions are no longer needed – even though the Biblica website readily admits that while 450 million copies of the (T)NIV have been sold, only 11 million are of the new edition.
Now, here is the rich part. You’ll remember how Biblica and Zondervan decided to stock both the NIV-1984 and the TNIV simultaneously – seeing a need for both volumes. But now, in an Orwellian announcement it seems that the TNIV never even existed because there is “There is only one NIV.” (The irony is only increased since the year of the “disappeared” translation is 1984.)
The announcement makes a mention of the possibility that at some distant point in the future, Wheaton College may put some of the older versions online (“for research purposes”), although with restrictions (“access will be in accordance with the Wheaton College Archives & Special Collections guidelines.”)
The entire situation is absurd. The NIV has the best-selling English translation for decades. There are people who grew up reading the 1984 edition of the NIV. For better or worse, the translation has been influential. The TNIV never caught on the same way (it was never really supported by its publishers) but it certainly provoked serious discussion about English Bible translation. If it was not a commercial success, it was certainly an important milestone.
In fact, the TNIV is still in print at Biblica’s most important publishing partner, Zondervan. The brightest commercial success of the TNIV was Zondervan’s audio version with an African-American cast, The Bible Experience. There is no danger of that going out of print: there is still money to be made! The recording is actively being sold in digital and physical formats (and it even has a co-branded physical book in print.)
Zondervan will gladly sell you a TNIV concordance or an interlinear Greek New Testament with parallel TNIV text. And other publishers have TNIV-based titles in print: the TNIV-based Norton Critical Edition of Paul’s writings is readily available. You can even buy the NTIV in a parallel edition. (Analogous remarks apply to the NIV-1984, which remains in print in multiple editions.)
But online, the TNIV and NIV-1984 no longer exist.