Dear NIV 1984,
Oh, how I miss you. You were my first. You were my first Bible translation. You were in our pews for so many years. I have a genuine leather covered copy of you with Christ’s words in red on the inside and my name in gold on the bottom right-hand side of the front cover. It’s nearby right now. Oh, NIV 1984, what happened? I still don’t understand. I know it’s been a couple of years now and most people have moved on, but I just can’t. Why did this happen? Just tell me why? Was it me?
They didn’t just update you; they hijacked you. They turned you into something you weren’t, like those celebrities whose cosmetic surgeries go awry. You know the ones who once were beautiful, but now they’re hideous! Oh, I know you weren’t perfect, but now I can’t even buy a copy of you to show my friends. That’s what they tell me anyway. I know that the NASB or lately the ESV are “essentially literal” translations, so they “bear more weight” when it comes to study. I know you were always just a friendly little “dynamic equivalent” translation, but you were mine. I even liked your name. You were the new “international” version. It made you sound so cool. I know the word’s meaning in your name was no different than in International House of Pancakes, but still this NIV 2011 imposter won’t do, even if they did keep your silly name. I know it’s not you. Where did you go? Why did they take you away? Seriously, did I think that Revelation 3:20 as you had it meant that you would only save men and not women? I don’t remember ever saying or thinking that. I don’t know any women who did either. So, explain to me how this happened…
Revelation 3:20 (NIV 1984) – “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.”
…morphed horribly in the name of gender neutrality, I guess, into…
Revelation 3:20 (NIV 2011) – “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.”
What? This can’t be! This blatantly incorrect English is such a mockery. “They” is plural, last time I checked. How can “they” be “that person?” Oh, there are countless other examples of this, but I know you know better than anyone else. I just wanted to write and tell you that I will never forget you. I will treasure the copies I have of you. I even have a Gideon testament with you as the translation. Glory! All those sweet times in devotions we had together for all those years, they will never be forgotten. We still have seminary and the years leading up to it. No one can take this from us.
I will light a candle for you tonight, my old friend. And since all those verses I memorized in you refuse to let me memorize them in some other translation, you will, indeed, live on in my memory.