Warning: The following post is somewhat technical. I'm not going to try to make it easy because that would just take too long and be too hard. ;-) So, if you're not familiar with Bible translations and translation theory, this might be confusing.
I'm so glad to hear that the NIV (New International Version) will get a new, comprehensive update in 2011. The TNIV (Today's New International Version) ran into a lot of problems being accepted primarily because many scholars and Christian leaders complained it went too far in gender inclusive language and political correctness. I'm not getting into that debate, but the controversy made it very difficult to adopt church-wide, even though it vastly improved in readability over the NIV. Whenever I've used it in detailed analysis (using the Greek, etc.), I've been impressed.
So I'm thinking that we might make the switch back to the NIV as "pew" Bible if this revision reads like the TNIV and avoids the controversy. The New Living Translation (NLT), the translation we use now, is solid and reads so well, but when I do detailed analysis I'm often frustrated with it.
A lot of churches have gone to the English Standard Version (ESV) because of it's pedigree and accuracy. I agree it is a great study Bible and should be in the arsenal of any serious Bible student. My problem with it is it takes the everyday language used in the Bible (for example, the New Testament is in the common Greek language of the day, not classical Greek) and turns it into something that sounds wooden and arcane. I tried to read through Philippians in one sitting in the ESV and just about choked. It was very uncomfortable. I don't think accuracy needs to trump fluidity of language. Again, I use it regularly and find it to be an invaluable resource, but as a Bible for reading large portions of Scripture or as our "pew" Bible, it just doesn't cut it in my opinion. And, in my estimation, it's not a large improvement over the NIV. It's a great replacement for those of you who prefer the New American Standard Bible, though.
Any questions or thoughts on this?