I am at the point of great weariness concerning how many commentaries rely on the NIV as the text of study. The reason I have grown weary is because these commentaries must repeatedly point out the shortcomings of the NIV because the NIV is not as accurate as it should be. Today I am studying 1 Thessalonians and have been doing research from the Pillar New Testament Commentary. This has been a very good commentary so far. But it seems like nearly every page has to be a clarification on what the sentence really means because the NIV did not capture the idea correctly. Gene L. Green often refers to the NRSV for a more accurate rendering of the text.
Which leads me to wonder why so many commentaries feel compelled to rely upon the NIV text! Where are the commentaries that use the NRSV? The New Interpreter’s Bible commentary is the only commentary series I can think of that uses the NRSV, but it also includes the NIV. Where are the commentaries that are based on the NASB? Where are the commentaries built upon any translation other than the NIV? I understand why there are not commentaries based upon the newer translations (ESV, HCSB, TNIV, etc). But most commentaries use the NIV and then must waste time explaining how the NIV misses the mark, frequently pointing out that another translation is better.
I have been rewarded by collecting the New International Commentary on the New Testament (NICNT) BEFORE the recent revision to the NIV. You may have seen them with the yellow covers and a handier size than the current NICNT series. These are based on the ASV, which is a nice change of pace. You can find these used on Amazon for less than $5 a volume, which is a great deal for any Bible student.
Maybe we can rally students of the Bible to cry out to publishers to build their commentaries either on the author’s translation (I really like how the Baker Exegetical Commentary series did this) or from a translation other than the NIV. I think the market is quite flooded with NIV commentaries that are filled with pages about how the NIV comes up short.