When Evangelical Protestants received the Revised Standard Version (RSV), which first appeared in whole in 1952, it was criticized by conservative Evangelicals. Certain texts regarding the virginity of Mary, and other Old Testament passages whose Christian interpretation referred to Jesus did not follow traditional Evangelical translation. The New International Version project was begun after a meeting in 1965 in Palos Heights, Illinois between the Christian Reformed Church, National Association of Evangelicals, and a group of international scholars.
The New York Bible Society (now the Colorado Springs-based International Bible Society) was selected to do the translation. The New Testament was released in 1973 and the full Bible in 1978. It underwent minor revision in 1984.
The intent of the translators was to produce an accurate and readable translation that would fall between formal equivalence (colloquially known as "literal" or "word-for-word") and dynamic equivalence (colloquially known as "meaning" or "thought-for-thought").
The text used for the Old Testament was the Biblia Hebraica Masoretic Hebrew Text. Other ancient texts consulted were the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Samaritan Pentateuch, the Aquila, Symmachus and Theodotion, the Latin Vulgate, the Syriac Peshitta, the Aramaic Targums, and for the Psalms the Juxta Hebraica of Jerome. The text used in translating the New Testament was the Nestle-Aland Greek New Testament. Recent archaeological and linguistic discoveries helped in understanding traditionally difficult passages to translate. Familiar spellings of traditional translations were generally retained.
There are numerous study Bibles available with extensive notes on the text and background information to make the Biblical stories more comprehensible. Among these are the NIV Spirit of the Reformation Study Bible, the Zondervan published NIV Study Bible, the Wesleyan revision, Reflecting God Study Bible, as well as the Life Application Study Bible.
Some Christians dislike the NIV because they consider it a loose translation that lacks a word-for-word translation style. It also removes over 50,000 words from the King James Version.