|The NIV, like hogweed, has taken over WELS.|
Look how pretty this flower is -
just don't touch the leaves.
The short answer as to why the NKJV wasn't seriously considered (I'll let Pastor Krahn give the long one, if he wishes) is that the Seminary faculty's current thinking (and thus the thinking of most WELS pastors younger than a certain age) is that any translation based upon the Textus Receptus (e.g. the KJV, NKJV, Lutherbibel) is inferior to a translation based upon modern critical scholarship (e.g. the NIV84, NIV2011, HCSB).
Given that the WELS quite happily used the KJV for decades (not to mention the Lutherbibel line, based like the KJV on the Textus Receptus, in German worship for a century or more), the view that translations in this line are so inherently flawed as to not even be considered is obviously fairly new to our circles. Judging by the vintage of the WELS pastors who hold these views most strongly, my estimate is that this new emphasis on the inferiority of TR-based translations was in full swing by the 1980s, probably either concurrent with or in support of the effort to ditch the KJV for the original NIV.
From Someone in WELS:
|He cannot drive his rock band on a clear day,|
but he wants $3,000 to show up for a gig -
Koine, another eructation from Mark Jeske.