O Me of Little Faith

O Me of Little Faith

Which Bible? Part 6 (The NIV)

Now for Part 6 of our survey of popular biblical translations, in which we turn to the Big One: The NIV. Previously appearing in this series: the King James Version, the Revised Standard Version, the Jerusalem Bible, the New American Bible, and The Living Bible.


New International Version (NIV)

First published in: 1978, by the International Bible Society and Zondervan Publishing House

Translation style: Dynamic Equivalence

Quick description: The 800-lb. gorilla of modern English translations. By far, the NIV has become the most popular translation in the world, having sold a staggering 150 million copies since being introduced. As a dynamic equivalence translation, the translators are more interested in hitting the original meanings of certain words and phrases than maintaining word-for-word accuracy. [Footnote: As an example, Mark 6:37 references “two hundred denarii” in the New American Standard Bible. The NIV translates this “eight months of a man’s wages,” then footnotes the literal meaning.]


Why you should read it: Everyone else reads it. The NIV is big among American Evangelicals for its high readability and accuracy.

Not so fast: You can’t get the NIV with any of the deuterocanonical/apocryphal books in it—it’s a Protestant-only translation. Plus, the NIV may be a perversion of scripture made by translators under demonic influence (!) with the intent of denying the deity of Christ and, besides that, pushing a homosexual agenda! No, really. Certain advocates of King James-only Bible reading actually believe this, so beware the NIV’s corrupting influence. [Footnote: For a clear-thinking, evenhanded evaluation of the whole KJV-is-infallible-and-everything-else-is-of-the-devil controversy, read The King James Only Controversy, by James R. White.]


“You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.” (Exodus 20:4)

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

As always, there’s lots more about this in Pocket Guide to the Bible.

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