the niv bible - making god’s word accessible to today’s generation of christians and seekers

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Truly an international English translation serving the global church and world Christianity.

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Since its release in 1978, the NIV has become the world’s best-selling Bible translation with more than 450 million copies in print worldwide. Learn more about how this translation came to be. The NIV is the translation of choice for millions of people around the world who want to read and understand Scripture in today’s language. It has made God’s Word accessible to today’s generation of Christians and seekers alike.


  • 1. Truly an international English translationserving the global church and worldChristianity.

2. The original vision for the New International Version (NIV) of the Bible arose out of a desire tocreate a Bible translation written in modern English that could be easily read and understood,making Gods Word accessible to present and future generations.The NIV was envisioned to provide analternative translation to the nearly500-year-old King James Version (KJV), whichin 1960s America, many found challenging toread and understand due to the changes thathad occurred in language usage over theprevious five centuries --thou art and ye shallwas no longer how people talked.The NIV distinctive:Hear the Word the way it was writtenUnderstand the Word the way it wasmeant 3. Formation of the Committee on Bible TranslationIn 1965, the NIV translation project was initiated by the signing of theNIV charter and the formation of the Committee on Bible Translation(CBT). The CBT was formed to create a modern English Bibletranslation from the oldest and most reliable biblical manuscriptsavailable, providing the best possible blend of transparency to theoriginal documents and ease of understanding in every verse.The CBT is accountable for honoring the NIV charter and meetsannually to monitor developments in biblical scholarship and Englishusage and to reflect these developments in periodic updates to the text.The CBT represents the very best in evangelical biblical scholarship.The members a self-perpetuating, independent body of 15 aredrawn from various denominations and some of the finest academicinstitutions in the world. 4. The CBT began thetranslation process for the NIVin 1965, working from theoriginal Greek, Hebrew andAramaic texts.Every verse was discussedand debated to ensure it wasbeing translated to achievethe optimum combination oftransparency to the originaldocuments and ease the right.Their translation work tookmore than 10 years and in1975, the New Testament ofthe NIV was released and in1978 the entire Bible wascompleted and published.1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 19741975 1978Translation process begins1976 1977Entire Bible publishedNew Testamentpublished 5. The NIV was quickly embraced by millions of readers who were gratefulto have a Bible they could easily understand.Since its release in 1978, the NIV has become the worlds best-selling Bible translation withmore than 450 million copies in print worldwide.Today, the NIV is available in many languages and countries around the globe and in a variety offormats for young children through all ages and stages of life. The most popular is the NIVStudy Bible. The NIV is the translation of choice for millions of people around the world whowant to read and understand Scripture in todays language. It has made Gods Word accessibleto todays generation of Christians and seekers alike. 6. The release of the NIV in 1978 did not mean thework of the CBT was complete.The NIV charter calls for the CBT to meetannually and conduct regular monitoring ofdevelopments in biblical scholarship and Englishusage.The reflection of these developments in periodicupdates to the text ensures that the NIVtranslation continues to offer readers anexperience that mirrors that of the originalaudience.Updated versionsof the NIV werereleased in19842011 7. The chief goal of every update to the NIVis to ensure that the text reflects thelatest and best biblical scholarship andestablished shifts in English idiom andusage.Highlight withThe 2011 NIV update represents theCBTs latest effort as a committee toarticulate Gods unchanging Word inthe way the original authors mighthave said it if they had beenspeaking in English to theEnglish-speaking audience today.IMAGEto the right.This is the reading experience thatthe NIV seeks to recreate. 8. Changes to the text are not made easily.During the translation update process,members of the committee work individually each in their own particular areas ofspecialty as well as in small groups and asa full committee. In addition to consideringproposals from within the committee, theCBT also solicits and receives input fromBible scholars, ministers, missionaries andlay-people.Every proposal is evaluated with manyleading to revisions to the text, while othersare tabled for discussion at future meetingsfor potential inclusion in later the right.At least 70 percent of the committeemembers present at the time of the votingare required to agree before the text can bealtered. This ensures that no individual,indeed not even a large group of individuals,can hold sway in the committee. 9. For the 2011 update, the CBT initiated a relationship with Collins Dictionaries to use the Collins Bank ofEnglish, one of the worlds foremost English language research tools. The database of more than 4.4billion English words provides objective, statistically significant data on the state of written and spokenEnglish at any given point in the history of the language. Working with some of the worlds leadingexperts in computational linguistics and using cutting-edge techniques developed specifically for theupdated NIV, the CBT gained an unprecedented and authoritative perspective on contemporary linguisticnorms.With callout1 2 10. At least 95 percent of the text of the 2011 NIV remainsexactly the same as the 1984 NIV it replaced.All the changes in theupdated text are attributableto one and in some cases,to more than one of thefollowing reasons:changes in Englishprogress in scholarshipconcern for clarityUpdated NIVI am a foreigner and stranger among you . . . Progress in ScholarshipNIV 1984NIV 1984[Christ Jesus] Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God somethingto be graspedUpdated NIV[Christ Jesus] Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something tobe used to his own advantageConcern for ClarityNIV 1984If only there were someone to arbitrate between us, to lay his hand upon us both.Updated NIVIf only there were someone to mediate between us, someone to bring us together.95%remains the sameChanges in EnglishI am an alien and a stranger among you . . . 11. When God spoke through the text of the Bible, he said exactly what hewanted to say in the language of everyday people. Two thousand yearslater, we have sought to give the world a Bible translation that reflectsthose same priorities: Hear Gods Word the way it was written andunderstand it the way it was meant! Take it, read it, listen to it, pray overit, enjoy it and use it to grow in Christian maturity! The Committee on Bible Translation, August, 2010 12. How has the NIV been rigorously cultivated and nurtured?With callout1The New International Version ofthe Bible continues to honor itscharter from the evangelicalcommunity.The ministry of the NIV willcontinue to flourish because ofthe faithful, ongoing work of theCommittee on Bible Translation.The only thing that drives the Committee on Bible Translation is their charter andphilosophy of equal rigor to both the original languages and the target,contemporary English language.The only entity that can influence the text itself is the Committee on Bible Translation. Everyupdate is a matter of integrity for the CBT who is solely responsible for every jot and tittle of theNIV text.Given the CBTs commitment to rigorous attention to the original languages (What does the textmean?) and the targeted contemporary English language (How can we render that meaning so itis best understood as intended?), periodic updates are necessary. So based on the originalcharter and commitment of the CBT, the latest edition of the NIV reflects the most accurate andmost readable text.True to its charter, the CBT has met faithfully every year since it was formed in 1965 and hasproduced several revisions when they discerned it was necessary in order to maintain the integrityof the text. 13. How are gender related issues handled?With callout1Nowhere in the NIV is there even the remotest hint of any inclusive language forGod. The revisions solely surround inclusive language for mankind.Man (men)Avoid it when the text is inclusive (referring to a person, or people, of indeterminate or mixedgender)Rom. 3:28: a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the lawUse it when the text is exclusiveMark 9:41: The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men.He (him, his, himself)Usually avoid it when the text is inclusiveInstead of he, we prefer to use distributive theyMark 8:36: What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?Why? Because it is how people are actually speaking and writing!The Collins ReportThe mandate under the NIVcharter is to maintain the NIVas an articulation of Godsunchanging Word incontemporary English. To theextent that gender-inclusivelanguage is an established partof contemporary English andthat its use enhancescomprehension for readers, itclearly was an important factorin the decisions made. 14. Are there verses missing from the NIV translation?With callout1Check the footnotes of yourNIV Bible on the page wherethere is a verse missing. It islikely the verse you seek isprinted in these notes. During the New International Version translation process some verses were found not to beThe real question is not why verses were left out, but more of who added them later.included in the oldest or more reliable manuscripts the NIV translators had available to use.Most of these manuscripts were not located until after the King James Version of the Biblepublished in 1611 was first translated.When those verses could not be verified by the more reliable or older manuscripts, the NIVtranslators moved them to a footnote to reflect greater accuracy.People who grew up with the King James Version might feel that something has been taken out.The real question is not why these verses were left out, but more of who added them later.The reason some verses appear with a footnote and others in a footnote is based on the level ofcertainty on the part of the translators on which the verse in question comes from the original text. Ifthe scholars were more certain that the verse was not in the original text, the verse is placed in thefootnote. If the scholars were less certain, the verse was placed within the text with an explanatoryfootnote added. It was all done to achieve maximum accuracy and readability. 15. Todays Committee on Bible TranslationDouglas J. Moo is Blanchard Professor of NewTestament at Wheaton College, where he teachesand mentors students in the masters and doctoralprograms. He is a graduate of Trinity EvangelicalDivinity School (M.Div.) and the University of St.Andrews (Ph.D.). He was previously a facultymember at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School(1977-2000). He has written commentaries onseveral New Testament books (Romans, James,Colossians, and 2 Peter-Jude) and co-written aNew Testament Introduction (with D. A. Carson).Dr. Moo has been a member of CBT since 1996.Dr. Kenneth Barker is an author and speakerliving in Lewisville, Texas. He holds a PhD fromthe Dropsie College for Hebrew and CognateLearning and a ThM from Dallas TheologicalSeminary. Until his retirement from theInternational Bible Society (IBS) in 1996, he wasExecutive Director of the IBS NIV TranslationCenter. He is one of the original translators ofthe NIV and a regular spokesperson for the CBT.He has served as Academic Dean of CapitalBible Seminary, Professor of Old Testament atthree theological seminaries, and VisitingProfessor at two others. He also is an author ofcommentaries on the books of Micah andZechariah, general editor of the NIV Study Bible,and was also involved in the creation of the NewInternational Readers Version. He wasappointed to CBT in 1974 and for many yearsserved as secretary of the CommitteDr. Craig Blomberg is Distinguished Professor ofNew Testament at Denver Seminary in Littleton,Colorado. He holds his PhD in New Testament fromthe University of Aberdeen, Scotland, and his MAfrom Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He is theauthor of twelve books and has co-authored or co-editedseven more, along with dozens of journalarticles and chapters in multi-author works. His booksinclude three on the historical reliability andinterpretation of the gospels (one on John), two oninterpreting and preaching the parables, and threecommentaries (on Matthew, 1 Corinthians andJames). Dr. Blomberg has been a member of CBTsince 2008.Dr. Jeannine Brown is Professor of New Testamentat Bethel Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota where shealso completed her M.Div in 1991. She has a Ph.D. inNew Testament from Luther Seminary. Dr. Brownhas consulted to two major Bible translation projects(Common English Bible and New Century Version)and has published a large number of scholarlyarticles. In 2007 she published a major introduction toBiblical hermeneutics. She has also madecontributions to three other published books includinga section on Matthews gospel in The EvangelicalOne-Volume Commentary on the Bible (rev.). Dr.Brown joined CBT in 2009ChairmanRead full bio Read full bioRead full bio Read full bio 16. Todays Committee on Bible TranslationDr. Gordon Fee is a leading expert inpneumatology and also in the textual criticism ofthe New Testament. He received a PhD in NewTestament studies from the University of SouthernCalifornia and MA degrees from Seattle PacificUniversity. He is Professor Emeritus of NewTestament Studies at Regent College inVancouver, British Columbia. He has taught atWheaton College and Gordon-ConwellTheological Seminary. He has written books onBiblical exegesis, including the popularintroductory works, How to Read the Bible for AllIts Worth, How to Read the Bible, Book by Book(co-authored with Douglas Stuart), How to Choosea Translation for all its Worth (co-authored withMark L. Strauss) and a major commentary on 1Corinthians as well as numerous othercommentaries on various books in the NewTestament. He joined CBT in 1991.Rev. Dr. David Instone-Brewer, a BritishBaptist minister, was educated in Cambridge(PhD) and Cardiff (BD). After a decade as apastor in Wales, he now holds an academic postat Tyndale House, Cambridge. His two researchspecialties are the Jewish background of theNew Testament and software for Biblical studies.He has written books on divorce and other NewTestament teachings which are illuminated byancient Jewish documents. Dr. Instone-Brewerhas been on the CBT since 2005.Dr. Richard T. France is a New Testament scholarand a minister in the Anglican church. He waseducated at Bradford Grammar School and BalliolCollege, Oxford (MA). He earned his BD at theUniversity of London and his PhD at the University ofBristol. He worked in the 1970s as a lecturer inreligious studies at the University of Ife in Nigeria.From 1981 to 1988 he taught at London BibleCollege in New Testament studies, and from 1989 to1995 he was Principal of Wycliffe Hall at OxfordUniversity. He was a parish minister in England andWales from 1995 until his retirement in 1999. He hasserved for two periods on the CBT, from 1990 to1995 and from 1999 to the present. Currently, heleads the UK delegation and is involved in Anglicizingthe text for readers in the UK and the BritishCommonwealth.Dr. Karen H. Jobes is the Gerald F. HawthorneProfessor of New Testament Greek and Exegesis atWheaton College and Graduate School. She holds aPhD in Biblical Hermeneutics from WestminsterTheological Seminary (Philadelphia). She has writtencommentaries on 1 Peter and Esther and anintroduction to the Septuagint (with Moiss Silva). Dr.Jobes participates in various academic organizationsto stay current in her field, but finds the mostrefreshment from her work through regular worship atChurch. She has been a member of the CBT since1996.Read full bio Read full bioSecretaryRead full bio Read full bio 17. Todays Committee on Bible TranslationBill Mounce specializes in the Greek languageand has written a number of Greek languagetextbooks, including the bestselling, Basics ofBiblical Greek, and many other resources. He is agraduate of the University of Aberdeen (PhD) andFuller Theological Seminary (MA). He is the VicePresident of Content and Learning at Olive TreeBible Software and the president of, a non-profit organization offeringworld-class educational resources for discipleshipin the local church. Formerly he was a full-timePreaching Pastor, a professor of New Testamentand Director of the Greek Language Program atGordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and aprofessor of New Testament at Azusa PacificUniversity. He served as the New Testament chairof the translation team for the English StandardVersion of the Bible. Dr. Mounce joined the CBT in2009.The Rev. Dr. Paul Swarup is a minister with theChurch of North India in the Diocese of Delhi,presently pastoring at Christ Church, Noida. Heholds a PhD in OT Theology/Dead Sea Scrollsfrom the University of Cambridge, UK. He is avisiting faculty at the Jesuit Seminary, VidyajyotiCollege of Theology, Delhi and the MarthomaSeminary, Dharamjyoti Vidya Peet, Faridabad.,Haryana. He was appointed to CBT in 2008.Mark L. Strauss has a Ph.D. in New Testament fromthe University of Aberdeen, Scotland, and isprofessor of New Testament at Bethel Seminary SanDiego, where he has served for 15 years. Dr. Straussis a frequent preacher at San Diego area churchesand has served in three interim pastorates. He is theauthor of many books and articles and is a frequentspeaker in churches and conferences. Dr. Strausshas served on the Committee for Bible Translationsince 2005.Dr. Larry L. Walker holds a PhD from DropsieCollege for Hebrew and Cognate Learning. He isProfessor of Old Testament and Semitic Languagesat Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary inMemphis. He has taught Hebrew and other ancientlanguages (such as Aramaic, Akkadian, and Ugaritic)at the seminary level for 30 years. Dr. Walker alsoserved on the International Council of BiblicalInerrancy that drafted the Chicago Statement onInerrancy. He joined the CBT in 1968.Vice ChairRead full bio Read full bioRead full bio Read full bio 18. Todays Committee on Bible TranslationDr. Bruce Waltke is Emeritus Professor of OldTestament Studies at Regent College, Vancouver,and also taught for many years at ReformedTheological Seminary in Orlando, Florida. Hereceived a PhD from Harvard University and aThD and ThM from Dallas Theological Seminary.Waltke has travelled widely as a Bible expositor,as an Area Supervisor for excavations at Gezer,Israel, and as Director of field study trips to theMiddle East and the Classical World. He is theauthor of many books and commentaries. He hasserved as president of the Evangelical TheologicalSociety, was on the translation committee of theNew American Standard Bible and the NewInternational Version, joining the CBT in 1980.Dr. Ronald Youngblood became an NIVtranslator in 1970 and a member of the CBT 10years later. He received his PhD from DropsieCollege for Hebrew and Cognate Learning and isa graduate of Fuller Theological Seminary (BD).He has served as professor of Old Testament atBethel Seminary in St. Paul, Wheaton GraduateSchool, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, andBethel Seminary in San Diego. His translationexperience during the past 30 years has includedextensive work on all parts of the NIV as well asmore limited tasks related to the recently launchedSpanish and Portuguese NVI translations. He isalso the executive editor of the NIrV, which isdesigned especially for younger readers and thosefor whom English is a second language. As anassociate editor of the NIV Study Bible, he hasbeen contacted by countless readers who havebeen helped and blessed by its text and notes.After teaching full-time for 40 years, he is nowretired from his position as professor of OldTestament and Hebrew at Bethel TheologicalSeminary in San Diego, California.Dr. Michael Williams is Professor of Old Testamentat Calvin Theological Seminary, where he teachesclasses in Hebrew, Old Testament, and ancient Near-Eastern history and culture. He holds his PhD inBiblical Studies from the University of Pennsylvania(1999) and his MA in Religion from WestminsterTheological Seminary. He was ordained in 2000 inthe Christian Reformed Church. Dr. Williams hastaught courses at Westminster Theological Seminary,the University of Pennsylvania, and in Kenya,Ukraine, and Poland. Michael is gifted in his capacityfor languages. He is proficient in seven Ancient andMedieval Languages (Biblical Hebrew and Aramaic,Akkadian, Ugaritic, Sumerian, Arabic and Greek),and reads French, German and Modern Hebrew. Heis the author of several books and articles and joinedthe CBT in 2005.Read full bio Read full bioRead full bio 19. 1 3Biblica is the worldwidetranslation sponsor of the NIV.For over 200 years, Biblica hasbeen reaching people with God'sWord through reliable, easytoread translations. Every Biblepublished by Biblica from theNIV to Ethiopia's Amharic Bible delivers accuracy throughrigorous attention to both theoriginal Bible manuscripts andthe target language. Biblicaoffers a host of free Bible studytools, low-cost Bibles, andcommunity reading experiencesto help you engage God's Word.Join us for a life-changingjourney at, part of HarperCollinsChristian Publishing, is theexclusive North American publisherof the NIV and a provider ofChristian communications. For morethan 80 years, Zondervan hasdelivered transformational Christianexperiences through its bestsellingBibles, books, curriculum, academicresources and digital products. Thecompanys products are sold inmultiple formats, worldwide in morethan 60 countries, translated intonearly 200 languages. Zondervanoffices are located in Grand Rapids,MI.Hodder & Stoughton is the exclusiveUnited Kingdom publisher of theNIV and a major publisher withinHachette UK, one of the UKsbiggest publishing groups.Hodder & Stoughton publishes awide range of fiction and non-fictiontitles and are renowned for passion,quality and delivering bestsellingcommercial books in many differentformats.NIV Publishing Partnership 20. EWnditohr sceamlloenutts"The New International Version follows in the same tradition asthe King James Version, although it is tailor-made for the wayEnglish is spoken around the world today. The NIV is the mostpopular translation today because it remains faithful to theoriginal Scriptures while being easy for people to understand.And when we're teaching and sharing God's Word with others, itis imperative that we consider the language people are speakingevery day." Charles Stanley, Senior Pastor, First Baptistin Atlanta, GA and Founder of In Touch MinistriesI have been using the NIV 2011 in my personal devotions and preaching.Where I have checked the translation updates, I have found them a realimprovement, even superb! Dr. Timothy George, Dean of Beeson Divinity School,Samford University, Birmingham, ALThe translators of the NIV Update have done for believers in the 21st centurywhat the KJV translators did for believers in the 17th century: Both translationssought complete accuracy and the best of current English language usage,and both succeeded. The NIV will now continue to be at the forefront ofmodern English Bibles as the best translation for both public and private use.It combines accuracy and readability better than any other translation. Dr. Larry Hart, Professor of Theology, Graduate School of Theologyand Ministry, Oral Roberts University, Tulsa, OK 21. With calloutto the right. Rev. Randy Frazee, Senior Minister of Oak Hills Church, San Antonio, TX Tremper Longman III Robert H. GundryProfessor of Biblical Studies, Westmont College,Santa Barbara, CAThe NIV is the authority for Evangelical Christiansaround the world. Dr. Tony Campolo, Professor Emeritus of Sociologyat Eastern University, founder and president of theEvangelical Association for the Promotion of EducationEndorsementsAs a pastor who is passionate about communicating theGospel, I'm thankful for the NIV and how the CBT carefullyreviews and updates the translation to best reflect the languageof this generation. Rev. Craig Groeschel, founding and senior pastorof, Edmond, OK"NIV 2011 is a gift to the church. As a professor ofOld Testament and a translator myself, Iunderstand and appreciate this versions fidelity toproper translation method. Its clear, readableEnglish is accurate to the original languages,communicating the Bibles rich message in a waythat will reach people of all ages, education, andspiritual maturity. Produced by the leadingevangelical biblical scholars of the day, this Bible issuitable for devotions, deep study, casual reading,group study, and in the pulpit." Tremper Longman III Robert H. GundryProfessor of Biblical Studies, Westmont College,Santa Barbara, CA"I enjoy reading and preaching from the NIV here in our ministry in New YorkCity. After more than 25 years, it continues to be my favorite version of God'sWord." Pastor Jim Cymbala, Senior Pastor, Brooklyn Tabernacle"Nehemiah 8:12 tells us that the people were filled with great joy 'because theynow understood the words that had been made know to them.' Over thetwenty plus years I have had the privilege to teach God's Word to people Ihave used the NIV as my primary translation. In my estimation, the NIVprovides the best translation to the original text while using a language stylethat is easier for contemporary folks to understand. I have started using thenew NIV this year with the same confidence I have had all these years. Ibelieve with all my heart that this translation will fill the lives of people todaywith great joy!" Rev. Randy Frazee, Senior Minister of Oak Hills Church, San Antonio, TXThe NIV is the authority for Evangelical Christiansaround the world. Dr. Tony Campolo, Professor Emeritus of Sociologyat Eastern University, founder and president of theEvangelical Association for the Promotion of Education 22. 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