New International Version
The New International Version (NIV) is a translation of the Bible. Written in modern and simple English, the NIV has been promoted widely among the evangelical community and has supplanted the King James Version as the bestselling English translation.
But the NIV has a slight liberal bias that makes it worth doublechecking other translations, such as the more literal English Standard Version (ESV). For example, the NIV translates into "gospel" only 5 times in the Gospel of Mark, while the ESV translates into that strong term 8 times in that gospel. The NIV avoids using the strong term "unborn" in Psalms 78:6 as follows: where the ESV says "the children yet unborn" (implying those developing in the womb), the NIV says the weaker "even the children yet to be born." The NIV also attempts gender neutral language where the original text does not support that (see below).
The NIV conceals several sharp criticisms of homosexuality in the Bible, by translating as "dogs" the Hebrew and Greek terms that were intended to mean "homosexuals". See Deuteronomy 23:18, Philippians 3:2, and Revelation 22:15, and the discussion here of the liberal-promoted movie The Power of the Dog (2021, nominated for 12 Oscars in 2022).
History of Translation
Led by a committee of mostly professors, more than one hundred academic types, beginning in the late 1960s, undertook the project of retranslating the Bible from the best extant (existing) originals in Hebrew and Greek texts. The first complete edition was released in the 1970s. The political views of the translators were undisclosed, but their stated goal was that the translation be:
- an Accurate, Beautiful, Clear, and Dignified translation suitable for public and private reading, teaching, preaching, memorizing, and liturgical use. The translators were united in their commitment to the authority and infallibility of the Bible as God's Word in written form. They agreed that faithful communication of the meaning of the original writers demands frequent modifications in sentence structure (resulting in a "thought-for-thought" translation) and constant regard for the contextual meanings of words.
The International Bible Society (formerly the New York Bible Society) funded this project, and owns the copyright.
The NIV Study Bible remains one of the most popular study Bible versions, with various editions reaching the top 10 best sellers list compiled by the Association for Christian Retail.
In its latest version released in 2010, the NIV replaced "with child" by "pregnant" in Matthew 1:18, thereby downplaying the existence of the unborn child, despite virtually every other translation (the KJV, the NASB, and even the earlier version of the NIV) all using "with child" in that passage.
The NIV tends to use gender-specific pronouns in obvious places (where the text is meant to convey such) in order to avoid anticipated criticism, but like the discredited TNIV the NIV embraces gender neutrality in other places (where the text is meant to convey the male pronoun), as in changing the reverence to "layman" to "anyone other than a priest" in Lv 22:12:
- "If a priest's daughter marries a layman, she ...." (ESV)
- "If a priest's daughter is married to a layman, she ....: (NASB)
- "If a priest's daughter marries anyone other than a priest, she ...." (NIV)
- "If a priest's daughter marries anyone other than a priest, she ..." (TNIV)
Note how this feminist neutralizing of gender opens the door to same-sex marriage, and also adds to the wordiness. According to the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, the NIV translation includes "over 3,600 gender-related problems."
- Matthew 1:18 in the Greek uses the phrase 'en gastri echo' which literally means "to have in the womb." Thus the NIV's lack of the use of the word 'child' doesn't change the Biblical text.
- Phan, Katherine T. "New NIV Bible to Debut Amid Ongoing Concern." March 13, 2011. http://www.christianpost.com/news/new-niv-bible-to-debut-amid-ongoing-concern-49392/
- New International Perversion (listing of translation errors by Terry Watkins)
- The New International Version (NIV) - A History and Evaluation (academic review of the translation by Michael Marlowe)