Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
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The New International Version:
Is It a Good Version of the Bible?

Rev. Ron Hanko


The New International Version (NIV) is one of the worst of the modern Bible versions. We believe that it really does not even qualify as a legitimate version of Holy Scripture.

Believing in the verbal inspiration of Scripture, i.e., that the Bible is word-for-word the Word of God, we believe that the Bible ought to be carefully translated as literally as possible. The NIV is not a literal translation by its own admission. Rather than being a word-for-word translation, it is a thought-for-thought rephrasing of God's holy and inspired Word, a kind of compromise between paraphrase and translation.

Consider also the following:

  1. The NIV omits no less than 15 NT verses that are found in the King James or Authorized Version, as well as many other words, phrases, and parts of verses. Thus it takes away from the Word of God.

  2. It also adds to the Word of God. Hebrews 11:11 is a blatant example. There the NIV adds a whole phrase about Abraham for no other reason than the whim of the "translators."

The NIV, therefore, falls under the condemnation of Revelation 22:18-19, which threatens those who add or take away from Scripture with the severest penalties.

What is more:

  1. It banishes from the English Scriptures many words which are not only of long use, but have a very specific and important meaning in the English Scriptures, words such as "Comforter" as a name for the Holy Spirit, "Advocate" as a name for our Lord Jesus Christ, and other words like "inspiration," "propitiation," and "imputation."

  2. It removes all references to hell in the OT, a concession to modern theology, which tends to deny the existence of such a place of eternal punishment.

  3. It seriously damages Scripture's testimony concerning the names of God, eliminating the Name "Lord, of Hosts" entirely and "retranslating" the Name "Lord GOD" as "Sovereign Lord."

  4. Most important of all, it weakens Scripture’s witness to the full divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ by its version of such passages as Proverbs 8:22, Micah 5:1-2, Romans 14:10-12, I Timothy 3:16, and Hebrews 1:3.

These are just a few of the criticisms that can be offered. They are sufficient, however, to reject the NIV as a legitimate and useful version of the Holy Scriptures. And we urge all those who are interested in reading and studying the Scriptures to avoid this version.

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness; that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works (II Tim. 3:16-17).