The following is excerpted from the BIBLE VERSION QUESTION ANSWER DATABASE, which is available in print and eBook formats from Way of Life Literature:
Question: “The New International Version is becoming popular even among some fundamentalist churches. It was produced by evangelicals rather than modernists. Why do you not support this version?”
1. The New International Version was first envisioned by the National Association of Evangelicals and the Christian Reformed Church in the early 1960s and was eventually produced by a team of 100 “evangelical scholars” who began work in about 1966.
The translators represented a wide variety of denominations, including Anglican, Assemblies of God, Baptist, Brethren, Christian Reformed, Church of Christ, Evangelical Free, Lutheran, Mennonite, Methodist, Nazarene, Presbyterian, and Wesleyan. This should sound a large warning to those who understand what has happened within evangelicalism since the late 1950s. For one thing, evangelicalism has renounced separation and has thus become deeply infected by the liberalism that is in the schools that evangelicals often attend and the books that they use.
a. In 1976, Carl Henry warned: “A GROWING VANGUARD OF YOUNG GRADUATES OF EVANGELICAL COLLEGES WHO HOLD DOCTORATES FROM NON-EVANGELICAL DIVINITY CENTERS NOW QUESTION OR DISOWN INERRANCY and the doctrine is held less consistently by evangelical faculties. … Some retain the term and reassure supportive constituencies but nonetheless stretch the term’s meaning” (Carl F.H. Henry, past senior editor of Christianity Today, “Conflict over Biblical Inerrancy,” Christianity Today, May 7, 1976).
b. In the last book he wrote before he died, Francis Schaeffer warned in 1983: “WITHIN EVANGELICALISM THERE ARE A GROWING NUMBER WHO ARE MODIFYING THEIR VIEWS ON THE INERRANCY OF THE BIBLE SO THAT THE FULL AUTHORITY OF SCRIPTURE IS COMPLETELY UNDERCUT” (Schaeffer, The Great Evangelical Disaster, 1983, p. 44).
c. In 1996, R. Albert Mohler, Jr., warned: “... evangelicalism in the 1990s is an amalgam of diverse and often theologically ill-defined groups, institutions, and traditions. ... THE THEOLOGICAL UNITY THAT ONCE MARKED THE MOVEMENT HAS GIVEN WAY TO A THEOLOGICAL PLURALISM THAT WAS PRECISELY WHAT MANY OF THE FOUNDERS OF MODERN EVANGELICALISM HAD REJECTED IN MAINLINE PROTESTANTISM. ... Evangelicalism is not healthy in conviction or spiritual discipline. Our theological defenses have been let down, and the infusion of revisionist theologies has affected large segments of evangelicalism. Much damage has already been done, but a greater crisis yet threatens” (Mohler, “Evangelical: What’s in a Name?” The Coming Evangelical Crisis, 1996, pp. 32, 33, 36).
d. Consider the example of Bruce Metzger, one of the foremost textual critics of the twentieth century. He has been upheld by Christianity Today as an evangelical scholar and his books are used by practically every evangelical Bible translator. Yet Metzger’s modernism is evident in the notes to the New Oxford Annotated Bible RSV (1973), which he co-edited with Herbert May. It first appeared in 1962 as the Oxford Annotated Bible and was the first Protestant annotated edition of the Bible to be approved by a Roman Catholic authority. It was given an imprimatur in 1966 by Cardinal Cushing, Archbishop of Boston. Metzger wrote many of the rationalistic notes in this volume and put his editorial stamp of approval on the rest. Consider some excerpts:
(1) Introductory Notes to the Pentateuch: “The Old Testament may be described as the literary expression of the religious life of ancient Israel. ... The Israelites were more history-conscious than any other people in the ancient world. Probably as early as the time of David and Solomon, out of a matrix of myth, legend, and history, there had appeared the earliest written form of the story of the saving acts of God from Creation to the conquest of the Promised Land, an account which later in modified form became a part of Scripture.” (Bruce Metzger and Herbert May, New Oxford Annotated Bible, Introduction to the Old Testament).
(2) Note on the Flood: “Archaeological evidence suggests that traditions of a prehistoric flood covering the whole earth are heightened versions of local inundations, e.g. in the Tigris-Euphrates basin.” (Metzger and May, New Oxford Annotated Bible).
(3) Note on Job: “The ancient folktale of a patient Job circulated orally among oriental sages in the second millennium B.C. and was probably written down in Hebrew at the time of David and Solomon or a century later (about 1000-800 B.C.).” (Metzger and May, New Oxford Annotated Bible).
(4) Note on Psalm 22:12-13: “the meaning of the third line [they have pierced my hands and feet] is obscure.” (In fact, it is not obscure; it is a prophecy of Christ's crucifixion!)
(5) Note on Isaiah: “Only chs. 1-39 can be assigned to Isaiah’s time; it is generally accepted that chs. 40-66 come from the time of Cyrus of Persia (539 B.C.) and later, as shown by the differences in historical background, literary style, and theological emphases. ... The contents of this section [chs. 56-66] (sometimes called Third Isaiah) suggest a date between 530 and 510 B.C., perhaps contemporary with Haggai and Zechariah (520-518); chapters 60-62 may be later.”
(6) Note on Jonah: “The book of Jonah is didactic narrative which has taken older material from the realm of popular legend and put it to a new, more consequential use” (Metzger and May, New Oxford Annotated Bible).
(7) Notes on 2 Peter: “The tradition that this letter is the work of the apostle Peter was questioned in early times, and internal indications are almost decisive against it. ... Most scholars therefore regard the letter as the work of one who was deeply indebted to Peter and who published it under his master’s name early in the second century.” [Note: Those who believe this nonsense must think the early Christians were liars and fools and the Holy Spirit was on vacation.]
(8) Notes from “How To Read The Bible With Understanding”: “The opening chapters of the Old Testament deal with human origins. They are not to be read as history ... These chapters are followed by the stories of the patriarchs, which preserve ancient traditions now known to reflect the conditions of the times of which they tell, though they cannot be treated as strictly historical. ... it is not for history but for religion that they are preserved ... When we come to the books of Samuel and Kings ... Not all in these books is of the same historical value, and especially in the stories of Elijah and Elisha there are legendary elements. ... We should always remember the variety of literary forms found in the Bible, and should read a passage in the light of its own particular literary character. Legend should be read as legend, and poetry as poetry, and not with a dull prosaic and literalistic mind.”
e. Thus, the fact that the New International Version was produced by “evangelical scholars” does not mean that it is sound.
2. The New International Version is based on the corrupt United Bible Societies Greek New Testament as opposed to the Greek Received Text underlying the Reformation Bibles.
The omissions alone in the critical Greek text equate the deletion of the entire books of 1 and 2 Peter from the New Testament.
The NIV omits or casts serious doubt upon 41 entire verses in the New Testament.
It omits outright the following seventeen: Matthew 17:21; 18:11; 21:44; 23:14; Mark 7:16; 9:44, 46; 11:26; 15:28; Luke 17:36; 23:17; Jn. 5:4; Acts 8:37; 15:34; 24:7; 28:29; Romans 16:24; 1 John 5:7.
It further casts serious doubt upon another 24 verses (Mk. 16:9-20; Jn. 7:53-8:11) by separating them from the previous text and by adding footnotes that discredit their textual authority.
The NIV omits a significant portion of another 174 verses, not including those it casts doubt upon with marginal notes.
The NIV, following the critical Greek text, also weakens key doctrines of the Bible. An example is the doctrine of Christ’s deity. The omissions and changes in the NASV do not result in the complete removal of this doctrine, but they do result in an overall weakening of it. Consider the following examples:
Mark 9:24 -- the father’s testimony that Jesus is “Lord” omitted.
Mark 16:9-20 -- This glorious passage is set apart from the rest of the book and a footnote says, “The most reliable early manuscripts and other ancient witnesses do not have Mark 16:9-20,” implying that it is not authentic. With this omission, the Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Mark ends with no resurrection and ascension and with the disciples fearful and confused.
Luke 23:42 -- The thief’s testimony that Jesus is “Lord” omitted.
John 1:14, 18; 3:16, 18 -- “only begotten Son” changed to “one and only”
John 1:27 -- “is preferred before me” omitted
John 3:13 -- “which is in heaven” omitted, thus removing this powerful witness to Christ’s omnipresence
John 6:69 -- “thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God” is changed to “you are the Holy One of God,” thus destroying this powerful witness that Jesus is the very Christ, the Son of God, a doctrine that was under fierce assault in the early centuries.
John 8:59 -- “but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by” is replaced with “but Jesus hid Himself, slipping away from the temple grounds,” thus destroying the miracle of this scene. Whereas the Received Text and the King James Bible teaches here that Jesus supernaturally went out right through the midst of the angry crowd that was trying to kill Him, the modern versions have Jesus merely hiding Himself.
Acts 8:37 -- the eunuch’s glorious testimony that Jesus Christ is the Son of God is omitted
Romans 14:10 -- “Christ” changed to “God”; the “judgment seat of Christ” identifies Jesus Christ directly with Jehovah God (Isaiah 45:23), whereas the “judgment seat of God” does not.
1 Corinthians 15:47 -- “the Lord” omitted
Ephesians 3:9 -- “by Jesus Christ” omitted
1 Timothy 3:16 -- “God” omitted, thus removing one of clearest references to Jesus Christ as God in the New Testament
1 John 5:7 -- The glorious Trinitarian confession is omitted, even though it has more manuscript and versional evidence than most of the Alexandrian readings preferred by modern textual critics, including many of those listed above. For example, the omission of Mark 16:9-20 is supported by only three Greek manuscripts of the hundreds that are extant and that contain this passage.
The same can be demonstrated for the doctrine of the virgin birth, the blood atonement, the ascension, and ecclesiastical separation. All of these are weakened in the modern versions.
The NIV further attacks the doctrine of fasting. Though the word “fasting” is not removed entirely, the important doctrine that fasting is a essential part of spiritual warfare is removed. In this context the NIV omits the entire verse of Matthew 17:21, plus the word “fasting” in Mark 9:29; Acts 10:30; 1 Corinthians 7:5; 2 Corinthians 6:5; and 2 Corinthians 11:27.
For a more through study of the doctrinal issue in the NIV see the question “Is it true that there are no significant doctrinal differences between the modern versions and the KJV?”
3 Not only is the NIV based on a corrupt Greek text but also it is a loose dynamic equivalency translation.
This is admitted in the Preface to the NIV: “The first concern of the translators has been the accuracy of the translation and its fidelity to the THOUGHT of the biblical writers. ... they have striven for MORE THAN A WORD-FOR-WORD TRANSLATION.” They go on to give an example of how they have given “dynamic” renderings. “Because for most readers today the phrase ‘the LORD of hosts’ and ‘God of hosts’ have little meaning, this version renders them ‘The LORD Almighty and God Almighty’” (NIV Preface, p. vi). They admit that “Lord of hosts” is the exact translation, but they change this for the sake of “the readers.” This is dynamic equivalency. Instead of translating literally and then educating the readers to understand the literal rendering, the dynamic equivalency translator believes he has the authority to change God’s words.
The following example of dynamic equivalency in the NIV is from Dr. D.A. Waite’s book Defending the King James Version: “[The NIV is so inferior] when it comes to the Words of God. [For example 2 Sam. 19:12 has ‘ye are my bones and my flesh.’] The word ‘bone’ in Hebrew is etsem and ‘flesh’ is basar. The NIV renders that expression ‘flesh and blood.’ Now, the word ‘blood’ is dam, not etsem. Blood is blood and bones are bones, but the NIV translators don’t care. They’re giving the THOUGHT. They say, ‘Those stupid Hebrews, they say “flesh and bones.” Don’t they know any better? Don’t they know it should be “flesh and blood”? So we’re going to translate it “flesh and blood.”’ ... Now, here’s the thing: Whenever someone says, ‘The King James Bible says this, but the NIV makes it a little plainer,’ you don’t know whether it really is plainer or just a fairy tale, because the NIV translators don’t stick to the WORDS of God. What the NIV says is not necessarily what the Hebrew or Greek says.”
Consider Matthew 5:18, which is a New Testament example of dynamic equivalency in the NIV:
KJV “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.”
NIV “I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.”
The Greek word translated “jot” in the KJV is iota, which is the eighth letter of the Hebrew alphabet, and “tittle” is from the Greek keraia, referring to a tiny part of a Hebrew letter. The term “jots and tittles” has become a part of the common English language because it has been in the English Bible for more than six centuries. At least “tittle” has. The first English Bible, the Wycliffe, had “one letter or one tittle.” William Tyndale changed this to “one jot or one title” in 1525. The translators of the KJV in 1611 left this intact. Many people whose mother tongue is English who have never opened a Bible are familiar with the term “every jot and tittle.” Thus, there was no reason for the NIV translators to change this into their less literal and clumsier rending.
Further, because of this change the reader of the NIV cannot see that the Lord Jesus was talking specifically about the Hebrew language. This is an important matter; because this verse shows that Christ gave His blessing to the Hebrew text, exalting its authority in every detail. It also shows that Christ was not using a Greek translation (i.e., the Septuagint). Yet none of this is evident in the NIV because they have chosen to interpret rather than translate.
The NIV is so filled with this type of thing that the English reader can never know if he is reading a true rendering of the Hebrew and Greek or merely a translator’s interpretation.
4. The NIV’s translation of Micah 5:2 is heretical.
KJV “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.”
NIV “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.”
This, of course, is a messianic prophecy. When the wise men from the east inquired about the birth of the Messiah, it was because of this verse that the Jewish leaders knew that He would be born in Bethlehem (Matt. 2:1-6).
First of all we see that the NIV has changed “thousands of Judah” to “clans of Judah.” The Hebrew word here, “eleph,” is used in 391 verses and ALWAYS means “thousands.”
The most serious error in the NIV translation of Micah 5:2, though, is in the last part of the verse which says “whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.” Whereas the KJV tells us in Micah 5:2 that Jesus Christ is from everlasting, the NIV says he had an origin in ancient times. An origin means a beginning. That is the ancient heresy of Arianism, which is held today by the Jehovah’s Witnesses and many other cults.
Does the Hebrew allow for the New International Version rendering of Micah 5:2? The verse could POSSIBLY be translated that way except for one thing, and that is its Messianic nature.
The word translated “everlasting” is “owlam,” which is the common Hebrew word for everlasting in the Old Testament. It is translated “for ever” (Gen. 3:22), “always” (Gen. 6:3), “everlasting” (Gen. 9:16), “perpetual” (Gen. 9:12), “never” (Jud.2:1), “ever more” (2 Sam. 22:51), “without end” (Is. 45:17), “eternal” (Is. 60:15), “continuance” (Is. 64:5).
“Owlam” is translated “ancient times” once in the KJV (Ps. 77:5). Why, then, did the KJV translators not translate it “ancient times” in Micah 5:2? It is the context that defines words in the Bible, and the context of Micah 5:2 requires “everlasting.” In fact, of the 414 verses that contain “owlam,” only a handful has a sense of anything other than everlasting. More than 90% of the time, the word is unequivocal in its reference to everlasting.
Even more significantly, “owlam” is the Hebrew word that describes the eternality of God. For example,
God himself is owlam (Ps. 102:12)
God’s rule is owlam (Ps. 66:7)
God’s throne is owlam (Ps. 93:2)
God’s mercy is owlam (Ps. 100:5)
God’s truth is owlam (Ps. 117:2)
God’s righteousness is owlam (Ps. 119:142)
God’s judgments are owlam (Ps. 119:150)
God’s name is owlam (Ps. 72:17; 135:13)
God’s kingdom is owlam (Ps. 145:13)
With this in mind, we see how false the NIV rendering of Micah 5:2 is. Knowing that the verse refers to the Son of God, it naturally requires the translation of everlasting or eternal or for ever.
Then there is the word “origins” in the New International Version edition of Micah 5:2. Is that an acceptable translation? This is the Hebrew word “mowtsaah,” meaning to descend or proceed from, and it could mean origin -- IF it referred to someone other than the Messiah. Knowing, though, that it is a direct reference to Jesus Christ, it is false to translate it as “origins.”
All of this is similar to the situation with Isaiah 7:14. In the 1950s, Bible believers charged the translators of the Revised Standard Version with heresy when they translated “almah” as “young woman” in Isaiah 7:14, and they were right in so doing. Though the Hebrew word “almah” itself could possibly be translated “young woman” in some instances, it cannot be translated “young woman” in Isaiah 7:14 for the simple fact that the verse clearly describes the virgin birth of Jesus Christ, as we see in Matt. 1:23. The King James Bible translators and their predecessors rendered “almah” as “maid” or “damsel” three times of the seven it is used, but in Isaiah 7:14 they had no doubt that it should be “virgin.” The context determines the translation.
The New International Version is not a dependable and godly translation. That it is so deemed by so many evangelicals merely demonstrates the lack of discernment that predominates within evangelicalism today.
5. The NIV removes “hell” entirely from the Old Testament, replacing it with “grave” or “death.”
The Old Testament word translated “hell” in the King James Bible is “sheol.” It has more than one meaning. Most frequently it refers to the dwelling place of the spirits of the dead. It is translated “hell” 56 times in the King James Bible. The same word also refers to the grave at times and is translated “grave” in 29 verses in the KJV (Gen. 37:35; 42:38; 44:29, 31; 2 Ki. 2:6, 9; Job 7:9; 14:13; 17:13; 31:13; 24:19; Ps. 6:5; 30:3; 31:17; 49:14, 15; 88:3; 89:48; 141:7; Prov. 1:12; 30:16; Ecc. 9:10; Song 8:6; Is. 14:11; 38:10, 18; Ezek. 31:15; Hos. 13:14) and “pit” in three verses (Num. 16:30, 33; Job 17:16).
The New International Version makes no distinction between sheol as hell or sheol as the grave and always translates sheol as grave or death. This is a great error.
Consider some examples:
KJV “For a fire is kindled in mine anger, and shall burn into the lowest hell...”
NIV “For a fire has been kindled by my wrath, one that burns to the realm of death below.”
Comment: Fire does not burn in the “realm of death” in any sense other than in hell, so why not translate it as hell?
KJV “It is as high as heaven; what canst thou do? deeper than hell: what canst thou know?”
NIV “They are higher than the heavens -- what can you do? They are deeper than the depths of the grave -- what can you know?”
Comment: The grave is not deep in comparison with heaven. Job is not referring to the grave but to the depths of hell.
KJV “The wicked shall be turned into Hell, and all the nations that forget God.”
NIV “The wicked return to the grave, all nations that forget God.”
Comment: Psalm 9:17 describes God’s judgment upon the wicked. The judgment is not merely death and the grave but eternal hell.
KJV “Let death seize upon them, and let them go down quick into hell.”
NIV “Let death take my enemies by surprise; let them go down alive to the grave.”
Comment: There is nothing special about going down into the grave. That is the lot of all men, including the author of this Psalm. The judgment that the Psalmist is describing is not mere death and the grave but eternal hell.
KJV “Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell.”
NIV “Her feet go down to death; her steps lead straight to the grave.”
Comment: This is progressive parallelism. The Proverb describes God’s judgment upon immorality, leading first to death and from there to eternal hell.
KJV “...her guests are in the depths of hell.”
NIV “...her guests are in the depths of the grave.”
Comment: The grave has no “depths.” This describes the judgment of hell for those who pursue immorality.
KJV “The way of life is above to the wise, that he may depart from hell beneath.”
NIV “The path of life leads upward for the wise to keep him from going down to the grave.”
Comment: To translate this as the grave results in nonsense. The way of life does not keep one out of the grave, for “it is appointed unto men once to die” (Heb. 9:27). The way of life refers to salvation, and it keeps the sinner out of hell, just as the KJV says.
KJV “Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure...”
NIV “Therefore the grave enlarges its appetite and opens its mouth without limit.”
Comment: It is not the grave that is enlarged; how can the grave enlarge itself? It is hell beyond the grave that is enlarged because of man’s stubborn hold to sin and rejection of God’s salvation.
These are only a few examples of how the NIV removes hell entirely from the Old Testament. This plays into the hands of those who are watering down the doctrine of eternal, fiery hell. The Jehovah’s Witnesses, for example, who deny that hell is a place of eternal fiery punishment, treat these Old Testament passages after the same fashion as the NIV. So do the Seventh-day Adventists. In fact, many “evangelicals” are also denying or questioning the biblical doctrine of hell. In 1993 Billy Graham said: “When it comes to a literal fire, I don’t preach it because I’m not sure about it. When the Scripture uses fire concerning hell, that is possibly an illustration of how terrible it’s going to be--not fire but something worse, a thirst for God that cannot be quenched” (Graham, interview with Richard Ostling, Time magazine, Nov. 15, 1993). Robert Schuller says: “And what is ‘hell’? It is the loss of pride that naturally follows separation from God--the ultimate and unfailing source of our soul’s sense of self-respect” (Schuller, Self-Esteem: The New Reformation, 1982, pp. 14-15). Others who deny the biblical doctrine of hell are Clark Pinnock, Herbert Vander Lugt of the Radio Bible Class (What Does the Bible Say about Hell, 1990), F.F. Bruce, Richard Quebedeaux, Kenneth Kantzer (former editor of Christianity Today), John R.W. Stott, George Ladd of Fuller Seminary, and J.I. Packer.
6. The NIV removes the term “sodomite” from the Bible.
The Hebrew word “qadesh” is translated “shrine prostitute” in Deut. 23:17 and 1 Kings 14:24; 15:12; 22:46; and 2 Kings 23:7 in the New International Version; whereas this word is translated “sodomite” in the King James Bible.
The translation “male temple prostitutes” is an interpretation, as is “sodomite.” According to Strong’s, the Hebrew word “qadesh” means “a (quasi) sacred person, i.e. (techn.) a (male) devotee (by prostitution) to licentious idolatry.” In the Authorized Version this Hebrew word is translated “sodomite” and “unclean.” The term “sodomite” was brought over from the Geneva Bible, because the translators understood that the sin described in these passages is associated with the moral perversion of old Sodom. Many older Bible dictionaries connect sodomy with homosexuality in general. Eadie (1872) defines Sodomite as “not dwellers in Sodom, but practisers of unnatural lust--the sin of Sodom. This sin was consecrated in many Eastern kingdoms.” The People’s Bible Encyclopedia by Charles Randall Barnes (1903) says: “The sodomites were not inhabitants of Sodom, nor their descendants, but men consecrated to the unnatural vice of Sodom (Gen. 19:5; comp. Rom. 1:27) as a religious rite.” Note that Barnes associates the sin of sodomy with the homosexuality described in Romans 1:27. Hastings (1898) says: “The term ‘Sodomite’ is used in Scripture to describe offences against the laws of nature which were frequently connected with idolatrous practices.” Note that Hastings did not claim that the offences against the laws of nature were restricted solely to idolatrous temple worship.
The term “sodomy” in these passages doubtless did refer, at least in part, to homosexuality associated with immoral pagan religions, but IT WAS NOT LIMITED TO THAT. The problem with the NIV translation is that it LIMITS this sin to that particular connection rather than allowing the larger meaning of homosexual activity in general. It creates the illusion that the practice of sodomy in the Old Testament and the sin of Sodom itself were limited to male prostitution and plays right into the hands of those today who are trying to excuse their sin by claiming that the Bible only forbids homosexual prostitution rather than homosexuality in general.
7. The NIV confuses Satan with Jesus Christ in Isaiah 14:12.
KJV “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!”
NIV “How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations.”
The Hebrew word translated “Lucifer, son of the morning” in the KJV and “morning star, son of the dawn” in the NIV is “halal.” According to Strong’s Concordance, it means “to be clear (orig. of sound, but usually of color); to shine; hence, to make a show, to boast; and thus to be (clamorously) foolish; to rave; causatively, to celebrate; also to stultify.” In the KJV this Hebrew word is translated boast, celebrate, commend, glory, give (light), be (make, feign self) mad (against), give in marriage, (sing, be worthy of) praise, rage, renowned, shine.” This Hebrew word is never translated “morning star” or “star” in the King James Bible, because that is not what it means.
Satan is not the morning star, but Jesus Christ is. Twice in Scripture Jesus Christ is referred to as a star. The prophecy in Numbers 24:17 describes the Messiah as “a Star out of Jacob.” The Hebrew word for star here is “kowkab,” which is always translated star or stargazer. In Revelation 22:16 the Lord Jesus describes Himself as “the bright and morning star.” The Greek word here is “aster,” which is the standard word for star.
Thus the KJV, by accurately translating the Hebrew and Greek, maintains a clear distinction between Satan who is Lucifer, the boastful shining one, and Jesus Christ, the bright and morning star.
To mistranslate Isaiah 14:12 as “morning star,” as the NIV does, creates great confusion.
8. The latest editions of the NIV use “inclusive language.”
Two inclusive language editions appeared in 1995.
The NEW INTERNATIONAL READER’S VERSION (NirV) was published by Zondervan for the copyright owner, the International Bible Society. It is a simplified NIV aimed at the third-grade reading level and also incorporates “inclusive language” techniques.
The NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION POPULAR VERSION (Inclusive Language Edition) was published by Hodder and Stoughton in Britain. “Brethren” is replaced by “brothers and sisters”; “man” is replaced by “humankind” or “people”; etc.
Following are some examples of the NIV Popular Version:
KJV: “What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?”
INCLUSIVE LANGUAGE NIV: “What are mere mortals that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?”
KJV: “He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken.”
INCLUSIVE LANGUAGE NIV: “He protects all their bones, not one of them will be broken.”
This translation corrupts a key prophetic passage. Psalm 34:20 refers to Christ and the fact that His bones were not broken on the cross. John 19:32-36 was a direct fulfillment of Psalm 34:20. The inclusive language NIV changes the singular masculine pronoun “his” to the plural pronoun “their,” thereby destroying its prophetic significance.
KJV: “Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.”
INCLUSIVE LANGUAGE NIV: “Rebuke a brother or sister who sins, and if they repent, forgive them.”
KJV: “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.”
INCLUSIVE LANGUAGE NIV: “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day.”
KJV: “Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.”
INCLUSIVE LANGUAGE NIV: “Those who love me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.”
This is typical of the incredible perversion of Scripture represented by the inclusive language NIV. The singular pronouns are changed to plural. Christ’s sweet and lovely promise to individuals is rendered ineffective by the change to general plural pronouns. Further, “my words” is changed to “my teaching,” thus rendering Christ’s emphasis on the words of Scripture ineffective by replacing it with the more general idea of teaching.
KJV: “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”
INCLUSIVE LANGUAGE NIV: “I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with them, and they with me.”
Again, Christ’s tender promise to individuals who receive Him is destroyed by the corrupt inclusive language rendition.
Pressure to produce an inclusive language edition of the NIV came from feminists and from other Bible publishers. The motive was economic. Larry Walker, a member of the NIV’s Committee for Biblical Translation (CBT), noted that pressure for such a version came from women who “felt left out” by the traditional language. Pressure also came from the publishers of the NIV in England (Hodder and Stoughton). “In England, sales of the New Revised Standard Version, a unisex language revision of the RSV, put such pressure on the NIV that Hodder and Stoughton demanded a new version in order to compete” (World, March 29, 1997, p. 12). Thus we see the money factor, which plays such a large role in the modern Bible version issue.
In 1997 there was an outcry against the inclusive language NIV in the United States. Protests came from World magazine, J.I. Packer, James Dobson, Paige Patterson of the Southern Baptist Convention, and others.
The International Bible Society (IBS), which holds the copyright on the NIV, bowed under the pressure of negative publicity and announced that it had “abandoned all plans for gender-related changes in future editions of the New International Version.” They published the following four-point promise at the Zondervan web site --
1) IBS has ABANDONED ALL PLANS FOR GENDER-RELATED CHANGES IN FUTURE EDITIONS of the New International Version (NIV).
2) The present (1984) NIV text will continue to be published. THERE ARE NO PLANS FOR A FURTHER REVISED EDITION.
3) IBS will begin immediately to revise the New International Readers Version (NIrV) in a way that reflects the treatment of gender in the NIV. IBS is directing the licensees who publish the current NIrV to published only the revised NIrV as soon as it is ready.
4) IBS will enter into negotiations with the publisher of the NIV in the U.K. on the matter of ceasing publication of its "inclusive language" edition of the NIV.
In the FBIS article “Inclusive Language NIV to Be Discontinued,” dated May 29, 1997, we gave the following warning:
“It is too early to know the future of inclusive language editions of the NIV. Could it not be that the IBS is planning merely to wait a few more years when the climate is a little more lenient and then publish its inclusive language NIV in the States? Given the history of these Bible publishers, we are convinced this is precisely what will happen. We recall that it was only a few weeks ago that IBS International President Lars Dunberg made the following statement to Priscilla Papers, a publication of Christians for Biblical Equality, an organization which supports female leadership: ‘Zondervan and IBS WILL PUBLISH an inclusive version of the NIV in the American market. It is not clear yet if that will be done before the major revision that IBS has been working on with the Committee on Bible Translation, which has been going on for the last five-six years. It may be that the next edition will include all those changes, and in that case will not be released until the year 2000. These things are still being debated; that's why we have not been public with it’ (Lars Dunberg, Priscilla Papers, April 19, 1997). Nowhere in their press release do they state that inclusive language translation is wrong. In fact, they defend the practice and quote ‘many Bible scholars’ who claim that inclusive language translations ‘more clearly reflect shifts in English language usage, and more precisely render the meaning of the original texts into English for current and future generations.’ They do not repent of corrupting God's Word; they repent of stirring up trouble that might affect their financial bottom line. Millions of dollars are on the line here, and that is a powerful incentive.”
Subsequent events have proven the accuracy of this warning. Consider the following facts:
First, consider the New International Reader’s Version (NirV), which the IBS said it would revise “in a way that reflects the treatment of gender in the NIV.” One would assume that this means all of the inclusive language would be removed, but in fact this is not the case. I have a copy of the NirV printed in September 1999, which I purchased at a bookstore in Kathmandu, Nepal, in December 2004. It definitely contains inclusive language. Following is an example:
KJV: “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.”
NirV: “I’ll give THOSE who overcome the right to sit with me on my throne. In the same way, I overcame. Then I sat down with my Father on his throne. THOSE who have ears should listen to what the Holy Spirit says to the churches.”
Further, in 2002 the International Bible Society broke its promise in the baldest way when it published the TODAY’S NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION (New Testament). This incorporated inclusive language translations in some of the places mentioned above, such as “I will come and eat with them, and they with me” in Rev. 3:20 and “Anyone who believes in me will live, even though they die” in John 11:25.
The 2005 edition of the NIV (Today’s New International Version) continued to use inclusive language, so much so that even the Southern Baptist Convention rejected it and refused to sell it in its bookstores, retaining the 1984 NIV instead.
The 2011 edition of the NIV also contains inclusive language, and it is slated to replace the 1984 and 2005 versions.
For example, 1 John 4:20 reads, “If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ yet hates his brother or sister, he is a liar.”
The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, which holds to the headship of the husband in marriage, refused to endorse the new version because the changes alter “the theological direction and meaning of the text” (“New Bible Draws Critics,” AP, March 17, 2011).
IS IT TRUE THAT THE NIV IS OWNED BY A PUBLISHER OF PORNOGRAPHY?
The following is adapted from an article by Jay Klopfenstein in The Christian News, Dec. 20, 1993, p. 20. I have included some additional material.
1. Zondervan Corp., once a respected Christian publishing firm, Grand Rapids, Michigan, became a public company via a big initial public stock offering some 15 years ago. This was about the same time the NIV Bible was published by an outfit in New York called the International Bible Society, which financed the project. They then gave Zondervan Corp. the exclusive rights to the publication of the NIV version of the Bible.
2. After the initial offering, the stock’s price rose moderately but later the price fell sharply and many investors lost money. In 1985, a New Jersey investor filed a lawsuit which said he was induced to buy Zondervan stock because of false statements the company made to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). In 1989 it was widely reported in the press: “Zondervan Corp. of Grand Rapids, Michigan, reached a $3.57 million out-of-court settlement with investors who contend they lost money when irregularities were found in the religious publisher’s financial records.”
3. By 1988, Zondervan, suffering from declining sales, was in financial trouble as a result of expanding too fast in the early 1980’s. In July 1985, the Wall Street Journal reported: “In 1978, the company introduced the New International Version of the Bible, which is the market leader in Bible sales--in the past two years several investors have bought and sold stakes in Zondervan, sparking speculation that the company had found a buyer. In May an investor group had made a $10.50 a share offer, but the two sides couldn’t reach an agreement.”
4. In 1988 aggressive media magnate Rupert Murdoch bought Zondervan for $56.7 million or $13.50 per share.
5. In 1990 Zondervan’s parent company, Rupert Murdoch’s Harper and Row, merged with William Collins and became HarperCollins, the publisher of many exceedingly modernistic titles that tear down the infallibility of Scripture and the deity of Jesus Christ. These include the works of Karl Barth, John Crossan, C.H. Dodd, Nels Ferre, Harry Emerson Fosdick, Reginald Fuller, and Frederick Grant, to name a few.
6. Zondervan operates a large chain of Christian bookstores. Since they are actually owned by a secular corporation, it is no wonder that so many Christian bookstores today are worldly and are filled with psychology, self-esteemism, ecumenism, novels, corrupt Bible translations, and rock music!
7. Murdoch, an international world citizen who started in Australia, was building a media empire via his company, News Corp. The following month, the tycoon Murdoch gobbled up the nation’s largest circulation magazine, TV Guide, also Seventeen and Good Food magazines plus the Daily Racing Form on a $3 billion cash binge which was the second largest media deal ever. In recent years Murdoch has built a media empire worldwide with revenues over $10 billion (64 percent in U.S.A., 19 percent in United Kingdom and 17 percent in Australia and the Pacific Basin). Holdings include Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp., Fox Broadcasting Co., Fox Television Stations, Inc., Harper-Collins, TV Guide, and FSI (multi-page free standing inserts each week in 390 local Sunday newspapers). Also owned in the United Kingdom are The Times, The Sunday Times, Today, Sun, and News of the World. These account for one-third of all national newspapers sold in the U.K. market with the latter two having the largest daily and Sunday circulations respectively in the English-speaking world. Also 50 percent owned is British Sky Broadcasting Ltd., the leading U.K. direct-to-home satellite television broadcasting service. News Corp. is also the largest newspaper publisher in Australia. This year  expansion into Asia commenced with purchase of 66 percent interest in Star Television, the Hong Kong satellite TV company that broadcasts to 38 nations, mostly in the Middle and Far East. Also purchased were Chinese newspapers. Recently News Corp. signed six cable channels that will carry News Corp’s programming beginning around mid-1994, enabling the company to reach 25 percent of all U.S. households.
8. In the U.K., Harper-Collins’ religious division publishes the Good News Bible (Today’s English Version), which was translated by a theological modernist who denied that Jesus Christ is God. The Good News Bible removes the “blood” from most passages in the New Testament, replacing it with “death,” thus corrupting the essential doctrine of the vicarious blood atonement of Jesus Christ.
9. In the 1990s Zondervan was granted permission to use the official Roman Catholic New American Bible text with notes by Lyman Coleman for its “Catholic Serendipity Bible.” The New American Bible was published in 1970 by the Catholic Association of America with the Imprimatur of the Archbishop of Washington, Cardinal O’Boyle. The New American Bible contains unbelieving, modernistic notes that claim that many of the events in Genesis, including the worldwide flood, are not historical, that the book of Isaiah was written by at least two men, the book of Daniel was not written until after the death of Daniel, and that Paul did not write the book of Ephesians or the Pastoral Epistles.
10. News Corp’s owner and sales promoter of the NIV Bible, is one of the major producers of modern movies, television programs, and magazines. News Corp and other major studios circulate movies full of profanity. TV screens are filled with disgusting trash and violence. According to Morality in Media, “By the time the average child graduates from elementary school, he will have seen at least 8,000 murders and more than 100,000 other acts of violence on TV. A typical teenager watching TV sees nearly 14,000 sexual encounters in one year.”
11. Seventeen magazine is described as “flashy, racy, titillating, hip, jazzy, flirty, glamorous and sexy.” It is probably the most widely read magazine by teenagers and pre-teens in the U.S.A. with a circulation of 1.9 million. If pastors and church leaders, who contribute to Murdoch and his News Corp. by promoting and selling the NIV Bible, would pick up the current December 1993 issue at their local magazine store, they would see 138 pages from cover to back of articles and ads, slick and sexually suggestive. These pages exude weird hair-do’s, witchcraft-type attire and punk-rock sub-cultural sexually suggestive abnormalities.
12. Occasionally a church bulletin contains an insert from American Family Association, which lists the horrible immoralities on TV with advice to boycott the advertisers. On this same Sunday, the pastor urges his parishioners to buy the NIV Bible. What folly! How absurd!
For a more extensive study of the New International Version see Jack Moorman’s Modern Bibles: The Dark Secret, which is available from Plain Paths Publishers (P.O. Box 830, Columbus, NC 28722, http://www.plainpath.org, 828-863-2736, email@example.com).
Sharing Policy: Much of our material is available for free, such as the hundreds of articles at the Way of Life web site. Other items we sell to help fund our expensive literature and foreign church planting ministries. Way of Life's content falls into two categories: sharable and non-sharable. Things that we encourage you to share include the audio sermons, O Timothy magazine, FBIS articles, and the free eVideos and free eBooks. You are welcome to make copies of these at your own expense and share them with friends and family, but they cannot be posted to web sites. You are also welcome to use excerpts from the articles in your writings, in sermons, in church bulletins, etc. All we ask is that you give proper credit. Things we do not want copied and distributed freely are items like the Fundamental Baptist Digital Library, print editions of our books, electronic editions of the books that we sell, the videos that we sell, etc. The items have taken years to produce at enormous expense in time and money, and we use the income from sales to help fund the ministry. We trust that your Christian honesty will preserve the integrity of this policy. "For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward" (1 Timothy 5:18).
Goal:Distributed by Way of Life Literature Inc., the Fundamental Baptist Information Service is an e-mail posting for Bible-believing Christians. Established in 1974, Way of Life Literature is a fundamental Baptist preaching and publishing ministry based in Bethel Baptist Church, London, Ontario, of which Wilbert Unger is the founding Pastor. Brother Cloud lives in South Asia where he has been a church planting missionary since 1979. Our primary goal with the FBIS is to provide material to assist preachers in the edification and protection of the churches.
Offering: We take up a quarterly offering to fund this ministry, and those who use the materials are expected to participate (Galatians 6:6) if they can. We do not solicit funds from those who do not agree with our preaching and who are not helped by these publications. We seek offerings only from those who are helped. OFFERINGS can be mailed or made online with with Visa, Mastercard, Discover, or Paypal. For information see: www.wayoflife.org/about/makeanoffering.html.
Way of Life Literature
Publisher of Bible Study Materials