Your question was:

>>i am a Chistian and am wondering about a particular version of the bible: the NIV. i have heard by many that its translation is inaccurate and should be shunned, yet have seen many preachers make us of it. i would like to know if this version is acceptable or is it mans idea of what God said, like so many versions out there. also, could i get a list of versions that DO adhere to the origional texts? <<

We understand that it was the original autographs or writings of the apostles and prophets which were inspired (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 1 Cor. 14:37). Translations are not inspired. Thus, every Bible translation has its strengths and weaknesses. I recommend that as one studies the Bible he consult several translations to verify the wording and meaning of the text.

What we should look for are Bible translations which attempt to make word for word translations. Some such translations which can be recommended are the KJV, NKJV, ASV and NASV. Since the words were originally inspired, we ought to use translations which seek to provide as accurate word for word translations as possible. This does not always make for ease of readability, but it does, as a general rule, provide the reader with a reliable translation.

Some "translations" couldn't be farther from accurate translations. There are the so-called paraphrases which include The Living Bible and Good News for Modern Man. Very little reliability can be found here, since men have put into their own words what THEY think the text says.

Then, there are translations such as the NIV, which in many instances are reliable, but have a publishers bias which must be recognized. The NIV was translated by a group of Greek scholars who are Calvinistic and premillennial in theology. Thus, one can find elements of Calvinism in it. For instance, Romans 8 in the NIV reflects the Calvinistic tenet that man has a "sin nature". Yet, Romans 8 does not use such words in the Greek text. The translators became interpreters and commentators in this case.

The NIV is attractive to many because of its readability. In all fairness, not every verse in the NIV is suspect - far from it. Nevertheless, my advice is to error on the side of safety. I do not recommend the NIV as a primary study Bible, nor would I recommend its use from the pulpit. As a secondary comparison or study volume, it may have some merit. But it should always be checked against the Greek text.

Thanks again for your question. I hope this has helped you in some way.


Joe Price

Joe R Price

Bible Answers

Mt. Baker church of Christ