Should We Trust The New International Version?

Also published in paperback and titled:
"The Great News"
Reviewed by E. L. Bynum

"The New International Version" of the New Testament is now widely being heralded as a reliable and trustworthy version by evangelicals. (We shall hereafter refer to this version as NIV and the "King James Version" by KJV). We do not agree that it is trustworthy and reliable. In some respects is it better than the Revised Standard Version, the New English Bible, Good News for Modern Man and the Living Bible. But in the end it may be more dangerous than any of these because "a little leaven leveneth the whole lump" (1 Cor. 5:6). Many who would not accept the RSV and others may be led into accepting NIV which is contaminated with the same kind of leaven as the others. We will set forth our reasons for not trusting this version and let our readers make up their own mind.

NIV Omits Too Much Of The Bible!

The omission of one word or one letter is too much, but NIV goes much further than this and omits many complete verses. Please note some of these examples.

KJV Matt. 17:21, "Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting." NIV omits this verse from the text and places it in small print at the bottom of the page. The footnote says, "Some MSS add verse 21." (MSS is the abbreviation for manuscripts.).

KJV Matt. 18:11, "For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost." NIV omits this verse from the text and places it in the footnote and says, "Some MSS add verse 11."

KJV Matt. 23:14, "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretense make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation." NIV omits this verse in the same manner as above.

KJV Mark 7:16, "If any man have ears to hear, let him hear." NIV omits this verse and says, "Some early MSS add verse 16."

KJV Mark 9:44, "Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched." NIV omits this verse and does not even put it in the foot note.

KJV Mark 9:46, "Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched." NIV omits this verse.

KJV Mark 11:26, "But if ye do not forgive, neither will you Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses." NIV omits this verse from the text.

KJV Mark 15:28 "And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, And he was numbered with the transgressors." NIV omits this verse. Of course this is a blow at Christ since this refers to His fulfillment of Isa. 53:12.

KJV Luke 17:36, "Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left." NIV omits this verse that refers to His Second Coming.

KJV Luke 23:17, "(For of necessity he must release one unto them at the feast.)" NIV omits this verse.

KJV John 5:3,4, "...waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had." NIV omits all of this which is part of verse 3 and all of verse 4.

KJV Acts 8:37, "And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest, And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God." NIV omits this verse, even though the eunuch's question is recorded in verse 36 and is translated as follows: "Look, here is water. Why shouldn't I be baptized?" Philip's answer in verse 37 is omitted, and he baptizes him with no confession of faith if we are to believe NIV. This is a very serious matter involving the salvation of the soul and we believe it is a serious error to tamper with God's Word in this way.

KJV Acts 15:34, "Not-withstanding it pleased Silas to abide there still," NIV omits this verse.

KJV Acts 24:7 "But the chief captain Lysias came upon us, and with great violence took him away out of our hands." NIV omits verse 7 as well as part of verses 6 and 8.

KJV Acts 28:29, "And when he had said these words, the Jews departed and had great reasoning among themselves." NIV omits this verse.

KJV Rom. 16:24, "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen." NIV omits this verse and places it in the foot note also.

Above we have listed 16 whole verses that NIV has omitted. This writer believes that it would be deadly and dangerous to accept such a version as the Word of God. We believe that the New York Bible Society and the translators of NIV need to read and believe Deut. 4:2 and Rev. 22:18,19.

NIV Attacks Other Verses

KJV Matt. 21:44, "And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder." NIV Matt. 21:44, "He who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces, but he on whom it falls will be crushed." Even though NIV includes a weaker translation of this in the text, the footnote says, "Some MSS omit verse 44." This is a rather strong suggestion that it may not belong in the Bible at all. Matt. 12:47; 16:3 and Luke 22:43,44 are treated by NIV in the same shoddy and shameful way. To the uninformed reader, such footnotes will tend to destroy confidence in the Bible as the Word of God. The passage in Luke is the record of the angel strengthening Him as He sweat as it were great drops of blood in His Gethsemane agony. How sad to see this passage doubted!

NIV Says Mark 16:9-20 Not Reliable

At the end of Mark 16:8 there is a 2 inch black line through the center of the page. In books and periodicals this usually means the end of the chapter, passage or article. Just below this black line we find the following in NIV, "(The most reliable early MSS omit Mark 16:9-20.)" Then follows their translation of this passage in the same size type as the text. However it is clear from the long black line and their note, (which is not printed as a footnote at the bottom of the page, but right in the middle of the page), that the translators do not believe that this passage should be in the text. Some so-called fundamentalists welcome this opportunity to rid themselves of this passage since the baptismal regeneration groups quote v. 16 and the same handling occultist cling to v. 18. I for one think it is more important to rightly divide the Word of God, rather than seek to destroy it.

John W. Burgon wrote the book, "The Last Twelve Verses of Mark," clearly showing beyond any doubt that these verses are a part of God's Word. To this day Burgon's book has never been answered. These verses are not in the Vatican and Sinaitic manuscripts, but as Burgon shows, the area where it should have appeared was left blank.

NIV Denies The Woman Taken In Adultery

After John 7:52 there is another 2 inch black line. Then just below it is this quote, "The most reliable early MSS omit John 7:53-8:11." Then we see another line after 8:11. NIV gives a translation of these verses but clearly by lines and by statement indicate that it should not be in the text. So according to this version, the poor wretched woman of John 8 is still in her sins. Burgon and others have skillfully defended the inclusion of this passage. It belongs in the Word of God, and we shall accept no Bible that removes it from the text.

Words and phrases printed in ITALICS are found in the KJV, but omitted by NIV. Matt. 6:13, For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen." Matt. 9:14, "...repentance." Matt. 11:3, "...hell" (hades) is translated "depths" by NIV. Matt. 15:8, "This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth." Matt. 16:3, "Oh ye hypocrites." Matt. 19:9, "...and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery." Matt. 20:7, "...and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive." Matt. 20:16, "...for many be called, but few chosen." Matt. 20:22, "And be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with." Matt. 25:13, "...wherein the Son of Man cometh." Matt. 27:35, "...that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots." This is a quotation from Psa. 22:18. Mark 6:11, "Verily I say unto you, it shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city." Mark 10:21, "...take up thy cross." Mark 13:14, "...spoken by Daniel the prophet."

LUKE: The following printed in ITALICS are in the KJV but omitted from NIV. 1:28,"art thou among women"; 4:4, "...but by every Word of God"; 4:8, "...get thee behind me Satan"; 4:18, "He hath sent me to heal the broken hearted"; 7:31, "...and the Lord said"; 8:43, "...which had spent all that she had on physicians"; 11:2-4, "Our . . . which art in heaven . . . Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven so in earth . . . but deliver us from evil." How sad, the way they have mutilated the model prayer! 22:31, "...and the Lord said"; 22:64, "...they struck Him on the face"; 23:38, " letters of Greek and Latin and Hebrew."

JOHN: The following omitted in NIV. 1:27, "...preferred before me"; 3:13, "...which is in heaven"; 3:15, "...should not perish"; 11:41, "...where the dead was laid"; 16:16, "...because I go to the father."

ACTS: omissions in NIV. 7:30, "...of the Lord"; 7:37, "Him shall ye hear"; 10:6, "He shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do"; 15:18, "Known unto God are all his works from the foundation of the world"; 20:24, "But none of these things move me"; 23:9, "...let us not fight against God"; 28:16, "The centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard."

NIV omits the following: Rom. 8:1, "...who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit"; Rom. 13:9, "Thou shalt not bear false witness"; 1 Cor. 6:20, "...and in your spirit which are God's"; 1 Cor. 7:39, " the law"; 1 Cor. 11:24, "Take eat . . . broken for you"; 2 Cor. 10:4, "...but mighty through God"; Gal. 3:1, "...that you should not obey the truth"; Gal. 3:17; 4:7, " Christ", "...through Christ"; Eph. 5:30, "...of His flesh and of His bones"; Phil. 3:16, "..let us mind the same thing"; 1 Tim. 6:5, "...from such withdraw thyself"; Heb. 8:3, "...after the order of Melchisedek"; Heb. 10:30, "... sayeth the Lord"; Heb. 10:34, " heaven"; Heb. 11:11, "...was delivered of a child"; 1 Pet. 1:12, "...through the Spirit"; 1 Pet. 4:14, "...on their part He is evil spoken of, but on your part He is glorified"; 1 John 2:1, "...from the beginning"; 1 John 2:20, "...and ye know all things"; 1 John 4:3, "...Christ is come in the flesh"; 1 John 4:13, "...and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God"; Rev. 5:14, "...Him that liveth for ever and ever"; Rev. 11:17, "...and art come"; Rev. 14:5, "...before the throne of God"; Rev. 22:24, "...of them which are saved".

Remember that all of the above in italics has been removed in NIV! How can anyone say that NIV is the word of God? Shame upon men who will mutilate God's word in this manner!!!

NIV And The Deity Of Christ

NIV, like most of the new versions, tends to humanize our Lord Jesus Christ. The name "Christ" has been omitted in passage after passage. "Christ" is His messianic name, showing that He is the anointed one. In some cases when He is called "Jesus Christ" or "Jesus the Christ", NIV removes "Jesus" which tends to deny that Jesus is the Messiah. "Lord" is removed in some instances which is a blow against His Lordship. NIV does not deny the deity of Christ completely, but it does tend to humanize Him, as we are sure our readers can see.

The deity of Christ in the Gospels. ITALICS reveal the words removed in NIV.

Matthew: 1:25, "...first- born son,"; 8:29, "Jesus, thou Son of God?"; 16:20, "Jesus the Christ"; 24:36, "My Father"; NIV reads "the Father"; 27:54, "Truly this was the Son of God", NIV footnote says, "or a son". There is a world of difference in these two statements. Mark: 1:1, "Jesus Christ, the Son of God", NIV footnote says, "Some MSS omit the Son of God"; 9:24, "Lord, I believe"; 15:39, "Truly this man was the Son of God", NIV footnote says, "or a son". Luke: 2:23, "And Joseph and his mother marveled", NIV reads, "The child's father and mother"; 2:43, "Joseph and his mother", NIV reads "his parents"; 23:42, "And he said unto Jesus, Lord remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom", NIV removes "Lord" and this is a very important error that affects the salvation of the repentant thief and the deity and Lordship of our Savior. Omissions from John: 4:42, " indeed the Christ"; 6:47, "...he that believeth on me hath everlasting life"; 9:35, "Son of God", NIV changes to "son of Man"; NIV omits "begotten" from John 1:14,18; 3:16,18. Instead of "only begotten Son" NIV reads "one and only Son". This is incorrect, for every saved person is a "son of God." But in 1:14 and 18 "Son" is put in brackets which is to indicate that it does not belong in the text. "Begotten" is a translation of the Greek word "monogenes". It comes from two Greek words, "monos" and "gennao". "Monos" means "alone" or "only". "Gennao" means "begotten" of "begat", but NIV does not translate this at all.

ITALICS indicate omissions. Acts 2:37, "...according to the flesh He raised up Christ"; 7:30, "...of the Lord"; 9:6, "Lord what wilt thou have me to do?" This affects His deity and Saul's salvation. 13:33, "As it is also written in the second Psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee." NIV says, " I have become your Father." Quite a difference! 16:31 "Lord Jesus Christ"; Rom 9:5, NIV's translation plus the footnote make for confusion. Rom. 10:17, NIV changes "word of God" to "word of Christ" omitted twice in this verse. 1 Cor. 5:4, "Lord Jesus Christ", "Christ" omitted twice in this verse. 1 Cor. 9:1, "Jesus Christ our Lord"; 1 Cor 15:47, "the second man is the Lord from heaven"; 1 Cor. 16:22, "Lord Jesus Christ"; 1 Cor. 16:23, "Lord Jesus Christ"; 2 Cor. 4:6, "Jesus Christ"; 2 Cor. 4:10, "The Lord Jesus"; 2 Cor. 5:18, "Jesus Christ"; 2 Cor. 11:31, "Lord Jesus Christ"; Gal. 3:17; 4:7; 6:15 NIV omits "in Christ", "through Christ", and "For in Christ Jesus." 6:17, "Lord Jesus."

The following words that are printed in ITALICS are omitted from NIV.

Eph. 3:9, "God, who created all things by Jesus Christ"; Eph. 3:14, "for this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ"; Col. 1:2, "Peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ"; Col. 1:14, "Redemption through His blood"; Col. 1:28, "Christ Jesus"; 1 Thes. 1:1, "...from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ"; 1 Thes. 3:11,13, "Christ" omitted twice by NIV. 2 Thes. 1:8, "Lord Jesus Christ"; 1 Tim. 2:7, "in Christ"; 1 Tim. 5:21, "Lord Jesus Christ"; 2 Tim. 4:1, "Lord Jesus Christ"; 2 Tim. 4:22, "Lord Jesus Christ"; Titus 1:4, "Lord Jesus Christ"; Philemon 6, "Christ Jesus"; Heb. 3:1, "Christ Jesus"; 1 Pet. 5:10, "Christ Jesus"; 1 John 4:3, "Jesus Christ is come in the flesh"; 2 John 3, "...the Lord Jesus Christ"; Rev. 1:9, "Jesus Christ"; Rev. 12:17, "Jesus Christ".

"God Was Manifest In The Flesh"

KJV 1 Tim. 3:16, "And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness; God was manifest in the flesh..."

NIV 1 Tim. 3:16, "Beyond all question, the mystery of godliness is great; He appeared in a body..."

The KJV is very clear in showing that "God was manifest in the flesh", but NIV says "He appeared in a body..." The KJV shows that Jesus was God, while the NIV makes it unclear by substituting "He". We do not have space to discuss this at length, but Burgon proved that "God" is correct. Also, "True or False" edited by Dr. David Otis Fuller, contains 17 pages of solid proof of the KJV rendering written by Terence H. Brown.

Jesus Cannot Be Especially Emphatic In NIV

"Amen" is translated from a Hebrew word about 50 times in the New Testament KJV. NIV sometimes translated this word "Amen" and sometimes it is left out completely. This same Hebrew word is used to introduce or emphasize a statement many times and the KJV uniformly renders it "verily" as in Matt. 5:18,20; 6:2,5,16 and many other places. NIV usually translates this word as "I tell you the truth" or "I tell you". In the book of John "verily, verily" occurs 25 times, always on the lips of Jesus, and is thus rendered in the KJV. This is the especially emphatic use of the word. However, NIV does not render this in the especially emphatic form in even one instance, but translates it each time as "I tell you the truth." NIV will not allow Jesus to be especially emphatic. We think that "verily, verily" is correct, but the Revised Standard Version renders it better than NIV, by saying "truly, truly".

We cannot close without calling attention to at least two other passages badly mangled by NIV. KJV Acts 2:38, "Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins..." NIV renders this, "Repent and be baptized everyone of you, in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven." The changing of "for" to "so" is a blunder. Even though the KJV translates "eis" several different ways, it is never translated "so". If NIV is to be taken literally, then baptism is essential to salvation. KJV Heb. 1:3, "When he had by himself purged out sins..." NIV renders this, "After he had provided purification for sins..." The omission of "by himself" and "our" sins certainly weakens the text. No italics are used in the text of NIV, so this leaves them free to add words without the reader knowing this. The KJV uses italics to show the words added by the translators, and in our opinion any honest translation should do this.

Why Did NIV Turn Out So Badly?

1. We are convinced that the number one reason NIV is such a poor translation is because they used the wrong Greek text. From the "Preface" of NIV we quote, "The Greek text used in the work of translation was an eclectic one. No other piece of ancient literature has so much manuscript support as does the New Testament. Where existing texts differ, the translators make their choice of reading in accord with sound principles of textual criticism." Their "sound principles of textual criticism" should be labeled "unsound principles of textual criticism." We can thank the "unsound textual critics" for the many terrible versions in circulation today. It is clear that the translators have slavishly followed the Wescott and Hort text and textual theories. In spite of all their claims, this theory elevates the Vatican and Sinatic manuscripts above all others. When in fact these two manuscripts are among the most corrupt manuscripts in existence today. They did not rely on the Textus Receptus which the KJV was translated from, even though 90 to 95 percent of all manuscripts are in essential agreement with this text.

To prove the above statement we have checked on 151 key corruptions found in the Westcott-Hort text and we have found that NIV either in the text or in the footnotes have agreed 138 times or over 91% of the time. Out of 162 scriptures often corrupted by the new versions we find Westcott-Hort in agreement 93% of the time, and NIV in agreement 92% of the time. On the same basis the New English Version rates 92% and the Revised Standard Version 97%. Some highly recommend the New American Standard Version, but it also rates over 90% in agreement with these corrupt versions. The King James Version and the Textus Receptus rate 0%. The lower the percentage the better.

We do not doubt that some of the translators labored hard and long to produce a good version but they could not do it. Why? They followed modern textual criticism, and we are convinced that even the most fundamental scholars cannot come up with a good version of the Bible if they follow the modern textual theories. The best carpenter will fail if his lumber is rotten and decayed. Skill in any trade will go just so far, but if the craftsman is deceived into working with inferior material he will fail in the end. No where is this more evident than in Bible translation.

2. The second reason for NIV's poor quality may be found in the translators themselves. The Preface to NIV says, "Certain convictions and aims have guided the translators. They are all committed to the full authority and complete trustworthiness of the Scriptures, which they believe to be God's Word in written form." There is at least two things wrong with this statement. (1) While it sounds good on the surface, it is entirely too ambiguous to suit us. It is open to a number of interpretations, and this we believe they had to make it that way, in order to make up their 100 member committee. How much simpler to have said that all the translators believed in verbal (word for word) inspiration. I am sure that part of the committee does believe in verbal inspiration but until they say so in writing, we are going to doubt that they all do. (2) Frankly we are not impressed with the long list of names and the schools that they are associated with. It is very evident that the "New Evangelical" schools are heavily represented on the translation committee. Among others, we find that this committee contains 6 men from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and several from Fuller Wheaton, Dallas, and even Oral Roberts University. Why does Oral Roberts University need to be represented? How sad to see Clyde T. Francisco of Southern Baptist Theological Seminar represented. In the early 60's Dr. Ralph Elliott stirred a furor in the Southern Baptist Convention with his book, "The Message of Genesis." Dr. Elliott's book denied the historical accuracy of the first 12 chapters of Genesis. Adam meant mankind and Moses did not write the Pentateuch, the tower of Babel is a parable, Enoch was not translated, and the age of men before the flood is doubtful, these as well as other heresies are contained in Elliott's book. And where did Elliott get his ideas? In his introduction he said, "Though the material in this book is mine and I do not wish anyone else to be charged with its deficiencies, I do wish to express my appreciation to Dr. Clyde T. Francisco, my teacher and later a colleague on the faculty of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky. It was in an elective course in the Pentateuch under his guidance that I first gained inspiration and purpose to attempt a serious study of the Book of Genesis. Thus, I am sure that many of the insights which culminated in my own mind were placed there in seed-bed fashion by him." To this date we have never heard of Dr. Francisco denying this. Even the Revised Standard Version sponsors chose a better man from among Southern Baptist, when they chose Kyle M. Yates for the translation committee of the RSV. (3) The translators that even believe in verbal inspiration must not believe in the Divine preservation of the word of God, since they are searching for it among the manuscripts. What a mess! Surely God is not the author of such confusion.

3. We question this version on the basis of some of its enthusiastic supporters. Dr. Billy Graham wrote, "The New York Bible Society is rendering a distinct service to the English-speaking world by sponsoring a major new translation of the Bible by the leading evangelical scholars of America." That sounds good, but Billy Graham has endorsed the Revised Standard Version, Good News For Modern Man, and the Living Bible. So his endorsement is not reassuring. The National Association of Evangelicals has been in sympathy with the production of NIV, and many of the translators are members of this group. The NAE is shot through and through with new evangelicalism.

One church leader quoted in a NIV promotional brochure said, "I have read the New International Version and found that it preserves the dignity of the K.J.V. and the accuracy of the R.S.V. and the New American Standard Bible along with the free-flowing readability of the Living Bible." We believe he put NIV in the right class. Need we say more?