Can we Trust the NIV?




Hey, have you had the crap scared out of you by this post on Facebook?

This coupled with the scary picture of the devil holding the NIV makes you want to throw it out right? If it does hang on just a second and lets really look at this.

Before we get into these things I first want to say, “Hi, my name is Casey and I’m a former King James Onlyist. {Hi, Casey (said, in a very creepy voice)}. I was pulled in by things like this and Gail Riplinger’s book and I thought every Bible but the King James was of the devil. When I allowed myself to clearly look at all sides, I found the facts, I found truth.

This post is not an attack on the King James, the only reason I’m even defending the NIV is because of how much traction this post on Facebook has gotten. There are those way more qualified than me to address this issue and I’ll link their stuff at the end. I want people to hear from someone who used to believe these claims and find like I did, none of them are based in fact or truth. Full disclosure, I do use the NIV now (I know, scary). In fact, the King James, NIV, Amplified, NKJV, New American Standard, and New Living Translation are all sitting on my desk. (Cue scary dark side music).

I do not believe this will do anything for a KJO person, Holy Spirit will have to take the blinders off the eyes. I’m writing this to let people know they can trust the NIV and that they don’t need to be afraid of these fear tactics of KJO’s. Now onto the Facebook post.


On the HarperCollins + Zondervan X satanic “bible” = demonic NIV, this is very simple. Many corporations have parent companies, publishers have imprints, smaller companies overseen by bigger ones. Zondervan has its own board and the NIV has a translation committee made up of Christians not unsaved people and lesbians (like some claim).

“The NIV has removed 64,575 words” as scary as that sounds something must be pointed out. King James Onlyist set the KJV as the standard, going so far as to dismiss the Hebrew/Greek text it was based from. The Hebrew and Greek must be the standard not the King James.


Now about those verses,

KJV: Matthew 17:21 “Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.”


NIV: Matthew 17:21


Seems scary. The NIV “removed” this verse, but wait, go down to the bottom of your NIV.

“Some manuscripts include here words similar to Mark 9:29”. In reality this has not been “removed” it’s not present in the majority of manuscripts. If that worries you, it shouldn’t you can still see this in Mark’s Gospel.

This is something called textual variants. We have to remember that the Bible was transcribed by hand, numerous times. Many times scribes would add marginal notes for clarity. These “missing verses” most times are marginal notes taken back out of the text. Manuscripts have been found in various locations and compared, this is why we have new translations.

What we need to note about the Gospels is that they were done by four writers, they are bound to tell the story differently, that doesn’t make anyone wrong, each person remembers different events and things click with people differently. What happened here is simple, to clear up perceived disagreement in the text, scribes took parts of Gospels and inserted them into others to present what they see as uniformity.

Back to the verses, Matthew 18:11 that is “missing” is Luke 19:10.
Matthew 23:14 that is “missing” is Luke 20:47.
Mark 7:16 that is “missing” is Mark 4:23. [If anyone has ears let him hear].
Mark 9:44 that is “missing” is verse 48. It’s not missing its four verses later. This same thing is found in Romans chapter eight verse one. The “second half” of the verse is “missing” but its verse four. The truth is there is no condemnation to them that are in Christ. We are convicted not condemned. That’s why the added words have been removed.

As you can see King James Onlyist are very dishonest, if you look at the footnotes in your NIV verses are not missing they are simply elsewhere. If the verse are not in the NIV text at all, this is because they are not found in the Hebrew/Greek manuscripts. Even then the footnote says something like is found on Acts 8:37. The verse is not in the NIV but the footnote says, “Some manuscripts include here Philip said, If you believe with all your heart you may. The eunuch answered I believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God”.

King James onlyist will try to make us think Jesus’ deity has been removed, salvation and many other doctrines have been removed this is simply untrue.

I want to point out something, if you get a copy of the 1611 King James Bible you will see textual marginal notes just like the NIV. The King James translators themselves said they wanted to make a good translation better. That’s what Bible translation is about. It’s been many years since 1611 and many discoveries have been made, surely we should compare manuscript pieces and make the text better.

If you want to know more about this issue there are wonderful resources, I simply want people to be able to trust their Bible, be it the KJV, the NIV, NKJV, NLT or NASB.

You can trust your NIV, in fact the 2011 edition lines up more with the Hebrew text than the original NIV, imagine that, they improved their own text. One thing I really enjoy is the 2011 edition restores the term Messiah in the Gospels in place of Christ. This is accurate knowing that Jesus came to the Jews not the Greeks. Each time a translation is updated it becomes, or should become better and more accurate. This is not a slam on the KJV but the standard text edition is 1769. Much has been found since then. I reference the KJV often but if we are honest, even if someone wants to use the KJV they have to admit that it is beneficial to look at versions that continually keep up with textual discoveries.

I hope this has helped put your mind at ease concerning your NIV and maybe even other versions you may like. Be sure that regardless of the version you read that Holy Spirit can teach you through it.

For the love of God’s word,


Resources to help us understand why we can trust the NIV:

The King James Only Controversy: Can you Trust Modern Translations by Dr. James White

Discussion between Onlyist and NASB, NIV, NKJV Committee Members. (Youtube Videos).

The NIV: The Making of a Contemporary Translation by Kenneth Barker

About Casey D. Bell

Bible teacher, blogger and reader of books on a mission to help people know Jesus and grow in your relationship with Him.
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