Bible Translations

Q. My bible of choice is now a parallel bible containing both KJV and NIV. I made this choice largely because of you – because you use the NIV and I’m an ardent student of your material. In using my new bible I was surprised to find out that some verses in the KJV are intentionally absent in the NIV. I’m sure your aware of this and so I was wondering about your position on using the NIV. Just to be clear – I think using both is valuable and I can’t imagine not using both in my own study.

A. The NIV Study Bible that I use puts questionable verses in the footnotes with an explanation of why they weren’t left in the text. The most frequent explanation is that the earliest and most reliable Greek texts didn’t contain the verse is question. I’m not sure if other versions of the NIV do that.

Every translation has its problems. Both the KJV and the NIV contain many errors when compared with the original languages, some due to the fact that words don’t always travel easily from language to language, and others due to the fact that all translators are biased.

I rely primarily on the NIV and KJV using one to cross check the other. I also spend a lot of time studying the words the writers originally used and the settings in which they wrote, trying to understand both their intent in writing and the context in which they wrote. I use the NIV on the site because it’s easy to read, knowing that I can point out and correct places that I think are misleading in my commentary.

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