The NIV And The King James

Q. Could you please tell me why the Lord’s Prayer is not fully spoken in the NIV Bible but is completed in the King James version. Also there are quite a few anomalies between these two versions of the Bible.

A. The last sentence of the Lord’s Prayer, “For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory for ever,” was not part of the earliest Greek manuscripts. Some speculate that it was added when the early church adapted this prayer into a hymn.

As far as other differences are concerned, the King James and the NIV are translations from early Greek manuscripts. The King James is drawn from the popular translations of its time, while the NIV relies on older ones. All are copies of earlier originals and differ slightly. In addition, the King James is a word for word translation while the NIV tries to focus more on translating thought for thought to make for easier reading. There is vigorous debate on which is better, and frankly both have their weaknesses.

Many scholars believe that the NASB is the most literally accurate New Testament translation, but any of the popular translations will serve the average Bible reader well. I personally would stay away from paraphrases, which are less faithful to the original language and more reflective of the translators’ personal biases.

Regardless of which translation you prefer, the New Testament is by far the most thoroughly documented of all ancient books, second only to the Old Testament. There are over 5600 partial manuscripts still in existence dating as far back as 130 AD with a 99.5% internal consistency and covering nearly all of our modern Bible.

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