"Ye shall not add unto the Word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you." (Deuteronomy 4:2)
Below are just a handful of differences between the AV (Authorised Version, sometimes called the King James Version) and the NIV (New International Version), followed by comments on them.
The Minority Text, (on which the NIV is based), differs from the Majority Text (on which the AV is based) in over 5,000 places ! So it is impossible to list them all here !
Please note, that if you own a NIV Bible, some of the NIV verses here may differ slightly from your NIV, as from time to time new editions are brought out, and some verses are "updated" to the translators' latest opinions etc. The NIV verses which I have quoted come directly from the official NIV Website.
NIV- ……... And to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, Who created all things.
AV-…………. And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, Who created all things by Jesus Christ:
COMMENTS - This verse, in the AV clearly deals with the Role of the Lord Jesus Christ in Creation. The Minority Text Manuscripts, (sometimes called the Alexandrian Texts) on which the NIV translators rely so much, obviously did not state this fact. Why ?
1st John 4:3
NIV - But every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.
AV- And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the Flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.
COMMENTS Here we see that the NIV version has a problem with linking the titles JESUS and CHRIST ! Obviously, the Manuscripts on which the NIV translators rely do not have this in their text. In the days of the early Church, far-out sects sprang up, which had all sorts of weird beliefs about the Lord Jesus and His Deity. In fact this very verse states that they were in the world at the time of writing the verse. You can see that not acknowledging that "Jesus is not from God” is much different than not confessing that "Jesus Christ is come in the flesh.” Jesus Christ was, and IS, God the Son, Who took on human flesh !
NIV- ……...The wicked return to the grave, all the nations that forget God.
AV-…………. The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.
COMMENTS - Quite a difference ! A footnote (or doubtnote!) is indicated in the NIV after the word "grave” and it says, "Hebrew Sheol.” Every time the word "hell” is used in the Old Testament, the NIV doesn't translate it as such, but usually uses the word, "grave."
NIV- ……...The wicked return to the grave, all the nations that forget God.
AV-…………. The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.
COMMENTS - Quite a difference ! A footnote (or doubtnote!) is indicated in the NIV after the word "grave” and it says, "Hebrew Sheol.” Every time the word "hell” is used in the Old Testament, the NIV doesn't translate it as such, but usually uses the word, "grave.”
NIV- ……... For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.
AV-………….For I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
COMMENTS - The same thing happens in Mark 2:17 - the words to repentance are removed. Have you noticed the recent trend in some "evangelistic” campaigns where they fail to preach repentance ? "Just” two words missing in the NIV version of this verse, but those two words make ALL THE DIFFERENCE !
NIV- …….... While He was saying this, a ruler came and knelt before Him and said...
AV-…………. While He spake these things unto them, behold, there came a certain ruler, and worshipped Him....
COMMENTS - Here we see one of the verses in the NIV where worship of the Lord Jesus Christ is taken away. The devil hates to see people worshipping the Lord. You can kneel before someone in respect, especially in Eastern countries, in Bible times. But there is a BIG difference between kneeling before someone in respect and worshipping them !
NIV- …….... Then the mother of Zebedee's sons came to Jesus with her sons and, kneeling down, asked a favour of Him
AV-…………. Then came to Him the mother of Zebedee's children with her sons, worshipping Him, and desiring a certain thing of Him.
COMMENTS - See comments on Matthew 9:18, (above), concerning worship
NIV- …….... When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of Him.
AV-…………. But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped Him
COMMENTS - See comments on Matthew 9:18, (above), concerning worship
NIV- ……..... Then he said, Jesus, remember me when You come into Your Kingdom.
AV-…………. And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when Thou comest into Thy Kingdom.
COMMENTS - Around 35 times in the New Testament, the NIV removes the word "Lord.” And this is one of them ! Thus it takes away the vital confession of the dying thief. But he KNEW WHO Jesus was and IS. He was in no doubt that Jesus Christ was and IS the Son of God ! Yes, Jesus IS Lord ! The dying thief confessed such as he hung on the cross ! And Praise God the AV still tells us so !
NIV- ……...... Have you understood all these things?" Jesus asked. "Yes," they replied.
AV-………….. Jesus saith unto them, Have ye understood all these things? They say unto him, Yea, Lord.
COMMENTS - Another instance of the removal of the important Title - Lord (see comments on above on Luke 23:42)
NIV- ……....... Immediately the boy's father exclaimed, "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!"
AV-………….. And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help Thou mine unbelief.
COMMENTS - One of the many examples where the NIV takes away the Title, Lord from the Saviour (see comments above on Luke 23:42)
NIV- …….....that everyone who believes in Him may have eternal life
AV-…………. that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.
COMMENTS - Here we have a subtle change. Of course, some point out that the next verse, the famous John 3:16 text says "shall not perish" (in the NIV).
If a thief came to your house and stole your wife's jewelry, and drove off in your car, would you commend him for leaving your laptop computer and your valuable paintings ? NO ! So why would we commend the NIV for taking this phrase out of one verse and leaving it in another ! It's not THEIRS to chop and change !
NIV- ……..... saying: "We give thanks to You, Lord God Almighty, the One Who is and Who was, because You have taken Your great Power and have begun to reign.
AV-………….. Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because Thou hast taken to Thee Thy great Power, and hast reigned.
COMMENTS - The NIV seems to have some problem here with the Eternal Nature of God ! Obviously, for some reason, the words "and art to come" were not in the Manuscripts which the NIV relies on for its translation. Why ?
NIV – The four living creatures said, "Amen," and the elders fell down and worshiped.
AV- And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped Him that liveth for ever and ever.
COMMENTS - Again - seems to have problems with the Eternal Nature of God !
NIV- ……... And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. (a) see footnotes at bottom of this page.
AV-…………. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory, for ever. Amen.
COMMENTS - The NIV reduces to a footnote (or doubtnote), the Kingdom, Power and Glory ascribed to God, and the unendingness of it ! ie for ever ! We have already seen (in the previous two examples) where the NIV has cut out references to the Eternal Nature of God.
NIV- ……...He said to them, When you pray, say: Father, Hallowed be Your name, Your Kingdom come.
AV-………….And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father Which art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.
COMMENTS - There has been quite a "hatchet job" done in this verse ! Its not even that the end bit is cut off or the start, but there has been quite (at least it looks that way) a calculated removal of certain words and phrases in this verse.
1st Peter 4:1
NIV- Therefore, since Christ suffered in His Body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin.
AV- Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the Flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;
COMMENTS - How often, in our comparisons have we seen the importance of two words ! Here it is "only” the words "for us” which are missing - but what a difference they give to the text ! In the NIV, you would just conclude that the Lord Jesus suffered in His Body. In the AV rendering, you realise WHY He suffered ! He suffered for us ! (Peter was writing to those who were saved). That's the message of the Gospel ! This particular article is mainly for Christians, (though not exclusively), but let me stop and ask you, dear reader - is He YOUR Saviour ? Can YOU say, yes, I have repented of my sin, and by faith received the Lord Jesus Christ as my Saviour, and I can truly say, "He Suffered and Died for me.”
Mark 10:24 :
NIV- Jesus said again, Children, how hard it is to enter the Kingdom of God! (b) see footnotes at the bottom of this page.
AV- Jesus answered again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it
for them that trust in riches to enter into the Kingdom of God!
COMMENTS - The difference here is blatantly obvious ! The two verses say something completely different ! "For them that trust in riches” is relegated to a footnote (doubtnote) in the NIV. Quite clearly, the Manuscripts on which the NIV translators rely on do not have these words in them !
NIV- He said, "Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods."
AV- He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of
the fire, and they have no hurt; and the Form of the Fourth is like the Son of God.
COMMENTS - This is blasphemous - again "downgrading" (speaking reverendly) the Lord Jesus to a "son of the gods" ! He is the ONLY BEGOTTEN SON of the ALMIGHTY GOD OF HEAVEN ! AND HE SHALL REIGN FOR EVER AND EVER !!!
NIV - The commandments, "Do not commit adultery," "Do not murder," "Do not steal," "Do not covet," and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: "Love your neighbour as yourself."
AV- For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
COMMENTS - A strange one this - the NIV leaves out the commandment, "Thou shalt not bear false witness." You know, if God says something, and someone changes it to say something else, they are in fact, bearing false witness. We need to be very careful indeed.
1st John 5:7
NIV - Omitted
AV- For there are Three that bear record in Heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these Three are One.
COMMENTS - There is a bit of controversy over this verse. The modern textual "critics" say this verse was not found in any Greek manuscript before the 16th Century. But it WAS found in manuscripts which had been translated into the Syrian language in AD 170 and the Latin language in AD 200 ! It was also quoted by many of the early Church "fathers.” If the verse didn't exist, how could they have quoted it ? !! Of course, this verse has to do with the Trinity, and many in the past have tried to "do away" with this important Doctrine and Truth. It also is a bit hard to swallow for those who did not believe in the Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ ! It makes one wonder why it was not found in the Manuscripts (Minority Text, or Alexandrian Texts) on which the translators of the NIV rely !
1st Timothy 3:16
NIV – Beyond all question, the mystery of godliness is great: He appeared in a Body, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory. (c) See footnotes at the bottom of this page.
AV- And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the Flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into Glory.
COMMENTS - This is a very, very subtle change. Enemies of the Lord Jesus Christ love to deny that He was God manifest in the Flesh. In the NIV rendering of the verse, “He” could be anybody – but “HE” was GOD ! Is it so hard for them to write that GOD was manifest in the Flesh ? That Jesus Christ IS God ! Why change it ? Why water it down and just write "He” when the original said God ? But then, the NIV translators are basing their translation on the Minority Text (or Alexandrian Texts). Instead, they point you to a footnote, (or doubtnote), which you can read at the bottom of this page.
NIV – Jesus looked at him and loved him. "One thing you lack," he said. "Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in Heaven. Then come, follow Me."
KJV- Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in Heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.
COMMENTS - It is the common teaching today in many Churches that there is no cross to be borne. The Lord Jesus spoke these Words Himself. Why remove them ?
NIV –Jesus answered, It is written: Man does not live on bread alone.
KJV- And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word of God.
COMMENTS - Man does not live on bread alone, says the NIV, but why leave it there ? Why doesn't the NIV go on to say what it IS that man lives by ! The Word of God ! It is most certainly because the Minority Text (or Alexandrian Texts) on which the NIV translators rely, do not contain these Words. Notice please the phrase "every Word of God.” Now notice that word, "every." Now think about how many Words of God are deleted, or changed in the NIV ! Do we have "every" Word of God in the NIV ????
NIV – I am not ashamed of the Gospel, because it is the Power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.
KJV- For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ: for it is the Power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
COMMENTS - Would it hurt to say the Gospel of Christ ? Why just say the Gospel ? It's the Gospel of Christ ! Remember, in the NIV New Testament, the Name, "Christ” is omitted around 44 times.
NIV – In Whom we have Redemption, the forgiveness of sins. (d) see the footnote at the bottom of this page.
KJV- In Whom we have Redemption through His Blood, even the forgiveness of sins.
COMMENTS - Redemption is "through His Blood" ! This is the central theme of the Gospel ! The Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ ! This verse is "watered down,” and the all important words are relegated to a footnote (or doubtnote). And while some tell us that other verses in the NIV mention the Blood - please forgive me for repeating myself, but I want to get this message home to you - as I said in a previous comment - if a thief came to your house and stole your wife's jewelry, and drove off in your car, would you commend him for leaving your laptop computer and your valuable paintings ? NO ! So why would we commend the NIV for taking this phrase out of one verse and leaving it in another ! It's not THEIRS to chop and change !
NIV- ……... Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (e) see footnotes at the bottom of this page.
KJV-…………. There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
COMMENTS - This omission by the NIV is a very serious one. It is reduced down to the footnotes (doubtnotes). This is a very important teaching by the Apostle Paul. Each time you read Romans 8:1 in the KJV you will be reminded that you (if you are a Christian) are meant to be walking after the Spirit and not the flesh ! Each time you read the NIV, you will not be reminded of this truth !
1st Peter 1:22
NIV- ……... Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart. (f) see footnotes at the bottom of this page.
KJV-………….Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:
COMMENTS - Another omission about the Spirit, similar to the previous example. It is doing away with the Work of the Spirit. A Christian must allow God's Spirit to do a Work in their heart - it cannot be done of their own will or effort. Note also, the removal of the word "pure” from the phrase "pure heart” - changed to just "heart” in the NIV. It relegates the word "pure” to a footnote (doubtnote), but does not mention the phrase "through the Spirit” at all, even in the footnote (doubtnote).
NIV – I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life.
KJV- Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on Me hath everlasting life.
COMMENTS - Believes who ? Believes what ? There are a lot of people going around teaching that all you have to do is believe there is a God, and you will be in Heaven ! But it's not just "believing” - the KJV says, "believeth ON ME" !! The Lord Jesus Christ !
NIV – Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.
KJV- And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.
COMMENTS - Why leave out the Lord's rebuke here ? Did Luke, under Inspiration of God, say that the Lord Jesus spoke these words, or not ? Obviously, the Manuscripts (Minority Text, or Alexandrian Text) on which the NIV translators rely, say no !
NIV - Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against Your Holy Servant Jesus, Whom You anointed.
KJV- For of a truth against Thy Holy Child Jesus, Whom Thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together,
COMMENTS - This is so subtle you would almost miss it. Can you see it ? It attacks, very craftily, the Sonship of the Lord Jesus Christ ! In the NIV the Lord Jesus is called, (God is being addressed here by the way), "Your Holy Servant Jesus.” But the KJV clearly states, "Thy Holy Child Jesus.” !! Jesus Christ was, and IS the Son of God !
NIV - Stretch out Your Hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the Name of Your Holy Servant Jesus.
KJV-By stretching forth Thine Hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the Name of Thy Holy Child Jesus.
COMMENTS - See comments on Acts 4:27, above.
1 Corinthians 1:21
NIV – For since in the Wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know Him, God was Pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.
KJV- For after that in the Wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it Pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.
COMMENTS - Notice the difference here. The KJV is talking about the mode that is used ie the foolishness of preaching. The NIV says something completely different. It is saying the foolishness of what was preached ! What is preached is NOT foolish (if it is the Pure Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ being preached) !
NIV – omitted (g) see footnotes at the bottom of the page
KJV- 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.
COMMENTS - The NIV does away with the Ethiopian Eunuch's confession, that he believes that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Just as it does away with the dying thief's confession of Jesus as Lord. Instead, the whole verse is reduced to a footnote (doubtnote).
NIV – omitted (h) see footnotes at bottom of the page
KJV- For the Son of Man is come to save that which was lost.
COMMENTS - Why leave out such an important verse ? This is the Mission of the Saviour - this is why He came down from His Glory in Heaven, to save the lost ! It is relegated to the footnotes (doubtnotes).
NIV- ……...And they went to another village. (i) see footnotes at bottom of page
KJV-…………For the Son of Man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.
COMMENTS - Is it not strange that another verse which states the Mission of the Saviour to earth from Heaven, is once again left out ? This verse is cast into the footnotes (or doubtnotes!)
NIV – Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped.
KJV- Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God.
COMMENTS - The NIV here is saying something completely different than the KJV. The way that the verse is rendered in the NIV gives the impression that the Lord Jesus was not equal with the Father, because (according to the NIV) He did not consider it something to be grasped at ! The KJV says the complete opposite and is in agreement with the rest of Holy Scripture.
Mark 16: 9-20
NIV - ........When you come to Mark 16 and the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, after verse 8, and before verse 9, we read the following words, in the NIV:
((The most reliable early manuscripts and other ancient witnesses do not have Mark 16:9-20.))
KJV - the verses 9-20 are of course included with no such footnote (or doubtnote!)
COMMENTS - Thus we are "robbed ” of the account of WHOLE of the Resurrection account in Mark's Gospel ! Of course, some will say that it's not that the NIV does not believe in the Resurrection, because they have the accounts in the other Gospels. Again, I must repeat myself, to get the message across:
If a thief came to your house and stole your wife's jewelry, and drove off in your car, would you commend him for leaving your laptop computer and your valuable paintings ? NO ! So why would we commend the NIV for taking out the account of the Resurrection in Mark and leaving it in the other Gospels ! !
NIV – Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.
KJV- Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of Man cometh.
NIV – omitted (j) see footnotes at the bottom of the page
KJV- Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.
NIV – omitted (k) see footnotes at bottom of page
KJV- If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.
NIV – omitted (l) see footnotes at bottom of page
KJV- But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in Heaven forgive your trespasses.
NIV – omitted (m) see footnotes at bottom of page
KJV- And the Scripture was fulfilled, which saith, And He was numbered with the transgressors.
NIV – omitted (n) see footnotes at bottom of page
KJV- Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
NIV – omitted (o) see footnotes at the bottom of page
KJV-(For of necessity he must release one unto them at the feast.)
NIV – omitted (p) see footnotes at bottom of page
KJV- 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.
FOOTNOTES (or doubtnotes)!
a Matt 6:13 " some late manuscripts..... for Yours is the Kingdom and the Power and the Glory forever. Amen.”
b Mark 10:24 "Some manuscripts..... is for those who trust in riches ”
c 1 Timothy 3:16 "Some manuscripts.... God ”
d Colossians 1:14 "A few late manuscripts.... Redemption through His Blood. ”
e Romans 8:1 "Some later manuscripts Jesus, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit. ”
f 1 Peter 1:22 "Some early manuscripts.... from a pure heart ”
g Acts 8:37 "Some late manuscripts....Philip said, "If you believe with all your heart, you may." The eunuch answered, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. ”
h Matthew 18:11 "Some manuscripts....The Son of Man came to save what was lost. ”
i Luke 9:56 "Some manuscripts them. And he said, "You do not know what kind of spirit you are of, for the Son of Man did not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them. ”
j Matthew 23:14 "Some manuscripts....Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You devour widows' houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. Therefore you will be punished more severely. ”
k Mark 7:16 "Some early manuscripts.... If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear. ”
l Mark 11:26 "Some manuscripts.... But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your sins. ”
m Mark 15:28 "Some manuscripts.... and the scripture was fulfilled which says, "He was counted with the lawless ones" (Isaiah 53:12) ”
n Luke 17:36 "Some manuscripts.... Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. ”
o Luke 23:17 "Some manuscripts.... Now he was obliged to release one man to them at the Feast. ”
p John 5:4 "Some manuscripts.... From time to time an angel of the Lord would come down and stir up the waters. The first one into the pool after each such disturbance would be cured of whatever disease he had. ”