Is The NIV Bible Corrupt?

niv 1The ceremony of book burning has prevailed as one of the great tactics meant to silence those with whom certain groups disagree. It has prevailed as the tactic of the coward, lest their enemies have a voice to refute them. Of course, in the event of burning religious text, the motivation is a bit different. Angry religious people burn texts held as sacred by other religious groups purely as a testimony against that particular faith group. We see radical Christian parishioners dedicating the Qur’an to destruction, setting it aflame, as a testimony against the Qur’an, Islam, and everything it represents. Likewise, there are Christian groups, primarily (and probably exclusively) King James Onlyists who burn the New International Version of the Bible (NIV). They do this as a testimony against the NIV and an affirmation of the King James Version of the Bible (KJV). This ceremony will usually be hosted after a presentation of alleged corrupt within the NIV. Many Christians have been taken in by this presentation of corruption. The question is, is the NIV Bible corrupt?

niv 2There are very heavy charges that KJV Onlyinsts lodge against the NIV. They will accuse the NIV translators of intentionally and maliciously removing words from the Bible, so as to inspire doubt. The NIV is accused of adding little contradictions into the Bible so that people will lose faith in testimony of Scripture. They are accused of subtracting complete verses from the Bible, little one-liners that are inconsistent with their theology. The NIV is accused of loading their theology into the translation, so that sins such as homosexuality as more tolerable in the NIV. Even Zondervan Publishing is indicted for being owned by Harper Collins.

niv 3Does Harper Collins Control The NIV? In rendering criticism against the NIV, many will point to Harper Collins, who owns Zondervan Publishing. For Harper Collins also published gems like The Satanic Bible and The Joy Of Gay Sex. It is suggested that because of this, we cannot trust the NIV, as it will be loaded with the worldview and morality of the publisher. Well, I am afraid that this is just not how publishing works. Harper Collins is a publishing house, and they publish all sorts of material. That is not to say that they control all of the material that they publish. (Also, if there were some LGBT agenda, the indictments in the NIV against same sex marriage and the homosexual lifestyle would not be so evident and I will address that later.) Rather, the NIV has godly and devout men working on the translation committee who are smeared by KJV Onlyists.

niv 4There are men such as Doctor Douglas Moo, who taught for twenty years at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School for two decades. His commentary on the book of Romans has been particularly helpful to me, personally, and he offers brilliant insight into the condemnation of sinful lifestyle. Men such as Craig Blomberg, who has labored in defending the Christian faith from the most vociferous attacks that people will render today. He defends the Christian faith and the gospels in his book The Historical Reliability of the Gospels and Making Sense of the New Testament. To suggest that either of these men are trying to inspire doubt by inserting contradictions into the gospels is nothing short of absurd. To suggest that they are laboring to justify sin in their translation is ridiculous. This is a smear campaign against godly men who have dedicated their lives to exposing sin and strengthening faith.

The-King-James-Only-Controversy-Can-You-Trust-Modern-Translations-James-White-669x1024Further, to indict Zondervan Publishing for being owned by Harper Collins is to indict a collage of books written by more godly men. Books that have edified the masses and tried to develop a culture in which Christians can have a thoughtful faith as well as a loving relationship with Christ. Men such as Nabeel Qureshi, John Lennox, Ravi Zacharias, NT Wright, JP Moreland, JI Packer, Lee Strobel, RC Sproul, Arthur Gerstner, and Josh McDowell, are just a few names of men who have published with Zondervan. Is the NIV Bible Corrupt? Well, to indict the NIV for publishing with Zondervan, who is owned by Harper Collins for the reason that the theological and moral stances of Harper Collins are being loaded into these works is nothing short of ridiculous.

What about all of the missing words? Your mouth may drop agape as a KJV Onlyist tells you that there are 64,575 words removed from the NIV. That is to say that these words were in the King James Version, and they are not in the NIV. The only explanation for this is that the NIV translation committee maliciously and intentionally removed these words to further the grand conspiracy. I can just imagine them, sitting around a table, crowing wicked laughter as they cry out, “Yes, yes, remove the word ‘Lord’ from this sentence!” Similarly, when they scribble out words like, “Jehovah,” or “omnipotent,” or “Holy Ghost,” these conspirators are probably sitting in smug satisfaction as they think that nobody would notice, as they precipitously remove God from the Bible and construct a rendition of the God that they prefer, maliciously destroying the faith in the “omnipotence” of God. Now, the NIV presents a God who is not omnipotent, and where the Holy Ghost does not exist. Finally, the conspiracy is complete.

However, it seems like this conspiracy must be quite universal and inclusive. Everybody must be in on the scheme, for all of the modern translations made these same adjustments. For instance, the one place in the KJV where the word “omnipotent” appears is Revelation 19:6, which reads, “for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.” All of the modern translations replace “omnipotent” with “almighty.” Well, first of all, that is a bizarre conspiracy. If you want to inspire doubt in the power of God, you would not call him “Almighty.” “Almighty” communicates the very same message as “omnipotent.” It almost seems like these evil conspirators might just be bland translators who want to honestly communicate what the Greek manuscripts say.

What does the Greek say? The Greek word translated into “almighty,” and “omnipotent,” is pantokratōr. By using the concordance, we see how the KJV translators handled this word in other instances. In Revelation 1:8, the KJV says, “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.” The word translated into “almighty,” is the very same word that the NIV translated into “almighty” in Revelation 19:6. Why is it acceptable for the KJV to render this word in this way, and not acceptable for the NIV? Is the NIV Bible corrupt? Only if you use utterly inconsistent standards.

The problem with saying that “64,575 words have been removed,” is that it makes the KJV the standard. It assumes that the NIV is taking the KJV and just rewriting it. But that is not the case. The NIV committee went to the Greek manuscripts and translated them. It is overwhelmingly unsympathetic to expect every single word to be the same, and to count every single word against NIV translators.

Entire verses in the NIV are missing! You may find yourself aghast as you learn that the NIV removed 45 entire verses of the Bible. Clearly, this is an indication that they are just picking and choosing what they like and dislike. They want to remove certain concepts from the Bible that display the glory of God. John 5:4, in the NIV and in most modern translations, is missing. This apparently means that there is a cross-translation conspiracy, where all of the translators, all of the committees, agreed that removing John 5:4 would align with all their wicked agenda. Likewise, when Mark 7:16 was removed, all of the conspirators across all of the Bible translation committees emitted a wicked villains’ laugh while twisting their handlebar mustache.

However, it is quite strange that while the content of Mark 7:16 was “removed,” the very same content is in other accounts. The conspirators removed a verse from Mark, but did not remove it from Luke. Could it be that this is because they are basing their translation on the manuscripts in their possession, and they are not conspiring to destroy the faith of the masses? Consider the parallel accounts of stories that we see in the gospel records. Mark and Luke tell the same stories, but they sometimes include different details. When an ancient scribe was copying Luke, they would see that this detail was not there. Out of the same misguided concern of the KJV Onlyist today, they would insert that verse into Mark, when it really belongs exclusively in Luke. The KJV published the scribal error, while the modern translations, working with earlier manuscript data, noticed what the scribe did, and removed it.

Mark 7:16 is one of the alleged “removed verses,” It says, “If any man has ears, let him hear.” But, we see the same thing in Luke 8:8. The NIV has that same verse in another gospel account. “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear,” is in Luke 8:8. So, if there were some sort of conspiracy, why cut it out of one account, and not another? Is the NIV Bible corrupt? All of the removed verses can be attributed to scribal errors through the history of copying the manuscripts of the New Testament. There is no need for a conspiracy theory.

Is the NIV sympathetic to the LGBT agenda? While Doctor Douglas Moo condemns homosexuality in no uncertain terms in his commentaries, KJV Onlyists want you to believe that he softened the condemnation in the translation of the NIV. However, as one peruses the NIV, one realizes that it is hardly compatible with the homosexual lifestyle. A person who engages in homosexual behavior could hardly find solace in the words of the NIV.

Consider 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, which reads in the NIV, “Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” The NIV unequivocally condemns men who have sex with men. Compare this with the KJV, which reads, “Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. It seems to me that the KJV is less clear than the NIV. The NIV clearly condemns homosexuality, while the KJV’s archaic language makes it more difficult.

For this reason, should we accuse the KJV of a conspiracy to permit homosexual behavior? The KJV Onlyist would absolutely do this if the translations were reversed. We need to be balanced. We cannot assume that every unclear verse is a conspiracy. Is the NIV Bible corrupt? Certainly not. There is no LGBT agenda hidden in the NIV.

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