Link to translator notes here

Beginning in March 2011 the print version of the New International Version will update to a 2010 edition.  According to theCommittee on Bible Translation notes the NIV was updated “to bring the translation into line both with contemporary biblical scholarship and with shifts in English idiom and usage.”

Ninety-five percent of the new edition is exactly the same as the pervious 1984 edition it will replace.  The update occurred because  of changes in Enlgish,  progress in Biblical scholarship, and concern for clarity.  Changes include

  • “Saints” often becomes “God’s people,” the Lord’s people,” “the Lord’s holy people” and the like
  • Certain uses of “Christ” are now “Messiah.”
  • More uses of “spirit” and related forms, especially in Paul’s letters, are now capitalized.
  • Most occurrences of “sinful nature” have become “flesh.”
  • There aren’t nearly as many “O”s but a number of additional “for”s

Here are some example changes to well known verses:

“and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.” Luke 2:7 (NIV)

“They crucified two rebels with him, one on his right and one on his left.”  Mark 15:27 (NIV)

“Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage.”Philippians 2:6 (NIV)

“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” Psalms 23:4 (NIV)

In some cases verses were updated to better reflect the context of the scripture.   Paul’s statement in Philippians 4:13 means he can, through Christ, be content in all circumstances, whether in riches or in poverty.

OLD= “I can do everything [pas] through him who gives me strength.”

NEW= “I can do all this [pas] through him who gives me strength”

It should be noted that the most criticism on the 2005 Today’s NIV and the 2010 edition of the NIV is over the inclusion of gender in the scripture.  In most cases gender has become neutral (i.e. they, them, people, etc) in instances where the context is clearly referring to all of mankind including women.  However, other changes require careful study and discernment.

“I commend to you our sister, Phoebe, a deacon [diakonos] of the church in Cenchreae. I ask you to receive her in the Lord in a way worthy of his people and to give her any help she may need from you, for she has been the benefactor [prostatis] of many people, including me.” Romans 16:1-2 (NIV) with footnote: “deacon refers to a Christian designated to serve with the overseers/elders of the church in a variety of ways”
“It is for this reason that a woman ought to have authority over her own head.”  1 Corinthians 11:10 (NIV)
“I do not permit a woman to teach or assume authority over a man.” 1 Timothy 2:12  (NIV)
“In the same way, the women are to be worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything.” 1 Timothy 3:11  (NIV) with footnote: “Possibly
deacons’ wives or women who are deacons.”

“I do not permit a woman to teach or assume authority over a man.” 1 Timothy 2:12  (NIV)”In the same way, the women are to be worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything.” 1 Timothy 3:11  (NIV) with footnote: “Possiblydeacons’ wives or women who are deacons.”

“I commend to you our sister, Phoebe, a deacon [diakonos] of the church in Cenchreae. I ask you to receive her in the Lord in a way worthy of his people and to give her any help she may need from you, for she has been the benefactor [prostatis] of many people, including me.” Romans 16:1-2 (NIV) with footnote: “deacon refers to a Christian designated to serve with the overseers/elders of the church in a variety of ways” assume authority”In the same way, the women are to be worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything.” 1 Timothy 3:11  (NIV) with footnote: “Possiblydeacons’ wives or women who are deacons.”