Today's New International Version

Last updated
Today's New International Version
Full nameToday's New International Version
NT  published2002
Complete Bible
Translation type Dynamic equivalence
Version revisionNew International Version (NIV)
PublisherZondervan (US), Hodder and Stoughton (EU)
CopyrightCopyright 2005 Biblica (Formerly International Bible Society)
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Today's New International Version (TNIV) is an English translation of the Bible which was developed by the Committee on Bible Translation (CBT). The CBT also developed the New International Version (NIV) in the 1970s. The TNIV is based on the NIV. It is explicitly Protestant like its predecessor; the deuterocanonical books are not part of this translation. The TNIV New Testament was published in March 2002. The complete Bible was published in February 2005. The rights to the text are owned by Biblica (formerly International Bible Society). Zondervan published the TNIV in North America. Hodder & Stoughton published the TNIV in the UK and European Union.


A team of 13 translators worked on the translation, with forty additional scholars reviewing the translation work. The team was designed to be cross-denominational.

In 2011, both the 1984 edition of the NIV and the TNIV were discontinued, following the release of a revised and updated version of the NIV.

Translation philosophy

The translation took more than a decade to complete; 13 evangelical scholars worked on the translation: Ronald F. Youngblood, Kenneth L. Barker, John H. Stek, Donald H. Madvig, R. T. France, Gordon Fee, Karen H. Jobes, Walter Liefeld, Douglas J. Moo, Bruce K. Waltke, Larry L. Walker, Herbert M. Wolf and Martin Selman. [1] Forty other scholars, many of them experts on specific books of the Bible, reviewed the translation teams' work. They came from a range of Evangelical denominational backgrounds. [2]

The intent of the TNIV translators was to produce an accurate and readable translation in contemporary English. The Committee on Bible Translation wanted to build a new version on the heritage of the NIV and, like its predecessor, create a balanced mediating version–one that would fall in-between the most literal translation and the most free; [3] between word-for-word (Formal Equivalence) [3] and thought-for-thought (Dynamic Equivalence). [3]

For translation a wide range of manuscripts were reviewed. The Masoretic text, the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Samaritan Pentateuch, the Greek Septuagint or (LXX), the Aquila, Symmachus and Theodotion, the Latin Vulgate, the Syriac Peshitta, the Aramaic Targums, and for the Psalms the Juxta Hebraica of Jerome were all consulted for the Old Testament. The Dead Sea Scrolls were occasionally followed where the Masoretic Text seemed inconsistent. The United Bible Societies Nestle-Aland Greek New Testament text was used for the New Testament. [4]


Approximately 7% of the text was changed from the most recent (1984) version of the NIV. [5] According to Craig Blomberg the TNIV moves in a "more literal direction three times more often than not." [5] Mark L. Strauss has stated that the majority of changes are "based on advances in biblical scholarship, linguistics, and archaeology". [6]

In Matthew 1:18, where the NIV says that Mary was "with child," the TNIV simply says Mary was "pregnant."

In Luke 12:38, the phrase "second or third watch of the night" employed in the NIV is changed to "middle of the night or toward daybreak" in the TNIV.

The TNIV translators have, at times, opted for more traditional Anglo-Saxon or poetic renderings than those found in the NIV. For example, "the heavens" is sometimes chosen to replace "the sky," as is the case in Isaiah 50:3: "I clothe the heavens with darkness and make sackcloth its covering."

At times the TNIV offers a different or nuanced understanding of a passage. For example, in the NIV, Psalm 26:3 reads, "For your love is ever before me, / and I walk continually in your truth." The TNIV reads, "For I have always been mindful of your unfailing love / and have lived in reliance on your faithfulness." There are several changes in this one verse, but of special note is the TNIV's translation of the Hebrew word ’emet. The TNIV translators took this word to mean more than simple honesty in Psalm 26:3, referring more specifically to reliability or trustworthiness.

Examples of other changes are "truly I tell you" becomes "I tell you the truth;" "fellow workers" become "coworkers;" "the Jews," particularly in John's Gospel, often becomes "Jewish leaders" when the context makes the statement's real meaning apparent; and "miracles," especially in John, become the more literal "signs," "miraculous signs," or "works." The word for "Spirit," where there is a good chance it means the Holy Spirit, is now capitalized. "Peter" is now rendered "Cephas" when the Greek merely transliterates the Hebrew name.

Other notable changes are that "Christ" has regularly been rendered as "Messiah," and "saints" has often been replaced with terms such as "God's people" or "believers."

Gender language and the TNIV

Among other differences from the NIV, the TNIV uses gender-neutral language to refer to people. Confessional terms for this kind of language are such as gender-inclusive. Two examples of this kind of translation decision are found in Genesis and Matthew:

Genesis 1:27 reads, "So God created human beings in his own image." Older translations use the word "man" to translate the word אָדָם (’adam) employed in the Hebrew language, the same word used as the proper name of the first man married to the first woman, Eve.

Matthew 5:9 reads: "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God." [7] Here, the Greek word huioi is translated "children" rather than "sons" as found in other modern English translations such as the Revised Standard Version, [8] New American Standard Bible, [9] New King James Version, [10] and the Amplified Bible. [11]

However, the 1611 Authorized King James Version also renders this passage as "children" rather than "sons." [12] Masculine references to God, such as "Father" and "Son," are not modified from the literal translation in the TNIV.

Less than 30% of the changes in the TNIV involve the use of inclusive language. [5] The TNIV's approach to gender inclusive language is similar to the New International Version Inclusive Language Edition, [13] New Revised Standard Version, the New Living Translation, the New Century Version, and the Contemporary English Version.

The TNIV and οἱ Ἰουδαίοι (hoi ioudaioi)

In the TNIV some original Greek text references to οἱ Ἰουδαίοι (transliterated hoi ioudaioi ), are changed from the original English translation of "the Jews" to "Jewish leaders" or simply "they" (such as in John 18:36). This change has been called for by Jewish leaders as a way of avoiding misunderstanding in the Gospel of John.[ citation needed ]

A number of evangelical scholars agree with this change. [14] [15] The TNIV is not alone among English Bible versions in following recent biblical scholarship on this matter. [16]



Denominations supportive of the TNIV include the Christian Reformed Church (CRC), which officially endorsed the TNIV as an acceptable translation for use, the Evangelical Covenant Church and the Free Methodist Church of North America. Scholars from the Free Methodist Church of North America had a varied response from it "constitutes no threat" to "most accurate ever." [23]

Evangelical scholars and pastoral leaders supporting the project include Mark L. Strauss, Tremper Longman, John Ortberg, Adam Hamilton, Craig Blomberg, Darrell Bock, Don Carson, Peter Furler, Bill Hybels, Ben Witherington III, Lee Strobel, Philip Yancey, Dan Kimball, Terri Blackstock, Erwin McManus, Ted Haggard and others. [24] [25]


In June 2002, over 100 evangelical leaders signed a 'Statement of Concern' opposing the TNIV. [26] The Presbyterian Church in America and the Southern Baptist Convention passed resolutions opposing the TNIV and other inclusive-language translations. [27] [28]

Evangelical scholars and various public figures critical of inclusive-language translations include John F. MacArthur, J. I. Packer, Jack T. Chick, Gail Riplinger, James Dobson, Jerry Falwell, Texe Marrs, Wayne Grudem, Peter Ruckman, D. James Kennedy, Josh McDowell, R. Albert Mohler, Jr., John Piper, Pat Robertson, R.C. Sproul, and Joni Eareckson Tada. [29]

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">New International Version</span> English translation of the Bible

The New International Version (NIV) is a translation of the Bible into contemporary English. Published by Biblica, the complete NIV was released in 1978 with a minor revision in 1984 and a major revision in 2011. The NIV relies on recently-published critical editions of the original Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek texts.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Spiritual gift</span> In Christianity, an extraordinary power given by the Holy Spirit

A spiritual gift or charism is an extraordinary power given by the Holy Spirit. These are believed by followers to be supernatural I Timothy 4:14 graces which individual Christians need to fulfill the mission of the Church. In the narrowest sense, it is a theological term for the extraordinary graces given to individual Christians for the good of others and is distinguished from the graces given for personal sanctification, such as the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit and the fruit of the Holy Spirit.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">New Revised Standard Version</span> English translation of the Bible

The New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) is a translation of the Bible in contemporary English. Published in 1989 by the National Council of Churches, the NRSV was created by an ecumenical committee of scholars "comprising about thirty members". The NRSV relies on recently published critical editions of the original Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek texts. A major revision, the New Revised Standard Version Updated Edition (NRSVue), was released in 2021.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">English Standard Version</span> English translation of the Bible

The English Standard Version (ESV) is a translation of the Bible in contemporary English. Published in 2001 by Crossway, the ESV was "created by a team of more than 100 leading evangelical scholars and pastors." The ESV relies on recently published critical editions of the original Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek texts.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">New American Standard Bible</span> English translation of the Bible

The New American Standard Bible (NASB) is a translation of the Bible in contemporary English. Published by the Lockman Foundation, the complete NASB was released in 1971. The NASB relies on recently published critical editions of the original Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek texts.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Modern English Bible translations</span> English Bible translations published since 1800

Modern English Bible translations consists of English Bible translations developed and published throughout the late modern period to the present.

Gordon Donald Fee was an American-Canadian Christian theologian who was an ordained minister of the Assemblies of God (USA). He was professor of New Testament Studies at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Wayne Grudem</span> American theologian and author

Wayne A. Grudem is a New Testament scholar turned theologian, seminary professor, and author. He co-founded the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood and served as the general editor of the ESV Study Bible.

<i>Epiousion</i> Greek adjective used in the Lords Prayer

Epiousion (ἐπιούσιον) is a Koine Greek adjective used in the Lord's Prayer verse "Τὸν ἄρτον ἡμῶν τὸν ἐπιούσιον δὸς ἡμῖν σήμερον". Because the word is used nowhere else, its meaning is unclear. It is traditionally translated as "daily", but most modern scholars reject that interpretation. The word is also referred to by the form epiousios.

The NIV Study Bible is a study Bible originally published by Zondervan in 1985 that uses the New International Version (NIV). Revisions include one in 1995, a full revision in 2002, an update in October 2008 for the 30th anniversary of the NIV, another update in 2011, and a fully revised update in 2020 named "Fully Revised Edition". Its publisher and distributors claim over nine million sold, and claim that it is the world's bestselling study bible.

Craig L. Blomberg is an American New Testament scholar. He is currently the Distinguished Professor Emeritus of the New Testament at Denver Seminary in Colorado where he has been since 1986. His area of academic expertise is the New Testament. This includes parables, miracles, historical Jesus, Luke-Acts, John, 1 Corinthians, James, the historical trustworthiness of Scripture, financial stewardship, gender roles, Latter Day Saint movement, hermeneutics, New Testament theology, and exegetical method. Blomberg has written and edited multiple books.

The New International Version Inclusive Language Edition (NIVi) of the Christian Bible was an inclusive language version of the New International Version (NIV). It was published by Hodder and Stoughton in London in 1995; New Testament and Psalms, with the full bible following in 1996. It was only released in the United Kingdom and British Commonwealth Countries.

There have been various debates concerning the proper family of biblical manuscripts and translation techniques that should be used to translate the Bible into other languages. Biblical translation has been employed since the first translations were made from the Hebrew Bible into Greek and Aramaic. Until the Late Middle Ages, the Western Church used the Latin Vulgate almost entirely while the Eastern Church, centered in Constantinople, mostly used the Greek Byzantine text. Beginning in the 14th century, there have been increasing numbers of vernacular translations into various languages. With the development of modern printing techniques, these increased enormously.

Vern Sheridan Poythress is an American philosopher, theologian, New Testament scholar and mathematician, who is currently the New Testament chair of the ESV Oversight Committee. He is also the Professor of New Testament Interpretation at Westminster Theological Seminary and editor of Westminster Theological Journal.

Gender in Bible translation concerns various issues, such as the gender of God and generic antecedents in reference to people. Bruce Metzger states that the English language is so biased towards the male gender that it restricts and obscures the meaning of the original language, which was more gender-inclusive than a literal translation would convey. Wayne Grudem disagrees, believing that a translation should try to match the words of the original language rather than introduce the translator's opinion as to whether the original words meant to include both sexes or not, and that trying to be gender-neutral results in vague and contorted writing style. Michael Marlowe argues from a third standpoint, that the cultures in the Bible were patriarchal. The topic has theological and political undercurrents. Paul Mankowski says that inclusive-language translators are bowing to feminist political taboos rather than trying to translate accurately, while Marmy Clason says that their opponents are motivated by hostility to feminism rather than fidelity to the original meaning.

The Colorado Springs Guidelines is a 1997 document to address gender issues in Bible translation. It was written by theologically conservative Christians in response to "gender-neutral" Bible translations, in particular the New International Version Inclusive Language Edition.

<i>The Books of the Bible</i> (book) Bible with chapter and verse numbers removed

The Books of the Bible is the first presentation of an unabridged committee translation of the Bible to remove chapter and verse numbers entirely and instead present the biblical books according to their natural literary structures. This edition of the Bible is also noteworthy for the way it recombines books that have traditionally been divided, and for the way it puts the biblical books in a different order.

Ronald F. Youngblood was an American biblical scholar and professor of Old Testament. In addition to being one of the original translators of the New International Version of the Bible, he was the general editor for Nelson's New Illustrated Bible Dictionary, and on the editorial team for the Zondervan NASB Study Bible, both of which earned the ECPA Christian Book Award for their respective publication years.

Mark Lehman Strauss is an American biblical scholar and professor of the New Testament at Bethel Seminary San Diego, which is part of Bethel University, Minnesota. His areas of expertise include New Testament Gospels and Bible translation.

John Henry Stek was an American pastor, biblical scholar and translator, and Old Testament professor.


  1. "The Committee on Bible Translation" . Retrieved 2022-01-07.
  2. "Preface to the TNIV Bible" . Retrieved 2022-01-07.
  3. 1 2 3 Barker, Kenneth L. "The Balance Translation Philosophy of the TNIV". Archived from the original on 2009-07-03. Retrieved 2007-11-29.
  4. The Holy Bible : New International Version. TNIV. 2006-07-20. pp. 2–7. ISBN   0-34090981-1.
  5. 1 2 3 "Today's New International Version: The Untold Story Of A Good Translation". Archived from the original on 2007-09-27.
  6. "TNIV Debate between Wayne Grudem and Mark Strauss at Concordia University". Retrieved 2012-03-18.
  7. Matthew 5:9 from Today's New International Version
  8. Matthew 5:9 from the Revised Standard Version
  9. Matthew 5:9 from the New American Standard Bible
  10. Matthew 5:9 from the New King James Version
  11. Matthew 5:9 from the Amplified Bible
  12. Matthew 5:9 from the Authorized King James Version
  13. Comparing the Three NIVs, Christianity Today, 2002-01-01
  14. "Selected Bibliography for the Gospel of John". Archived from the original on September 27, 2011. Retrieved 2022-01-07.
  15. "Johannine Passion Narrative Issues". Boston College. Archived from the original on 2012-05-26. Retrieved 2012-03-18.
  16. Willker, Wieland (January 30, 2004). "[B-Greek] Re: Scrivener 1894 errors" . Retrieved January 7, 2022.
  17. "Vox Biblia". Archived from the original on 10 April 2001. Retrieved 2022-01-13.
  18. "Ad for a Bible doesn't fit". USA Today. 2005-01-18. Retrieved 2007-12-15.
  19. "Community Bible Experience". The NIV Bible. Biblica. Retrieved 2022-01-07.
  20. Akinsiku, Ajibayo. "The Manga Bible" . Retrieved 2009-03-22.
  21. Mansfield, Rick. "TNIV Reference Bible: Hands-On Review". This Lamp… and that's all I need. Archived from the original on 2007-12-22. Retrieved 2007-12-15 via Apple Mac.
  22. Grossman, Cathy Lynn (2009-09-01). "Update of popular 'NIV' Bible due in 2011". USA Today. Retrieved 2010-05-25. Maureen Girkins, president of Zondervan, says the 'divisive' TNIV and 'cherished' 1984 NIV will not be published after the newest NIV comes out.
  23. "The TNIV Debate: A Studied Response". Archived from the original on 2007-11-11. Retrieved 2007-11-05.
  24. "Genesis 1 - New International Version (NIV)". Biblica. Retrieved 2022-01-07.
  25. Dart, John (2002-02-12). "TNIV Bible Braves Gender-Inclusive World". The Christian Century: 10–11.
  26. Wayne Grudem 2002, "A Brief Summary of Concerns About the TNIV", Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood 7, CBWM: 6–8. "We cannot endorse the TNIV as sufficiently trustworthy to commend to the church." Names are documented at Over 100 Christian Leaders Agree the TNIV Bible is not Trustworthy, Phœnix seminary.
  27. "Presbyterian Church in America Rejects the TNIV". Bible researcher. 2002-06-20. Retrieved 2012-03-18.
  28. "Southern Baptist Convention Rejects the TNIV". Bible researcher. Retrieved 2012-03-18.
  29. "Statement of Concern by Evangelical Leaders". Gender neutral Bibles. Archived from the original on 2009-06-01. Retrieved 2007-11-17.