Why is the NIV so Dangerous?


Jeremiah 6:1616Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.”


            The prophet admonishes us to seek the old paths, but the generations of today cry out for change.  During the span of our life time change has become the rule of the day.  In science, in business, in society change is continuous, it is demanded, it is short lived and frequently it is radical.  One of the major reasons for this continual upheaval is the changes in our culture that have taken place during the past fifty years and that seem to be accelerating even as we enter the 21st century.

            We came out of the economic depression of the 1930’s into a world war.  Out of a world war into a period of economic abundance such as our parents or their parents had only dreamed about.  The sixties brought rebellion against authority, any and all authority, the seventies brought rebellion against God and the established order both in the church of our Lord and the denominations that surround us.  This progression has continued until today where we have a situation where the morals of this country are closer to that of Sodom and Gomorrah than any other time in its history.  We have a situation where the Lord’s church is being destroyed from within by the cancer of liberal theology.  This liberal theology denies the authority of God’s word.  The authority of God’s word is being ignored, profaned, and blasphemed.  The Word of God is literally being rewritten by so-called translators and the result be sold as Bibles. But changing the word of God is nothing new.  The first record of a new version of what God had given mankind for his obedience is found in the Garden of Eden:


God Said:  Genesis 2:17 17But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”


Satan Said:  Genesis 3:44And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: 5For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.”


            And such has continued throughout the history of mankind.  Man has changed the word of God, man has ignored the authority of God, man has refused to follow God’s commandments, and devised false doctrines and teachings to suit himself rather than God.  What better way for Satan to capture the souls of men than to corrupt the inspired, “God Breathed” word and deceive men into accepting this corrupted scripture as pure and true.


            Again we turn to the prophet Jeremiah for an example:


Jeremiah 5:30-3130A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land; 31The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?”


            Jesus condemned the chief priests and elders of his day because of they raised their traditions to the same level as the word of God:


“….Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition. 7Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, 8This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. 9But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” Matthew 15:6-9


            And today this has been made easier for many by modern version writers, so called translators; that have re-written God’s word in many cases to suit themselves.  Modern versions that have been merchandised; propagandized and have literally taken over the market for Bibles in today’s world.

            The Bible versions available in English today can basically be classified into two categories the sound and those that are not sound.  Those that are sound, reliable word for word translations of the words inspired by God and recorded by His penmen are the King James Translation, the New King James Translation, the American Standard Translation of 1901, and I’m hearing some positive things about a new English Standard Translation.  All others should be viewed with some degree of skepticism, some used with a degree of caution and some avoided entirely.  The worst are “Good News for Modern Man, or Today’s English Version”, “The Living Bible Paraphrased” and something called the “Easy to Read Version”.   That is unless you include the “Cotton Patch Version” and, yes, such does exist.  It contains more blasphemy than Bible and is an insult to the Negro race.  Heading up this list of the worst is the New International Version.  Yes, the same one that has been marketed and merchandised so successfully by Zondervan Corporation in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  This is the one that a good many of our rebellious brethren will swear by and defend tooth and nail.  Others that don’t know any better will purchase and use it simply because that is what you will find most readily available on the bookstore shelves and used as the basis for Bible School materials sold by most publishers; including almost all of our brethren.  This leads us to the central theme of our lesson:  “Why is the New International Version of the Bible so dangerous?”


1.)     First but not most important because of its foundation.


The foundation from which our sound, reliable Bibles were translated consists of several thousand manuscripts and partial manuscripts that have been analyzed and accepted by reliable language scholars and Bible scholars over a period of several hundred years.  This “Traditional” or “Received” text, called the “Textus Respectus” was then used to generate the most accurate word for word translations of scripture that men could devise.

The New International Version, on the other hand, is based almost entirely on an “eclectic” Greek text based primarily on two manuscripts.  One manuscript is the Vaticanus, also known as “B”; and the other, Sinaiticus, also known as Aleph, which is the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet.  While it is thought that these two manuscripts are two of the oldest in existence are they the most reliable?  “Far from it.”1  David Otis Fuller, “Which Bible”, p.301 is quoted by Brother A. G. Hobbs in his writing on this subject as a reliable resource and states the following:  “Both these documents are of uncertain ancestry, of questionable history, and of suspicious character.”  “They both were in the hands of the Catholic Church.  Vaticanus “B” was found on a shelf in the Vatican Library.  How it got there no one knows for certain.  Sinaiticus was found in a waste paper basket in the monastery of St. Catharine on Mt. Sinai in 1859 by Dr. Tischendorf.”2 

“As pointed out by Herman Koskier, in “Codex B and its Allies”, p.1, Vol. II these two manuscripts differ from each other 3,036 times in the gospels alone; and more than 7,000 times throughout the New Testament.  When two witnesses do not agree, it is evident that they are not witnessing to truth.”3

These two witnesses that are used to form the basic foundation of the NIV have the same problem as the men that the chief priest and elders called to testify against Jesus Christ had before their council after he was taken for crucifixion:


55And the chief priests and all the council sought for witness against Jesus to put him to death; and found none. 56For many bare false witness against him, but their witness agreed not together.” Mark 14:55-56


            If that were not enough to condemn these two manuscripts back to the waste basket there is more.  One of the marks of the NIV is their rejection of Mark 16:9-20 as scripture.  One who has analyzed this manuscript tells us why:


            “In the Sinai copy the double page containing the end of Mark and the beginning of Luke was removed at an early date and replaced with the four sides rewritten to exclude Mark 16:9-20.  By slightly increasing the size of the letters and spaces the writer was able to extend his shortened version to the top of the column preceding Luke 1.  He filled in the remainder of his last line with an ornamental flourish to make sure that no addition could be made without being immediately evident. ***These two manuscripts are shown to be false witnesses.

***The majority of ancient copies, the majority of ancient writers and the majority of ancient translators all testify to the genuineness of these verses.  (The Authenticity of the Last Twelve Verses of the Gospel According to Mark, Trinitarian Bible Society, 217 Kingston Road, SW19 3NN, England, pp. 4,10)”4

            So men who are were in a position to know tell us that at least one of these manuscripts has been altered, corrupted to remove Mark’s account of the resurrection of Jesus and Jesus words in:


Mark 16:1616He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.”


            2.  Secondly I would submit for your consideration that the NIV is not a translation but a commentary.


            If you have one of these so-called Bibles please just go to the Translator’s Preface.  I will be quoting from a KJV/NIV parallel edition with a copyright of 1985.


            “The first concern of the translators has been the accuracy of the translation and its fidelity to the thought of the biblical writers.  They have weighed the significance of the lexical and grammatical details of the Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek texts.  At the same time, they have striven for more than a word for word translation.  Because thought patterns and syntax differ from language to language, faithful communication of the meaning of the writers of the Bible demands frequent modifications in sentence structure and constant regard for the contextual meanings of words.”5  But what is this really – it is their self-proclaimed license to re-write God’s word to suit themselves.


            Jesus said:


32And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:32


17Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” John 17:17


13Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come.” John 16:13


And we find recorded concerning the Old Testament scripture:


II Peter 1:2121For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.


            Brethren what is the medium by which Jesus and his disciples, as the Holy Spirit guided them; that was used to communicate God’s will?  Words!  Words!  The Book that we use to direct our lives, provide us spiritual guidance, convict and convert the sinner from his ways was given to us in words!  God breathed, Holy Spirit directed words recorded by God’s chosen vessels!  Jesus said:


47And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.” John 12:47


He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.” John 12:48


10Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.” John 14:10  


8For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.” John 17:8


Revelation 22:1919And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”


            Words!  But the liberal theologians, the writers of the NIV have taken the words of the copies of the original autographs written by God’s inspired men and have given us what they think is the thoughts behind the words that the biblical writers used.  In their own words they “have striven for more than a word-for-word translation.”  In their minds they have done God one better!  They claim that the original words that God’s penmen used cannot just be translated but must frequently be modified or changed; and this they have done but they didn’t just limited themselves to sentence structure.

The liberal theologians, Brooke F. Westcott, Fenton J. Hort, and their cohorts of the late 19th century took an “eclectic” text; one that has been pieced and patched together with some verses from here and some from there, not following any given Greek New Testament text or group of texts except the two unreliable texts noted earlier and generated their own Greek text.  The liberal theologians of the 20th century New York International Bible Society have taken this cobbled up Greek text based mainly on two very suspect manuscripts and provided for us, not what God said, but what they think God intended to tell His people!  Consequently I submit to you that in this version of the Bible we do not have a translation but rather a commentary.  A commentary being called a Bible designed by the messengers of Satan to confuse, mislead and destroy the Word of God in the minds of men.  Oh, many of the changes are subtle, a word here, a word there, something added there, something omitted here, a verse missing here another explained away with a footnote over here.  Consequently to the average person, who has not studied it closely, it really still looks like good spiritual food.  But hear this analogy, rat poison looks like good food to the rat too, and its only 3% poison.  But it’s deadly just the same.  How much change can man make to the Word of God before it ceases to be good spiritual food and becomes spiritual poison?


3.)   A few of many examples available:


First John Calvin’s doctrine of original sin:


Psalms 51:5 (KJV) “5Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.”




“This is a perverted interpretation to fit the false doctrine that infants are born in sin, whereas sin is transgression of the law.  (I John 3:4).  In Ezekiel 18:20, we read:  "The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father..."  Jesus said: "Except ye be converted; and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven."  (Matthew 18:3).

In an effort to further the idea of "Adamic" or "inherited" sin, the NIV renders "flesh" as "sinful nature" in Romans 7:18, 25; 8:2, 3, 5, 8, 9, 12; 13:14; I Corinthians 5:5; Galatians 5:13, 16, 19, 24, 6:8; Ephesians 2:3; and Colossians 2:11, 13.

Man is made in the image of God, and God is the Father of our spirits. (Hebrews 12:9).  Human beings are not sinful by nature.  That is something that has to be learned.  Men go astray. (Psalms 58:3).  We are not born astray.”6


            Second – Direct Operation of the Holy Spirit in conversion:


I Corinthians 2:14 (KJV) “14But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.


            The Holy Spirit through the pen of Paul is telling us that the natural man, the carnal man, the man of the world, will not receive the things of God because he doesn’t understand them and they’re foolishness to him.  If the will of God had never been revealed to mankind, we could not know it.  Mankind can look upon God’s creation with wonder but never see God in it.  The nature; the existence of God, the will of God for mankind had to be given to us through the revelation of God through the Holy Spirit.  And it was. It was given by God directly to the patriarchs and to us through inspired men directed by the Holy Spirit who wrote the Scriptures for us.  But what does the writers of the NIV do with this verse.




            This is the direct operation of the Holy Spirit.  “The man without the Spirit, the man does not accept the things that come from the spirit of God, but they are foolishness to him and he cannot understand them….”  This teaches that we cannot even teach someone the Word of God until the Holy Spirit has prepared them to accept it!


            Third – Salvation by Faith Only:


Romans 10:10 (KJV) “10For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”


            With the spiritual heart, our minds, we believe unto righteousness, with our mouths we confess unto salvation.  We’re not there yet, we’re approaching righteousness, we’re approaching salvation but we have not gained righteousness, we have not gained salvation just by believing and confessing Christ. 


Ephesians 1:77In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;”


Our redemption, our forgiveness for our sins, comes through the blood of Christ, we do not contact his blood by believing and confessing


Romans 6:3-43Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 4Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”


            It is in our baptism into the death of Jesus Christ that we make contact with the blood of Christ.  It is in our baptism that the old man’s sins are washed away (Acts 22:16) and we are raised a new man, a new creature, cleansed from our sins.  It is in baptism, through our obedience, that we received the benefits that Paul describes for the Roman brethren:


Romans 6:17-18But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. 18Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.”


            But what does the New International Version teach?




            The NIV teaches that we are justified by our belief and saved by our confession; nothing is unto, belief generates justification and confession generates salvation.  This is salvation by faith only, denominational doctrine that cannot be found in the true Word of God.

Ephesians 1:13 in sound translations teaches that we trusted in Christ when we heard the word of truth.  The NIV says that we are included in Christ, saved, when we have heard the word of truth.  Again faith only salvation, we’re in Christ simply by hearing.  One more example and this lesson is yours.


Galatians 2:16  (KJV) “16Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.”


            Paul writes that we are justified by “the faith of Christ”; that is the entire body of teaching and doctrine of Jesus Christ.  In order that his readers could not misunderstand; Paul repeats that statement in the latter part of the verse.  But what does the NIV teach:




            Salvation is changed from being through “the faith of Jesus Christ” that body of teaching; that doctrine found in the New Testament scriptures to being “by faith in Jesus Christ.”  This is a subtle to many perhaps; but spiritually deadly because it teaches the false doctrine of salvation by faith only.


            The New York Bible Society’s New International Version based upon a very poor foundation of an “eclectic” cobbled up Greek text that is known to be poor, unreliable and suspect by true linguists and Bible scholars.  It is a paraphrase, a commentary; not the translated word of God but rather what these liberal theologians invented by taking the words God gave to his writers of scripture, modifying them, changing them, perverting them to teach all manner of denominational doctrines never found in the original texts.  They have incorporated denominational doctrines that they wanted it to teach making the very Bible that millions in this world and many of our brethren are using a tool of Satan. 

Our shepherds at Sunset have kept this perversion of God’s Word out of our classrooms so far and I commend them for that stand,  Now perhaps you have some understanding as to why the New International Version of the Bible is so dangerous to heaven bound children of God.




1 The Handley Herald, Handley church of Christ, via CFF, A. G. Hobbs, Fort Worth, Texas, 1982

2 ibid

3 ibid

4 ibid

5 The NIV/KJV Parallel Bible, Copyright 1985 by the Zondervan Corporation

6The Handley Herald, Handley church of Christ, via CFF, A. G. Hobbs, Fort Worth, Texas, 1982