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The New International Version (NIV) delivers a balance of accuracy to the original languages and clarity of meaning in contemporary English. A best-selling translation, Cokesbury carries a selection of editions for study, reference, gifts, or devotional in a variety of formats for adults, youth and teens, and children such as the NIV Adventure Bible. It is also available in a variety of styles such as hardcover, paperback, leather, and audio and video versions available on CD and DVD.
When the books of the Bible were first written, they spoke clearly to people in their heart language. There was no gap between hearing God’s Word and understanding it. The translation philosophy of the New International Version (NIV) is to recreate this experience for you in contemporary English.
Even the best literal translation can’t follow the original form all the time. And even the best meaning-based translation can’t capture every detail of meaning found in the original.
In 1978, the NIV pioneered a different approach: balancing transparency to the original with clarity of meaning. Our view is that if the first people to receive the Bible could understand God’s Word the way it was written, you should be able to as well.
Sometimes the Bible can feel like a foreign book. But that’s not how it felt to its original audience. The Scriptures captured exactly what God wanted to say to them in their everyday language and idiom. Those who heard God’s Word could understand it.
To be sure, there are plenty of things for us to wrestle with in the Bible. But your translation shouldn’t be one of them. That’s the translation philosophy behind the New International Version (NIV): giving you the most accurate text possible in clear, natural English.
To ensure maximum accuracy and readability, the NIV went through perhaps a rigorous translation process. First, each book of the Bible was assigned to a translation team consisting of two lead translators, two translation consultants, and one English style consultant.
Then another team of five Bible scholars reviewed their work, carefully comparing it to the original biblical text and assessing its readability. From there, each book went to a general committee of 8 to 12 scholars. As part of the final review, outside critics gave feedback. Samples were tested with pastors, students, and laypeople. Perhaps no other Bible translation has gone through a more thorough process to ensure accuracy and readability.
Ten years later, the full NIV Bible was published. The initial print run of over a million copies sold out before they were even done printing. Such was the demand for an accurate, readable Bible. Dozens of evangelical denominations, churches, and seminaries embraced the NIV as their official Bible translation for preaching, study, public reading, and personal use.
The translators’ work didn’t end when the NIV was published in 1978. The original mandate, given in 1965, was to continue the work of Bible translation, ensuring that the NIV always reflects the very best of biblical scholarship and contemporary English.
The Committee on Bible Translation still meets every year, reviewing the work in painstaking detail—because when translating God’s inspired Word, it’s all about getting the words right.
Cokesbury offers a full variety of Bibles for study, reference, journaling, adventure bibles for kids, and many additional formats. You will also find a variety of translations such as NRSV, NIV, ESV, KJV, NKJV, NLT, and featuring the Common English Bible (CEB).
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