Do the Translators of the NIV Have a Political Agenda?
Is the NIV part of a political conspiracy to change the meaning of God’s Word? Absolutely not. The origin of the NIV is a purely grass-roots story. The catalyst for creating the New International Version (NIV) came from Howard Long, a Christian businessman, who often shared his faith with his business associates. When he shared passages from the King James Version (KJV) Bible, the reaction he received ranged from confusion to amusement. The English of the KJV was not communicating effectively to non-believers, even in the late 1950s when Mr. Long developed the idea. He was also concerned about the ability of children to understand the KJV Bible. He shared his concerns with his pastor, Reverend Peter DeJong. Together, they prepared a petition for an accurate Bible translation that used current English, which they first presented to their denominational leaders and then to the National Association of Evangelicals. In August 1965, evangelical scholars, leaders, and churches commissioned a new English translation of the Bible, which became the New International Version (NIV) Bible.
For further proof that the NIV is not part of a conspiracy, look at the evidence. Jesus said, ““Every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit” (Matthew 7:17). Since its release in 1978, the NIV has decidedly borne good fruit. It has been part of the conversion and discipleship stories of millions of Christians around the world.
For example, on November 8, 1981, an attorney and atheist named Lee Strobel opened an NIV Bible to John 1:12. His wife, who had recently become a Christian, had challenged him to investigate the evidence for Jesus Christ as the unique Son of God. He approached that task with the determination of a trial lawyer, carefully searching the Scriptures and other sources to find out the truth. His research led him to the conclusion that he would need more faith to maintain his atheism than to become a Christian. He read, “Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:2 NIV). He repented of his disbelief and accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. In the ensuing years, Lee Strobel has become a pastor and best-selling author of books that make the case for his Christian beliefs.
Following are statements from a small sampling of people whose lives have been transformed by the Word of God expressed in the NIV Bible translation.
“When I was a teenager, my parents bought me a NIV Study Bible. It was through this translation that God’s Word came alive for me. I’m now a pastor and live to teach others about the riches God has given us in this book.” Nathanael K.
“The NIV Bible has helped me to better understand God’s path for my life than anything else.” J. Todd Peterson, CEO, Chairman Emeritus of the Seed Company
“My father is a missionary pastor in rural Appalachia. He has always used the NIV, and through his ministry hundreds have heard God’s Word and experienced the joy of salvation.” Jason DeRouchie
If you are basing your opinions about the NIV on some of the popular conspiracy websites, please also take time to view the online sites that expose what they promote as being false.
What about the accusation that homosexuals translated the NIV? That is not true. A graduate of Bob Jones University named Virginia Mollencott served for a few months on the literary (stylistic) committee of the NIV, but it is important to note that she was not a translator, and never had anything to do with the translation itself. When her sexual orientation was made known, she was immediately asked to resign. Her work never impacted the translation of the NIV at any point. The NIV never wavers from its faithfulness to the original text in calling homosexual acts sinful.