Frequently Asked Questions About the NIrV

How is the NIrV different from the NIV?

Wherever possible, the NIrV uses the text of the NIV. In cases where words might be difficult to understand, other easier to comprehend words are used or the sentence is rephrased for clarity. Sentence length is also shorter as this is an important factor for new readers or others who struggle with the English language. Throughout, the NIrV was also meticulously assessed and evaluated against the meanings in the original Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic languages in which the Bible was written. See verse comparisons of the NIV and NIrV.

In addition to the text itself, NIrV editions include other helpful features for new readers. For example, chapters are separated into shorter sections and titles are included for almost every chapter. These help the reader more easily understand what each chapter or section is about. In addition, in places where a Bible verse quotes from another place in Scripture, the NIrV conveniently references that book’s name, chapter, and verse.

Is the NIrV a true translation of the Bible?

The NIrV is an accurate and complete translation of the Bible. It is not a paraphrase. At the time the Bible was written, God’s people used the Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic languages. The NIrV, as the NIV on which it is based, continually evaluates the accuracy of its English translation by reference to the best and oldest copies of those Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic Biblical manuscripts.

What translation philosophy was used for the NIrV?

The NIrV is considered a functional equivalent translation that achieves excellent accuracy of translation through equal, rigorous attention to the original languages as well as today’s English. Learn more about the NIrV translation philosophy.

What is the reading level of the NIrV?

The NIrV has been tested at a 3.3 reading level which is equivalent to the average third-grade student’s reading level.

Is the NIrV a children's Bible?

The NIrV is a Bible written in language anyone with a 3rd-4th grade reading level can comprehend, including children, people for whom English is a second language, people with learning disabilities, or adults learning to read later in life. While many of the Bibles available in the NIrV are directed to children, editions for adults are also available. Visit the NIrV brand store on Amazon to see the full line of NIrV Bibles.

How does the NIrV differ from other easy-to-read Bibles?

First, the NIrV is the only easy-to-read translation based on the NIV. So it benefits from the continual work of the Committee on Bible Translation (the group responsible for the NIV), which has met every year since the NIV was first produced, and which represents a broad cross-section of the evangelical church. Its members come from a variety of denominations, include representation from several non-US English speaking countries, and include males and females, younger and older members. Moreover, all the members are leaders in the academic world and/or church and hold fast to the divine authority and infallibility of the Scriptures. No other Bible translation has all these characteristics. By basing its translation on the NIV, the NIrV benefits from the depth, breadth, and continuing scholarship of the NIV.

Second, the NIrV is not exclusively a “children’s Bible,” as are so many other easy-to-read Bibles. That is, the NIrV has not selected only specific texts from the Bible that would be enjoyable to children and left the rest behind. Instead, the NIrV presents the entire Bible—even the difficult parts. Yes, it is written in language children can understand, but adults with limited English-language ability can understand it as well.

Why did the NIrV need to be revised in 2014?

Keeping a Bible translation updated is a continuous process. Older biblical manuscripts and other document discoveries continue to be made and referenced. The understanding of biblical texts continues to improve. There are also changes in the use or meaning of English words over time. (Consider, for example, the changing meaning of “alien” or “booty”). These new understandings require fresh consideration of word choices for clarity of meaning, and accuracy to the biblical text.

In 2011, an update to the NIV was published that incorporated a significant number of these improvements to our understanding and communication of the biblical texts. Because it was important for the NIrV to also benefit from those updates, it also needed to be revised.

Do I need to ask permission to use the NIrV text?

Permission is necessary if you are writing a book or developing a product that uses material or excerpts from a Zondervan publication. Please see our guidelines and instructions here: