The NIrV is based on the bestselling NIV and tested for a third-grade reading level. This is among the lowest reading levels of any Bible translation available. Like the NIV, the NIrV achieves great accuracy through rigorous faithfulness to the original languages as well as faithfulness to contemporary language. And it makes the Bible accessible to new readers, and others who struggle with the English language, who are able, perhaps for the first time, to read God’s Word for themselves. The translators’ hope is for the NIrV translation to be the start of a lifelong love of God’s Word and growing relationship with him.

Goals of the NIrV Translation Committee

The New International Reader’s Version will:

  • Be based on the NIV and maintain the original intent of the NIV
  • Be an accurate, clear, and accessible Bible translation of the earliest and most reliable manuscripts available
  • Be written at a third-grade reading level (with readers of all ages in mind)
  • Maintain consistency with the NIV
  • Carefully review word choice, sentence structure, and length, and avoid idioms and figures of speech for clear and accurate understanding
  • Ensure real world usability through field testing from actual early readers

Guiding Verse

The translators and literary experts involved with the creation of the NIrV used Nehemiah as their guiding verse: [The Levites] read parts of the Book of the Law of God out loud. They made the Law clear to the people. They told them what it meant. Then the people were able to understand what was being read.
Nehemiah 8:8 (NIrV)

The Translation Process

While the translators used the words of the NIV wherever possible, they constantly referred to original manuscripts for accuracy of meaning. When questions arose, the Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic texts were consulted to help determine the meaning of the biblical author. All work on the translation went through a final review by two Old Testament scholars, a New Testament scholar, and an expert educator. Field testing by children was also incorporated at the end of the process as a check that the goals of the translation were experienced by actual new readers.

How Do the NIV and NIrV Compare?

The words of the NIV are used by the translators wherever possible, but when the words of the NIV are difficult or have more than one meaning, different words are used that are easier to understand or the sentence is rephrased for clarity. Also, sentence length is adjusted to what is educationally appropriate for an average third-grade reading level.