Thanks and Praise from Pastors

  • Jim Cymbala

    Many thanks to the Committee on Bible Translation for their excellent work on the NIV Bible! Their dedication to God’s word has blessed untold numbers of people.

    Jim Cymbala, Pastor, Brooklyn Tabernacle

  • Rodney Decker

    We ought to rejoice in the wealth of reliable English translations that are available to God’s people today. The NIV (2011edition) is a welcome addition to that list.

    Rodney Decker, Professor of New Testament and Greek at Baptist Bible Seminary in Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania

    Evaluation of 2011 Edition of the NIV

  • John Dickson

    What a gift the NIV continues to be to worldwide Christianity! It amply fulfils its central aim of communicating God’s precious Word as accurately as possible in contemporary English. The translation often surprises me with its sensitivity to the tone and sense of the original, while always sounding like the English we speak and write today. Faithfulness to the Lord’s own voice demands both. This is why the NIV remains my preferred text for public reading and preaching. Congratulations on half a century of vital service to the Kingdom!

    Dr. John Dickson, 
Founding Director of Centre for Public Christianity, Senior Minister at St. Andrew’s Roseville, Sydney, Australia

  • Simon Downham

    I am a simple church planter and now lead pastor of an Anglican church in West London, UK.

    The NIV is the standard text. In the same way that the Authorised Version shaped the English language, so the NIV has become the version of reference. This is, for hundreds of thousands, God’s voice. This is his accent. This is the way he speaks. What an astonishing achievement. Thank you.

    Simon Downham, Vicar, St Paul’s Hammersmith, London

  • Randy Frazee

    In my estimation, the NIV provides the best translation to the original text while using a language style that is easier for contemporary folks to understand. I have started using the new NIV with the same confidence I have had all these years. I believe with all my heart that this translation will fill the lives of people today with great joy.

    Randy Frazee, Sr. Minister, Oak Hills Church, San Antonio, Texas

  • Craig Groeschel

    I wanted to personally thank you for your work translating the Bible. I’ve used the NIV for my personal devotion in God’s word since it came out years ago. It’s also the primary translation I use in preaching.

    There are so many heroes in the faith that often go unnoticed to the general public. Even though many people may not know your name, your work is impacting their lives on earth and eternity in heaven. I’m one of the many blessed by your work. Thank you for using your gifts to bring God’s word to life in today’s generation.

    Craig Groeschel, Pastor of LifeChurch

  • Kevin G. Harney

    I am a lead pastor and writer who continues to use the NIV translation in both my areas of ministry. The church I led in Grand Rapids, Michigan, for fourteen years uses the NIV. And, the church I pastor in Monterey, California, also uses it. My best guess is that I have preached close to 2,000 sermons from the NIV and have been blessed each time I have done so.

    I also use the NIV in my daily devotional Bible reading. This is the Bible I read to my three sons as I raised them (and two are now preachers!).

    I wanted to pause and thank each of you for your hard work, your diligence, and your excellent scholarship. You have blessed more people than you know. Thank you for investing your life in making God’s word accessible and understandable for those who follow Jesus, and for those who are still wandering like sheep without a shepherd.

    Just yesterday, in our morning worship services, I shared the Good News of Jesus, and a 29-year-old man repented of sin and began to follow Jesus. The first thing I did when he came up to share with me, after praying with him, was I walked him over to our connection center and gave him an NIV Bible of his own. He was delighted. He told me the Bible he has is “hard to read with all the Thees and Thous.” I assured him that he would be able to understand this Bible.

    Thanks for being part of my journey of faith, my ministry, and the lives of every new believer to whom we give an NIV Bible!

    Rev. Dr. Kevin G. Harney, Lead Pastor, Shoreline Community Church

  • Tom Holladay

    THANK YOU for your work produced by faith, labor prompted by love, and endurance inspired by hope as you have given yourself to the task of translating the New International Version. I have had the privilege of teaching through the New Testament and much of the Old Testament to our people at Saddleback Church two times over these last twenty-five years: first, in our Midweek Bible Studies on our church campus, and then through an online podcast listened to by thousands of our members each week called DriveTime Devotions. In all of that teaching, the New International Version has been the primary version.

    I have often said to our people that when I read the Scriptures to them it is with the confidence of more than a hundred translators of the Bible standing with me on that stage. Confidence in the translation creates clarity and boldness in teaching and preaching, and that clarity and boldness results in changed lives for Jesus’ sake. I know that much of what you do is foundational work, and once the house is built the foundation is never noticed as long as it is strong. So, in a strange way, the fact that your work is not noticed as much as it deserves is a sign of the effectiveness of your work. I am grateful to have the opportunity to say thank you to a group of men and women whose work has so deeply impacted me personally and whose work I’ve had the opportunity to see change hundreds of thousands of lives.

    Tom Holladay, Senior Teaching Pastor, Saddleback Church

  • Canon J. John

    I was very fortunate when I started as an evangelist that it coincided with the release of the New International Version of the Bible. I’ve stuck with it all the way through my ministry and relied on it in all sorts of circumstances. It’s never easy proclaiming God’s message with the increasing gap between Christianity and the world about us. The NIV has helped me bridge that gap. I like the NIV because it is sharp without being simplistic, accurate without being academic, and relevant without being ridiculous. It’s been a blessing to me and my hearers, and I thank God for it.

    Revd Canon J. John, Evangelist and author, Director, Philo Trust

  • Charles Allen Kollar

    It seems to me that the NIV has clearly become the most influential English translation from the past century—and perhaps from all time. I know that, without question, the NIV was “the Bible” to me when I was a new believer back in 1975. Since then it has only become more important to my spiritual growth. The Committee on Bible Translation was gifted beyond measure. I doubt anyone fully realized at the time how much the Holy Spirit had taken over the process. God is always faithful, and the Committee on Bible Translation was and remains faithful to our Savior. Thank you so much for your dedication and humility.

    Charles Allen Kollar, Lead Pastor, Innovation Church, Cresco, PA

  • Max Lucado

    Fifty years ago, the Committee on Bible Translation began their work on the New International Version. Because of their efforts, we have a translation that is easy to read and understand. Congratulations to the Committee on Bible Translation for fifty years that have changed the world.

    Max Lucado, Author

  • John Ortberg

    I am endlessly grateful for the clarity and beauty of the NIV. Deep thanks to the members of the Committee on Bible Translation for all their work.

    John Ortberg, Senior Pastor, Menlo Park Presbyterian Church

  • Adrian Reynolds

    I want to express my deep and sincere thanks to God for the Committee on Bible Translation, both its current constituency and those who have served so faithfully in the past. All of us in ministry understand that Bible translation is a necessary but exacting task, and we value those who undertake it prayerfully and thoroughly.

    I still remember the moment, as an unconverted primary school child, when our Headteacher announced a new translation of the Bible. Little did I know as a 9-year-old pupil the significance and value under God that this translation would have.

    I particularly value the New International Version for three reasons. First, I value it for personal reading. Narratives, for example, come alive; law sections are digestible; poetry is well composed; epistles capture something of the wonder the first hearers must have felt. I know I can read with confidence, prayerfully asking God to let ‘the message of Christ dwell . . . richly.’ Secondly, I value it as I minister to others. I serve in a medium-sized church (350) with over 55 nationalities. Many do not speak English as a first language (or even second or third). Here is a translation I can use without having to explain obscurities and Greek prepositions. There are many good translations, but none better for ministry in my local context. Third, I value it as I teach others to preach. My passion is to see younger generations of men and women trained to ‘correctly handle the word of truth.’ We train across educational ability, class, race, language, and culture, and it is the NIV which best allows us to do that in way that is faithful, engaging, and relevant.

    Adrian Reynolds, Director of Ministry, The Proclamation Trust, Associate Minister, East London,Tabernacle Baptist Church

  • Andy Stanley

    The NIV communicates the message of the original authors of Scripture better than any translation I’m aware of. This is THE translation for our generation.

    Andy Stanley, Founder, North Point Ministries

  • Charles Stanley

    The New International Version follows in the same tradition as the King James Version, although it is tailor-made for the way English is spoken around the world today. The NIV is the most popular translation today because it remains faithful to the original Scriptures while being easy for people to understand.

    Charles Stanley, Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church in Atlanta 
Founder, InTouch Ministries

  • Lee Strobel

    Congratulations to the Committee on Bible Translation—50 years since you began the work that resulted in the New International Version of the Bible. What a monumental work. It’s been so important in my own devotional life, in my preaching life, and in my research. I use it every single day. It’s scholarly, it’s accessible, and I congratulate you on a job well done. I spent most of my life as an atheist and two years investigating the evidence for Jesus Christ as the unique Son of God, and I remember coming to the decision, on November 8, 1981, that in light of the avalanche of evidence that points so powerfully to the truth of Christianity, it would have required more faith for me to maintain my atheism, than to become a Christian.

    And then I didn’t know what to do, but I opened my NIV Bible to John 1:12, a verse that someone had pointed out to me earlier. That verse forms the equation of what it means to become a child of God. Essentially when you take out the key words it says Believe, plus Receive, equals Become. That was the last verse I read before I received Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior and became a child of God.

    I use the NIV in a variety of different ways every day. I use it in my personal devotional time, as I read God’s word every morning, and then I sit and hold hands with my wife Leslie and we pray together. I think what a change from my years as an atheist and her years as an agnostic. God has changed our lives through his Scripture, through his word, that’s what he’s done. But I use it in my ministry all the time as well. I do a lot of research in Scripture, I do a lot of preaching outside of Scripture, and I find that the NIV is not only scholarly in its approach, but it’s also accessible in its language. The phraseology is something that resonates with people in the pew; it resonates with me. It uses language that we all understand, it puts a biblical concept into terms that we can all relate to, and it is easy for memorization, easy for sharing with others. I use it all the time, and I recommend that others use it as well.

    Lee Strobel, Pastor, Author, and Apologist

  • Derek J. Tidball

    When I began my ministry I was between a rock and a hard place. I could base my preaching either on a very ‘popular’ translation of the Bible which often lost the nuance of the text in translation, or a very ‘proper’ translation which would often use language my people didn’t speak and was somewhat wooden, even pious, when read in pubic. I confess it took me a little time to pick up and use the NIV in spite of others recommending it. But when I did, I discovered it blended just the right accuracy and nuance of translation with a range of vocabulary that made it accessible to ordinary readers. And I’ve been grateful for it ever since. I’m also grateful that the translators recognise that although the word of God does not change, our words do. So, thank you, that you have not fossilised the original translation as a museum piece but updated it for today, not least in its use of appropriate inclusive language. Keep faithful and keep at it.

    Derek J. Tidball, Baptist Minister and Author , Former Principal of London School of Theology

  • Rick Warren

    Here is why I continue to use the New International Version of the Bible as we approach the 50th anniversary of the commissioning of the NIV. What we know as the NIV was commissioned in 1965, and the complete translation was first published in 1978. Since this time, literally dozens of Bible translations have come out in English. Yet I continue to use the NIV for three reasons. For its accuracy, its simplicity, and its popularity.

    Let me just say a word about each of these. First, it is accurate. When you look at the list of scholars who have worked on New International Version in the past and who continue to work on it today, it’s really a who’s who in biblical scholarship. I trust the NIV because it represents no single method of theology, no single strain of Christianity. It has a broad base, broad appeal, and isn’t trying to promote any particular agenda. That means a lot to me. Let the text teach itself. There are translations coming out today that are basically being built to protect and promote a particular view of theology. Well, they’ve got it backwards. That is letting your theology dictate the Bible, rather than letting the Bible dictate your theology. The NIV is an accurate translation.

    The second reason is it’s simple. It’s easy to read. It’s understandable and people can use it. I never find it hard to use because it’s self-explanatory. In fact, a lot of times, you don’t have to interpret anything because the Scripture just speaks for itself. The NIV makes the meaning plain. I understand why some people like to use the King James Version because it gives them something to explain. But when you use the New International Version, you spend less time on interpretation and more time on application, because the text speaks for itself.

    And then I continue to use it because of its popularity. It is, by far, the most popular Bible translation, so I know that when I quote from it, more people are going to resonate with that translation than with a less popular translation.

    I want to say congratulations to the Committee on Bible Translation, Biblica, the other Bible publishers, and all who had a part in the New International Version in the commemoration of this 50th year since the commissioning of the NIV.

    Rick Warren, Author, Pastor, Saddleback Church