Who Is Responsible for Maintaining the NIV Text?
Is the reliability of the New International Version (NIV) affected by Zondervan’s parent company, HarperCollins Publishers? No. In fact, the copyright to the NIV is owned by Biblica, a nonprofit Bible ministry and worldwide publisher of the NIV, not Zondervan. But even Biblica is not responsible for maintaining the NIV’s text. A self-governed team of independent evangelical Biblical scholars, the Committee on Bible Translation (CBT), is responsible for the translation of the NIV Bible. No publisher—either Biblica or any of its licensed publishing partners around the world commercial or otherwise–can tell the CBT how to translate God’s Word. The NIV is trustworthy because the NIV Bible translators all firmly believe that the original manuscripts are the inspired Word of God and completely free from error, being the work of authors who were directed by the Spirit of God (2 Peter 1:20-21, 2 Timothy 3:16). The translators come from many different denominations and they only make changes to the English translated text if 70 percent or more of the committee agrees, safeguarding the NIV translation against theological and ideological bias.
“Biblica,” the organization that sponsors the NIV, was previously named the “International Bible Society”. This nonprofit Bible ministry believes that the Bible is God’s inspired Word, and in everything they do, they seek to honor the Lord Jesus Christ. Since 1978, they have been using NIV royalties to translate the Bible into the world’s top 100 major-spoken languages, reaching up to 5.2 billion people with God’s Word. Biblica’s international ministry began in 1810 with its sponsorship of William Carey’s Bible translation work in India. Since that time, Biblica has provided more than 650 million Scripture pieces around the world in its over-200-year history. In addition, Biblica’s online presence provides access to Bible texts in 40 languages to more than 185 million people per month.
Zondervan, the North American publisher and licensee of the NIV Bible translation, has delivered transformational Christian experiences through the Bibles it publishes, alongside its books, curriculum, academic resources and digital products, for more than 80 years. The history of Zondervan is told through the transformed lives of each person its products have reached by the grace and power of God. Since 1988, HarperCollins has been Zondervan’s parent company, supporting its Christian roots, providing resources to spread its inspirational messages throughout the world. In 2012, Zondervan became part of HarperCollins Christian Publishing, a larger division with a mission to “to inspire the world by meeting the needs of people with content that promotes biblical principles and honors Jesus Christ.” The Christian Publishing division also encompasses and operates BibleGateway.com, a free resource that offers online access to Scripture in 70 languages and over 180 Bible versions. BibleGateway.com has become the favorite daily online resource for hundreds of millions of people around the world.
Each day people are coming to know God’s Word through the work of the CBT, Biblica, Zondervan and all of our partners who support the NIV. Please join us in celebrating what He is doing through the NIV and other Bible translations around the world that teach the gospel of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.