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New International Version

What's Unique About the NIV?


New International Version (NIV)
Image © Courtesy Zondervan

History of the New International Version:

The New International Version (NIV) was birthed in 1965 when a multi-denominational, international group of scholars gathered at Palos Heights, Illinois, and came to an agreement that a new translation of the Bible in contemporary English language was greatly needed. The project was further endorsed a year later when a vast number of church leaders met in Chicago in 1966.


The job of creating the new version was delegated to a body of fifteen biblical scholars, called the Committee on Bible Translation. And the New York Bible Society (now known as the International Bible Society) assumed financial support of the project in 1967.

Quality of Translation:

More than one hundred scholars worked to develop the New International Version from the best available Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek texts. The process of translating each book was appointed to a team of scholars, and the work was painstakingly reviewed and revised at many stages by three separate committees. Samples of the translation were carefully tested for clarity and ease of reading by various groups of people. The NIV is likely to be the most thoroughly tested, reviewed and revised translation ever released.

Purpose of the New International Version:

The Committee's goals were to produce "an accurate, beautiful, clear, and dignified translation suitable for public and private reading, teaching, preaching, memorizing, and liturgical use."

United Commitment:

The translators shared a united commitment to the authority and infallibility of the Bible as God's written word. They were also in agreement that in order to faithfully communicate the original meaning of the writers, it would require frequent changes in sentence structure resulting in a "thought-for-thought" translation. At the forefront of their approach was a constant attentiveness to the contextual meanings of words.

Completion of the New International Version:

The New Testament NIV was completed and published in 1973, after which the Committee once again carefully reviewed suggestions for revisions. Many of these changes were adopted and incorporated into the first printing of the complete Bible in 1978. Further changes were made in 1983.

Copyright Information:

The NIV text may be quoted in any form (written, visual, electronic or audio), up to and inclusive of five hundred (500) verses without express written permission of the publisher, providing the verses do not amount to a complete book of the Bible nor do the verses quoted account for twenty-five percent (25%) or more of the total text of the work in which they are quoted.

When the NIV is quoted in works that exercise the above fair use clause, notice of copyright must appear on the title or copyright page or opening screen of the work (whichever is appropriate) as follows:

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 Biblica. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

The "NIV" and "New International Version" trademarks are registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica. Use of either trademark requires the permission of International Bible Society.

When quotations from the NIV text are used in non-salable media such as church bulletins, orders of service, posters, transparencies or similar media, a complete copyright notice is not required, but the initials NIV must appear at the end of each quotation.

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