What are the differences between the NIV and the KJV? Part 1


In looking briefly at the “Question of the Week Archive,” we noticed that there have been nearly twice as many questions concerning each of the topics of doctrine, heresies, curiosities and practical Christianity as there have been about Bible translations. So, we were thinking about a good question concerning Bible translations. And we decided to address the NIV compared to the King James Version.

There have been numerous books written on the subject of Bibles, some of which tackle major changes from the KJV found in the NIV. But in this answer, we have simply gone to a common book of the New Testament, the Epistle of Paul to the Ephesians, and compared the first two chapters in each Bible side by side. We knew we would find myriad changes, but we had no idea that we would find so many significant changes.

We have recorded for you, in this answer, just the major doctrinal problems discovered in this comparison. Mind you, there are many more minor changes, but we didn’t want to bog the reader down with every change we found. Next week, we will probably continue this comparison through the remainder of the book of Ephesians, because you will undoubtedly be interested in more evidence before you decide that the NIV is contrary to good sound doctrine.

Doctrinal Error
Eph. 1:6 Accepted in the beloved Words removed Today, acceptance is a huge problem for people. They need to know that they are accepted in spite of their past sins and that they don’t have to do something in addition to their salvation to make themselves acceptable to God.
Eph. 1:11 Obtained an inheritance We were also chosen Two major problems here. 1st we were predestinated to obtain an inheritance, not to be saved (see the weekly question on predestination). 2nd we were not “chosen having been predestined.” That is the false doctrine of Unconditional Election in the NIV.
Eph. 1:13 Trusted Word removed You have to trust Jesus after you hear the word of truth. Just hearing is not enough to save you.
Eph. 2:2 Power of the air Kingdom of the air Satan is the “prince of the power of the air” and currently has the power and glory of the kingdoms of the world (Lk. 4:5-6, 2 Cor. 4:4). The kingdoms of the world will become the Lord’s in Rev. 11:15. These kingdoms are in the kingdom of heaven, an earthly, literal, visible kingdom. The only other kingdom is the kingdom of God, into which we enter by the new birth. Satan is ruling over the kingdoms in the kingdom of heaven and Jesus is ruling over the kingdom of God. There is no such thing as the kingdom of the air. This is a fabrication.
Eph. 2:3 Children of wrath Objects of wrath Before we were saved, we were literally children of the devil (1 Jn. 3:10; Jn. 8:44) and therefore children of wrath. To say “objects of wrath” is to cloud the fact that we needed to be adopted out of the devil’s family and into God’s family when we got saved (Rom. 8:15; Eph. 1:5).
Eph. 2:5,8 Are saved Have been saved This change contributes to the error in the teaching of predestination. It can be used to “prove” that you have to be saved before you can believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. In other words, because of depravity, if you have not been saved, then you can’t believe.
Eph. 2:15 Abolished … the enmity Abolishing … the law To “abolish” means to do away with wholly or to destroy completely. Jesus did not “abolish” the law or else he was a liar (Matt. 5:17-18). He abolished the “enmity” that the law put between Jews and Gentiles.

Now, you can see upon examination yourself that these changes accurately reflect the changes that were made in the NIV. These changes are not about ease of understanding and faithfulness to the originals. These changes were willfully made to change the doctrine of the Bible to enhance the false doctrines of men that have been introduced into Christianity by the devil. These changes are subtle and therefore extremely dangerous. The main cause of apostasy throughout Church history is the corruption of God’s words (2 Cor. 2:17).

Hope this helps,

Pastor Bevans Welder