NIV 2011: Every Last Change

After posting about the NIV 2010/2011 on Monday, I decided to put together a change list. At the same time, another coder Robert Slowley left a comment saying that he also prepared a website with a detailed change set.

Here are the two links:

UPDATE: Here are some images showing what’s changed. The bigger the word, the more times it was added or removed.

Words removed from NIV1984

Words Removed from NIV1984Words added to NIV2011

Words added to NIV2011Although there are a lot of important small changes (“desert” to “wilderness”), these images shows that the vast majority of changes are “him,” “he,” and “his” being replaced with “they,” “their,” and “people.” The word “the” shows up so often because of changes such as “the man who” becoming “anyone who.”

NIV1984, tNIV, and NIV2011 Relationships

Version breakdown

This is based on the percentage of verses that are exact matches between versions. The percentage of word matches is closer to 91% between all three versions.

Published by

John Dyer

In my day job, I work at Dallas Theological Seminary, and at night I write Bible software for countries whose leaders could be called "overlords." This one time, I wrote a book about technology and Christian faith. You can find out more about what I'm up to at

55 thoughts on “NIV 2011: Every Last Change”

  1. Thanks for mentioning my comparison pages on your blog, I consider that to be quite an honour as I’ve been reading your blog for some time and wish I could be as prolific (and capable) in using programming for God’s kingdom as you are.

    I’ve significantly updated my NIV2011 comparison pages. I’ve improved the wording, fixed the colouring in of changes (and made it clearer), made some of the tables clearer, fixed some mistakes that made some of my numbers slightly off, and have added more explanatory text.

    Perhaps the biggest additions though are these two new pages:

    Top 250 added / removed words:

    Top 250 most changed verses:

    You can also look at the details of the changes within a book (this was always there, but some people didn’t realise), e.g.

    The start page itself can be found @


    1. Thank you for your contributions. Another good resource is the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. One may go to and click on the “NIV Studies” tab and read a brief synopsis of the changes made when the “pastors and scholars” came up with the NIV 2011; the changes they chose not to make; and the overall gist of their agenda. It is definitely worth your time!

      God bless,


  2. Pingback: NIV 2011 | rdcltci
  3. It is amazing how the pursuit of herratics continues hey, when will we learn that siezing on something and deeming it an insult to God is an error of mankind fixed on religion. No doubt the Geneva, and the great KJV were both flawed in translation terms, especially given their lack of other authentic texts to refer to but how many people did they introduce the Gospel to, and how many people repented and were saved? Please I pray that people will place their faith in the authority of our great God rather than argue about imaterial changes in text, after all God is inclusive of gender and culture isn’t he? Thanks for sharing the comparisons lets hope people use them wisely.

    1. Reply to Helsop:
      God is inclusive of gender and culture, but His Word was meant to point out His expections of each. IE Israel was chosen as His own, on purpose. Not any other culture. As were men appointed to carry out His purposes, and leadership on Earth, not women, who have a supporting role, albeit as important as the man’s.
      The NIV2011 overides all that in favor of political correctness, the great error of our age. In addition, the term saints does not apply only for Catholic use. That term was removed for that reason in the new version, inching closer to the one religion, ecumenical world view.
      God said His Word would not change. Now man is doing that at will. I’m not familiar with all translations, but I do know and recognize when doctrine error is involved and changes what God meant to say.

  4. I love much of the New NIV, but I have a couple of problems, both personal. Applying singular function to plural words is driving me crazy!

    The other problem I have is if I should try to re-memorize chapters of the Bible I learned over the past 25 years from the 1984 NIV. The change is just enough to be irritating! But if I try to hold on to this older version I’ll have no resources available to me in a couple of years!

    I guess the book of John in gender neutral bothers me a little bit as well, because the use of plural words takes away from the promises of Jesus to the individual. Maybe they sound personal to me, because they say “he,” and “him,” and I’m a man.

    Am I making this too big of a deal? Any thoughts?

    1. John: I am right there with you. I love much of the translational updates (I keep a list of the “thumbs up” and “thumbs down” changes in the front of my copy). I would whole heartedly embrace this new translation if it were not for the Gender-Neutral stuff. Especially, as you pointed out, in the translation of sing. and plural pronouns. One ,non-pronoun example that I just hate is Ps. 8:4 when compared to Heb. 2:6. Why can they translate this one way in Heb. and not the same in Ps. How would a reader see this connection? Anyway, I just wanted to say that I recognize and sympathize with your sentiments.

  5. Why do we need these new age bibles written by new age people? As for me and my house we will stick with the original KJV and not need these bibles that have changed verses and eliminated verses and confused bible belivers. God is not the author of confusion but the Devil is. If you eliminate hell in all the other new age Bibles it is still going to exist. God is still on the throne and knows that the Devil is the master counterfeiter and he is out to steal kill and destroy the true word of God and all the new age bibles are thus trying to accomplish his goals.Truely do some soul searching and study to show yourself approved. The KJV is the only Bible published which tells to you to study, the rest do not want you to know their true agenda.He is coming soon so be ready.

    1. @ dana sousley

      The original 1611 is a little difficult for me, with those strange fonts, ok, just kidding. Did you know the original KJV had thousands of translators notes, including alternate readings? Even the variant about Lucifer and daystar are in the translators notes of the KJV.

      The NIV is every bit as much God’s Word as the KJV – maybe more so, because doesn’t God’s Word say not to add to it? Some feel that the “annotated” manuscripts used for KJV added some things not in the original. Just food for thought.

      I take my opinion on Bible translation from the KJV translators:

      “…we affirm and avow, that the very meanest [poorest] translation of the Bible in English, set forth by men of our profession, containeth the word of God, nay, is the word of God. As the King’s speech, which he uttereth in Parliament, being translated into French, Dutch, Italian, and Latin, is still the King’s speech, though it be not interpreted by every Translator with the like grace, nor peradventure so fitly for phrase, nor so expressly for sense, everywhere.” -From the preface, “The Translators to the Reader,” to the King James Version of the Holy Bible, 1611.

      P.S. If you’re going to believe the KJV is the only legit version you shouldn’t handle it lightly – It’s actually, “Study to shew thyself approved…” ;-)

  6. I was in Iraq as a soldier in the US Army in 2003. One night I picked up a camo NIV bible and opened to Matthew. I read about Jesus calling his disciples. They left all and followed him. It struck me that I needed to do the same so I put the bible down and asked Christ into my life and to forgive my sins. I have never been the same person since. I know where I am going when I die and am certain of my salvation. My point in telling this is no matter how weak or strong a bible version is, they can all be used to save sinners. There is one true version of the bible though…. its the original Greek texts which the KJV and the modern translations are based on. They all have their flaws and strengths. The KJV was an updated modern english translation in 1611 just the same way as we have updated modern english versions today. I personally prefer a more literal version myself. The only thing that confuses Christians is other christians telling them that the only real bible is the KJV it frustrates them because its not in our language and when they pick it up they do not understand it. and they have no where else to turn according to the KJV only movement. Having said that I also want to add that I have nothing against the KJV. I believe it is and was an excellent literal translation for those that understand the old english language. Please stop bashing gods word, its all gods word no matter how weak or strong the version they are all a translation of the only god inspired greek text.. Its bad enough the world is against all Christians, lets not cause divisions amongst ourselves and start following gods word and try to win all people to Christ.

    1. Well said, Joseph. When I was new in the Lord, I could not understand the KJV – the language is not in the English that I (or anyone else on this planet) uses in their daily communication in this day and age. Even now, when I read it, I sometimes need to cross check with NIV and other translations to understand what it is saying. I am not against KJV – I read it all the time. I am just against it when people say it is the only true bible. If that is the case, then I would have been lost years ago due to not understanding the bible. The same goes for thousands of others – especially those for whom English is not their first language.


    Just as in the NIV, they’ve already announced that Acts 8:37 (which is in the precious King James Bible) will NOT be included, “And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” Why would anyone remove this Scripture?

    On the following webpage, they refer to Mary, Jesus’ mother as the “Blessed Mother.” Blessed mother? That is Catholic doctrine!

  8. My bookshelf has ~10 different English translations of the Bible. Each one has its strengths and weaknesses. I’ve basically lived in the NIV ’84 since it first came out and teach from this, tho not without noting better wording in other versions. I’m really glad that the NIV2011 has changed the NT passages which had read ‘sinful nature’ into ‘flesh’ – these two different descriptions represent very different theological understandings!

    But folks, all versions are TRANSLATIONS from the original languages. As ~80% of the year I am teaching in other nations with translators, i’ve found that there are always thoughts which don’t fully translate – in both directions. I’m just wondering if the folks who are most indignant against other English versions are actually able to read the Bible in the original Hebrew and Greek. If not, then their opinions are based upon personal preferences. This is where pride can creep in.

    We forget how blessed we are in English that we DO have various translations from which to choose! So many other language speakers are thankful for the one version they do have.

    I believe that God will hold us accountable to the version(s) we choose to live by. After all, God is a rewarder of all who diligently seek him. His Spirit will lead us into all truth. Let’s not let the enemy bring division. If one version isn’t your cup of tea, move on. Yes, there are some heretic versions out there which aren’t even close to the original. But let’s show some wisdom and grace.

    God bless you folks.

  9. As serious students of the Word of God we should reject and do not buy the NIV 2011 edition because it did not became a better translation but a worst translation and we should demand the Biblica to bring back or continue publishing the NIV 1984 edition.

  10. Now I love the old New International Version 1984 Edition because it gave people no where to hide. However I feel people are watering down the NIV to make it fit society. It was a good concentrated Bible, however, while keeping my old NIVs I am switching to the HCSB which has been made because of Christian Men and Women who have done biblical archeology in order to create a Bible that is more accurate and from what I hear it is a sharp sword to use. Like the ESV and the NIV1984 there is no where for people to hide. The KJV’s only real problem for me is that people can hide behind a lack of understanding of that Bible. I am happy to listen to people when they say that you need to be careful, somethings fishy about this translation. However, I will not believe you if you tell me my Bible is Satanic. I watched a video on the warnings of the NIV2011 and when she mentioned the alternatives I was more willing to listen because she mentioned the ESV and the HSCB, both Bibles I enjoy and would love to have in my collection.

    1. It was the NIV of 1984 that “watered down” not only the King James, but even the far more direct and stronger than the NIV ever was Revised Standard Version.

  11. Man am I confused. I just bought a new NIV bible because I needed large print. I did not realize I was getting a new copyright edition 2011. I thought I was getting the same as I had which was c1984. As I was going through highlighting some favourite verses I sure did notice the changes. My question is, does it really make any difference besides personal preference?

  12. This situation brings to mind the long-held suggestion to always use multiple bible translations in our study. Unless we’re able to read from the original languages, multiple English translations (and their variances) will make us acutely aware of the words we’re reading, and hopefully engage our minds in both meaning and application. I recommend one of those translations to be the NASB.

  13. Just came across this…..late, I know. I am studying the translation of the Bible and its effect on the English Reformation. These are very interesting points you guys are making. I do have one comment. When I lead a class discussion on Machiavelli’s The Prince it is always confusing when people use a translation that is not suggested by the syllabus. It is very difficult to hold an effective and efficient discussion when we are trying to figure out how the differences affect the meaning. I feel the same way in church. I personally have no qualms with anyone who wants to use any particular version; however, we only use the Authorized Version in our church in order to maintain a certain amount of harmony…..before you respond to that, I am completely aware of the lack of harmony in fundamental churches, so yes, I get it. But I hope you understand what I am saying. Most people, aside from some very bitter, militant anomalies, are fine with the AV even though it is not their translation of choice. Therefore, I think it causes less confusion and strife to use that in a congregational setting. I personally read along in Die Bibel or the Latin Vulgate because it keeps my language skills somewhat fresh. However, I would never dream of reading (interpreting) those from the pulpit. I honestly think it was a grave mistake to allow pretty much ANY translation into the pulpit and congregation. It has produced a lot of unnecessary distraction and has really added no new knowledge. Just curious, how has switching from the AV to any other version changed your doctrine/theology? How has it impacted you positively or negatively? And please, no comments on the readability. I assume that everyone here can read high school level literature.

  14. hi John,
    It’s not completely true to say that the literal translation of adelphoi is “brothers.”

    In greek, brother (adelphos) and sister (adelphe) are the same word, the only difference being that the former has a masculine ending and the later has a feminine ending.

    For a group of females, the feminine plural ending (adelphai) would be used, for a group of males or a mixed group, the masculine plural ending (adelphoi) is used. So to say that adelphoi means, literally, “brothers” is misleading because it can literally mean “brothers” or “brothers and sisters.”

    As a modern example, Spanish has many words that follow this same pattern. “Padres” can mean “fathers” or “parents,” depending on the group being addressed – take a look at this magazine cover and tell me if you think this is a magazine only for men:

    Blessings, brother!

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  18. Hi John, this is a terrible mess. For almost 20 years we have had the NIV1984, reading it, memorising it, sharing it, writing it. Without reason it is now being ripped away that the new NIV2011 can pander to the worldly who have no interest in its text. Biblica seems determined to scuttle the older text, without regard to the readers. If they believe the NIV1984 is so useless, and the NIV2011 is such a remarkable improvement, they should release to the public domain.

    Passing the new off as the old is fraudulent.

    And no one after drinking old wine wants the new, for they say, ‘The old is better.'”
    No man also having drunk old wine straightway desireth new: for he saith, The old is better.

    (By the way, the last 3 or so comments on this article are computer-generated spam – you might like to remove them.)

  19. I have found these comments interesting and informative. The version of the bible that I use is the Revised Standard Version (RSV), with a copyright year if 1952. I purchased this bible in the mid 1960s; prior to that I had used the KJV. Recently I have been considering purchasing a NIV2011 bible, because that is what is used in the church we attend. However, after looking on the Internet and reading the comments posted on this website. I have decided to stay with my RSV bible. Thanks to those who posted comments.

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