KJVO burning Bible

Is The NIV Purposefully “Removing” Words From The Bible?

In the never-ending battle keep the KJVO movement in check there is an immediate need to address a claim that I was just recently made aware of. A friend of mine who (for reasons unknown) follows Steven Anderson and his KJV heresy, recently tried to slander the NIV by stating that the translators purposefully removed certain words from the Bible. The list was copied from a popular KJVO website and was quite easily explained.

It removes 64,576 words as compared to KJV. The word Godhead is not found, nor is regeneration, mercyseat, calvary, remission, Jehovah, omnipotent, comforter, holy ghost, quickened, etc. Of course the word “sodomite” is gone, probably because the publishers were a bunch of sodomites. The NIV removes the name JESUS in 38 places. Don’t tell me that it didn’t belong there and that thanks to the demonic Alexandrian manuscripts we now have an accurate English translation; It’s of the Devil.
(Stated by a friend that will go unnamed but copied a number of KJVO websites)

While many of us can see the obvious flaws in the accusations, mainly that matching any two English Bibles word for word is impossible, I will still go on to explain the issues stated. However, I want to first make a quick note that none of the KJV Bibles match word count either. So by their same accusations they failed the test. The same is true for the claim that the NIV removed the name of Jesus. The NIV uses the name of Jesus hundreds of times more than the KJV. It’s of no consequence that 38 times the NIV used the proper pronoun for Jesus (he/him) rather than his name.

Words NOT found in the NIV

Godhead – This word or combination of words does not exist in Greek or Hebrew. The actual Greek word in question is θεότης which a combination of two pieces of grammar. The first piece is the generic word for god ( θεός ) the second part is definite article being used in the genitive case ( της ). When this type of conjugation is done the word becomes an abstract noun. An abstract noun is a noun that usually gets used like an adjective. It becomes descriptive. So it literally means “of god” or more literally “of the god.” But the idiomatic use basically just means god-like or divine. It’s ued in other Greek literature as well to mean something of divine nature or something god-like.

Regeneration – Some (not all) of the newer translations use the word “renew” instead of regenerate. They are practically the same word. Not really sure why it matters which one you use.

Mercyseat – This word also does not appear in either Greek or Hebrew. The idea of a mercy seat (or seat of grace) actually comes from Tyndale who lifted the translation from German. Martin Luther referred to the top part of the Ark as the “Gnadenstuhl”. Consequently, since much of the KJV, which was carried over from the Tyndale and Coverdale Bibles, the phraseology stuck. However, in nearly ALL Hebrew lexicons and resources nowhere does ( הַכַּפֹּֽרֶת ) get translated as any kind of seat. The reason is because the word refers to a cover or various types of coverings, depending on the conjugation. Mercyseat is a terrible translation of the word which is why the English word eventually died a quick dead. The English rendering of Mercyseat also leaves out any context as to how the word Gnadenstuhl was understood in it’s own language. Even the Masoretic scholars who helped the KJV translators preferred a different translation which is still reflected in the JPS English translations today.

Calvary – This name also does not appear in the NT Greek. It does appear in Latin though. When the Vulgate was translated they used the translated name of the Greek name, Calvariæ, and not the transliterated name. Thus “Γολγοθᾶ ” (place of a skull) became Calvariæ which was a Latin translation of the same name (of a skull). But we are not Latin, we are English. As such, modern translators have abandoned the Latin word and transliterated (not the same as translated) the actual Greek name of the location which read Golgotha.

Remission – This word is virtually identical to forgiveness. We could discuss the differences between the two but it would be a waste of time.

Jehovah – The word Jehovah is nowhere in the Bible… anywhere. In fact, there is no J sound in Hebrew. I could spend a bunch of time explaining how it ended up in the KJV Bible or you could just read the article I already wrote on the subject (Hebrew has no J sound).

Omnipotent – This English rendering of (παντοδύναμος) to omnipotent is just silly for today’s readers, even though it is an accurate translation. The Greek word means almighty or all powerful, which is what the new translations read. The Greek is the combination of παντο which means all and δύναμος which means power(ful). It can also mean all mighty. The word omnipotent just another way of saying the same thing as all-powerful. Omni = all & potent = power. Omni-potent.

Comforter – The underlying Greek word is (Παρακλήτου) “Paraclete”. This was someone “called” ( κλήτο) “close-by” ( Παρα). It has a wide semantic range from helper to advocate to counselor. It can mean comforter but in the biblical context it wouldn’t make sense. Most often it is used to refer to someone who is called to make a legal defense for someone else or defend someone.

Holy Ghost – Ghost and Spirit have very different meanings today. Ghost today is universally known today as the spirit of someone that is deceased. I am sure the translators of the Medieval period used it differently but English has changed since then. It’s not that anything is necessarily wrong with the word ghost, it’s just that we use it differently today than when the KJV was made. The word Spirit better represents the idea that the scriptures is trying to convey, whereas ghost is more commonly known as a haunting spirit of sorts.

Quickened – I don’t even know how this word made the list except out of desperation. I could bother looking it up in the Bible and finding the Greek and Hebrew references but honestly nothing important or theological hinges on this word. Moreover, dozens of variations exist for synonyms of quickened. This is merely grasping at straws at this point.

One can easily see that nothing nefarious has happened in the NIV translation. These changes were made out of common sense and the result of changes to the English language. Unfortunately, some are even a result of bad translation on part of the KJV translators.


  • Jean Oathout

    I appreciate using the NIV at times, although I had the KJV to read after salvation as a teen some 65+ years ago. That translation speaks more forcefully to my spirit that do any of the other translations. My son and I found omissions in other translations as we read and compared them daily with the KJV in our devotions. We thought at the time that it was a shame that even a whole chapter was omitted in one. It did seem as though some words that we thought “meat” were left out completely in others. I prefer the KJV, but like to read others for further enlightenment.

    • Thanks for reading the article with an open mind. I am glad that you see the value in comparative studies. My father was the same way. He preferred the KJV because it was what he memorized as a young Christian.

      One of my nieces also noticed the missing phrases and verses when she began reading the Bible as a teenager. She was a bit alarmed but she eventually got over it. The first time I learned of the “omitted” verses I was very alarmed. I had just turned 17 and I assumed all Bibles came from the same Greek and Hebrew manuscripts. I was very concerned for about a day or two until I realized that the KJV translators had so few manuscripts to translate from and that so many of them were only as old as 1000 after Christ rose from the grave.

      Having the tools now as an adult to read the original languages and knowing where all the various manuscripts are from I actually prefer the KJV the least…… excepting the Message. The Message is not a real Bible translation. However, the NKJV is a great translations that takes into account the updated English and tries to preserve much of the KJV traditional passages.

      Blessings on your continued studies. Never stop learning and always look up original sources. Don’t believe what others tell you to…. not even me :)

      • Jean Oathout

        It seems as though the Lord speaks to me directly through the KJV. I’d underlined so many verses or sentences, that when I happen to read upon opening the Bible, I find that God speaks through them today! I’m presently reading the Contemporary English Version, and finding it enlightening, and helping me understand Jeremiah better. It definitely flows better, but doesn’t give me special words to “chew on”, if you know what I mean.

        • I definitely know what you mean. I was a little saddened by the translation restrictions that the publisher of the CEV put on the translators but I still like a lot of it.

          One of my friends who translated one of the NT books was very frustrated by the limited bounds they gave him.

          • Jean Oathout

            When we were staring our newest church plant in Canton, NY, we were able to secure permission to use the 7th Day Adventist Church. When I was walking through the pews, I noticed a copy of the CEV and upon reading a little, was impressed. I ordered one on line for a penny +postage. It’s interesting to actually be reading it, though I’m aware of it’s not being what I remember in the KJV.