King James Version (KJV) Vs. New International Version (NIV)

Some believe that you can read any version of the Holy Bible and they all mean the same. Well if that what true why are there so many versions? That doesn't make much sense to me. I mean this is my opinion of course. I think the main issue or controversy is the ability to 'chose' whichever version 'fits' your lifestyle. From what I have heard, there is even a Bible for homosexuals. Well, I have all kinds of things to say about that, but for now I will leave it alone. Maybe in another article I will touch on that subject.

Do you think that these various versions of the Holy Bible are more confusing then the actual contents? I do, I think that just the idea of having several versions will be confusing to most. That would make them stuck with the question, 'which is the right one'?

To answer some questions many may have, I chose two of the most popular versions of the Bible. I chose to compare the King James Version (KJV) and the New International Version (NIV). Also, because obviously I cannot compare the entire Bible (I would have to write a book), I chose a particular chapter that I feel is very relevant to our dispensation. I chose Acts chapter two, where the Church started. We will dig into the contents and compare the two versions with actual definitions of words. Also, we will note the removal of certain words as compared from the KJV to the NIV.

KJV
Acts 2:1 - 'And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.'

NIV
Acts 2:1 - 'When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place.'

In this scripture I notice the only difference, really, is that the word 'accord' is missing from the NIV. What does it mean? According to Webster's, accord means; To bring into agreement. (perhaps unity is an easier way to put it). So I have established that these scriptures are the same, with the exception of the fact that the NIV doesn't mention they were in accord, or had unity. Only that they were simply 'together' (physically). To be 'together' doesn't mean that there was an 'agreement' or unity. Significant? Why sure it is and you will see why later.

KJV
Acts 2:2 - 'And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.'

NIV
Acts 2:2 - 'Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.'

In this scripture, I don't see too much of a difference. Rushing is like blowing as pertaining to the wind. Mighty is the same as violent. So there is not really any conflict here.

KJV
Acts 2:3 - 'And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.'

NIV
Acts 2:3 - 'They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.'

The conflict I see here is cloven. The NIV doesn't use cloven but the word 'separated' being used in present tense. As if it was saying that the tongues were in the act of separating. Almost, in a sense the NIV is 'allowing' us to be the judge of whether or not this is possible when the phrase 'they saw what seemed to be'. Not so with the KJV. It states that they actually appeared, not leaving any thought of doubt that it happened. To me that is significant.

KJV
Acts 2:4 - 'And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.'

NIV
Acts 2:4 - 'All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues'

I see no controversy here. Utterance means the act of uttering or speaking. In the NIV it states that the Spirit 'enabled' them to speak in tongues. The two say the same in different wording.

KJV
Acts 2:5 - 'And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.'

NIV
Acts 2:5 - 'Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven.'

You can say devout and God-fearing mean the same. No difference here.

KJV
Acts 2:6 - 'Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.'

NIV
Acts 2:6 - 'When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own language.'

This one is about the same as well. Bewildered and confounded means about the same; baffled or confused.

KJV
Acts 2:7 - 'And they were all amazed and marveled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galileans?'

NIV
Acts 2:7 - 'Utterly amazed, they asked: "Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans?'

Utterly amazed and marveled mean the same so no relevant difference here.

KJV
Acts 2:8 - 'And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?'

NIV
Acts 2:8 - 'Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own native language?'

The same here as well.

KJV
Acts 2:9 - 'Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia,'

NIV
Acts 2:9 - 'Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia,'

Dwellers and residents mean the same thing.

KJV
Acts 2:10 - 'Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes,'

NIV
Acts 2:10 - 'Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome'

The rest of the NIV version of this scripture is found in 2:11.

KJV
Acts 2:11 - 'Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.'

NIV
Acts 2:11 - '(both Jews and converts to Judaism Cretans and Arabs-we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!'

Proselytes are converts. You can say this says the same as well.

KJV
Acts 2:12 - 'And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?'

NIV
Acts 2:12 - 'Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, "What does this mean?"

Means the same here.

KJV
Acts 2:13 - 'Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.'

NIV
Acts 2:13 - 'Some, however, made fun of them and said, "They have had too much wine."'

Looks the same here as well.

KJV
Acts 2:14 - 'But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:'

NIV
Acts 2:14 - 'Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: "Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say.'

Hearken means to pay attention to or listen carefully. I would say there is not a difference here.

KJV
Acts 2:15 - 'For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.

NIV
Acts 2:15 - 'These men are not drunk, as you suppose. It's only nine in the morning!'

Obviously, the third hour of the day is nine am.

KJV
Acts 2:16 - 'But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;'

NIV
Acts 2:16 - 'No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:'

Now here I don't know why they used the word 'no'. It is as if they were answering a completely different question. Note that when they said 'these men are not drunk', that answered the question already.

KJV
Acts 2:17 - And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:

NIV
Acts 2:17 - 'In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.'

'And it shall come to pass' was taken from the NIV. This passage simply means 'that it will happen'.

KJV
Acts 2:18 - 'And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:'

NIV
Acts 2:18 - 'Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days,and they will prophesy.'

Servants are men and handmaidens are women, in this passage.

KJV
Acts 2:19 - 'And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:'

NIV
Acts 2:19 - 'I will show wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke.'

This is a prophetic passage. Now here you can argue at the type of smoke. Vapour is a light mist of. Billow is a great surge of. That is total opposite. Do you think it makes a difference or is of significant importance?

KJV
Acts 2:20 - 'The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and notable day of the Lord come:'

NIV
Acts 2:20 - 'The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.'

This is another prophetic passage. There is no difference to me here.

KJV
Acts 2:21 - 'And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.'

NIV
Acts 2:21 - 'And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.'

Okay now what does 'shall' mean and what does 'will' mean. I believe there is more to just calling on the Lord for salvation, but lets see what these two words mean. Shall means 'that which seems inevitable or certain in the future'. Will means futurity or likelihood. They mean about the same but it is not saying that you 'are' saved by simply calling on the Lord but that you are likely to be, and calling on Him is like a first step.

KJV
Acts 2:22 - 'Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:'

NIV
Acts 2:22 - "Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know.'

These are the same. The words are just moved around.

KJV
Acts 2:23 - 'Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:'

NIV
Acts 2:23 - 'This man was handed over to you by God's set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men,[d] put him to death by nailing him to the cross.'

This one says your wicked hands (addressing the Jews). Then the NIV says wicked men as if this version was addressing other people. Quite the contrary in the KJV. It says 'ye (you) have taken, and by wicked hands...'. In other words the Jews were responsible for the crucifixtion of Jesus Christ.

KJV
Acts 2:24 - 'Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.'

NIV
Acts 2:24 - 'But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.

This is saying the same thing here.'

KJV
Acts 2:25 - 'For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved:'

NIV
Acts 2:25 - 'David said about him: 'I saw the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand,
I will not be shaken.'

Shaken and moved? They are used in the same context here.

KJV
Acts 2:26 - 'Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope:'

NIV
Acts 2:26 - 'Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will live in hope,'

The words rest and live are totally different. Is that relevant or change the passage to something other then what you think it should be?

KJV
Acts 2:27 - 'Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.'

NIV
Acts 2:27 - 'because you will not abandon me to the grave,nor will you let your Holy One see decay.'

Here I believe there is a clear contradiction. The grave is a place we go until judgment. Hell is a destination where the soul may or may not go after judgment.

KJV
Acts 2:28 - 'Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance.'

NIV
Acts 2:28 - 'You have made known to me the paths of life;you will fill me with joy in your presence.'

These mean the same thing.

KJV
Acts 2:29 - 'and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulcher is with us unto this day.'

NIV
Acts 2:29 - 'Brothers, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried, and his tomb is here to this day.'

I guess freely and confidently mean the same here.

KJV
Acts 2:30 - 'Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne;'

NIV
Acts 2:30 - ' But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on his throne.'

This passage seems to sound the same, obviously talking about Jesus.

KJV
Acts 2:31 - 'He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.'

NIV
Acts 2:31 - 'Seeing what was ahead, he spoke of the resurrection of the Christ,[f] that he was not abandoned to the grave, nor did his body see decay.'

Again, they imply that the grave is Hell. I don't believe that to be true.

KJV
Acts 2:32 - 'This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.'

NIV 2:32 - 'God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact.'

Saying the same thing here.

KJV
Acts 2:33 - 'Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.'

NIV
Acts 2:33 - ' Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear.'

I believe shed forward and poured out mean the same.

KJV
Acts 2:34 - 'For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,

NIV
Acts 2:34 - 'For David did not ascend to heaven, and yet he said,'The Lord said to my Lord: "Sit at my right hand '

Again they are saying the same thing, pretty much.

KJV
Acts 2:35 - 'Until I make thy foes thy footstool.'

NIV
Acts 2:35 - 'until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet."

Why did they add 'for your feet'?? Perhaps to be different? Who knows.

KJV
Acts 2:36 - 'Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made the same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.'

NIV
Acts 2:36 - "Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ."

Saying the same here as well.

KJV
Acts 2:37 - 'Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?'

NIV
Acts 2:37 - 'When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, "Brothers, what shall we do?"

Cut and pricked means convicted.

KJV
Acts 2:38 - 'Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.'

NIV
Acts 2:38 - 'Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.'

Remitted means to pardon. Forgiveness means to forgive. basically the same meaning here.

KJV
Acts 2:39 - 'For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the LORD our God shall call.'

NIV 2:39 - 'The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off-for all whom the Lord our God will call.

Almost identical here.'

KJV
Acts 2:40 - 'And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.'

NIV
Acts 2:40 - 'With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, "Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.

Untoward and corrupt mean the same thing.'

KJV
Acts 2:41 - 'Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.'

NIV
Acts 2:41 - 'Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.
Here in this passage, to say 'there were 3000 SOULS added after being baptised' could be different then saying added to your number'

KJV
Acts 2:42 - 'And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.'

NIV
Acts 2:42 - 'They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.'

Devoted and continued steadfastly are alike.

KJV
Acts 2:43 - 'And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.'

NIV
Acts 2:43 'They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.'

This scripture is saying the same as well.

KJV
Acts 2:44 - 'And all that believed were together, and had all things common;'

NIV
Acts 2:44 - 'All the believers were together and had everything in common.'

The same here as well.

KJV
Acts 2:45 - 'And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.'

NIV
Acts 2:45 - 'Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need.'

These two also sound very similar. I don't see conflict.

KJV
Acts 2:46 - 'And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,'

NIV
Acts 2:46 - 'Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts,

Here, once again, the word 'accord' still is taken out of the NIV. To be together physically does NOT necessarily mean that you are in accord. the breaking of bread isn't necessarily eating. It is breaking the Word (reading) in a spiritual sense.

KJV
Acts 2:47 - 'Praising God, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.'

NIV
Acts 2:47 - 'Praising God, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.'

These say about the same here. the Lord added to 'the' church.

I conclude that even the slightest word can change any meaning. I believe that there are so many versions of the Bible just because people want to follow their own ways. There is a Bible for every way of life. I don't think that is what Jesus would do. I am quite sure the Bible mentions what happens when we add to and/or take from the Word.

Published by Viktorya Hale

Viktorya loves to dabble in a few things, from writing business proposals and conducting interviews of authors, to writing SEO articles and co-editing her kids' middle school newsletter. She has been wri...  View profile

7 Comments

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  • Drew 3/30/2014

    This comparison is dishonest. Anyone can see there are major differences between the NIV and KJV.

  • Bodi 12/26/2013

    KJV, Isaiah 32:5-8: 5."The vile person shall no longer be call liberal, nor the churl said to be bountiful. 6.For the vile person will speak villainy, and his heart will work iniquity, to practice hypocrisy, and to utter error against the Lord, to make empty the soul of the hungry, thirsty to fail. 7.The instruments of the churl are evil: he deviseth wicked devices to destroy the poor with lying words, even when the needy speaketh right. 8. But the liberal deviseth liberal things; and by liberal things shall he stand.
    My NIV (written in 1978) has changed Isaiah 32:5-8 to refer to a liberal, in effect, as a "...noble".
    Could it be that the word liberal (whatever the meaning of "liberal" might have been in the era of KJV translation) was changed in the NIV, and in the liberal times of 1978, for political reasons? I'll stick to my KJV!! I've seen enough changes in the NIV to discredit it in my eyes.

  • BRANDON 9/11/2013

    (kjv) 1 john 5:7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.

    (niv) 1 john 5:7 For there are three that testify

  • Sherri 9/11/2013

    (kjv) 1 john 5:7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.

    (niv) 1 john 5:7 For there are three that testify

  • 10011 01000 9/10/2013

    From what I have heard, the reason there are so many bibles is mainly because the originally the bible was written in hebrew, aramaic, and greek. So in fact there is no exact translation for most parts. Even modern readers of these languages would not understand or misinterpret some things written in the original versions.

  • Rachel 3/10/2013

    thank you paul i have learned somthing thank you

  • Paul 11/8/2012

    why don't you show the 17 total scriptures that was left out of the niv version book. along with the thousands of words that are left out. when you you open your eyes you will see that there is a major difference in the two. go back and read Revelation 22:18-19 18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: 19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.God's word is not to be tampered with.

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