The KJV Bible v The NIV Bible and other modern versions. Which is best?

Which is the best version of the Holy Bible?

The King James Vesion (KJV) of the Bible versus the New International Version (NIV) and other modern day versions of the Holy Text. Which is the best version to read. This is a topic that many Christians find clear cut and others end up getting totally confused and trying all sorts of strange and wonderful new versions. The thinking behind it being that they will find the true meaning of God´s word without the Thee, thou, verily, thine, maketh and other old fashioned terms making the Bible a harder read than it should be. This article aims to answer the question which is the best Bible version to have, is there one size one version fits all? This is a very important area of the Christian Faith and a highly personal one, the Bible is God´s word and it´s important to understand what he is trying to say to us. Knowing the Bible inside out will not make you a better Christian but it will help you to understand the role you have to play when you are in the Christian faith. Everything that life can throw at you, there is an answer in that Holy Book. The other modern versions are New American Standard Bible, The English Standard Version, The Revised Standard Version, The New Living Translation, The New English Bible, The Message Bible and many others. Most of these are quite similar to the NIV version so for comparison purposes we´ll stick with the NIV as a representative of the modern versions.

As with all these things, this will not be a conclusive article but one that will help you to form your own opinion. At the end of the day, if you are in the faith you´ve just got to go with "The Spirit" to decide which version is best for you.

Numerous questions arise with regard to the two most popular versions of the Bible being the KJV and the NIV.
1. Is the KJV version the only correct and accurate version of the Bible or is the NIV and all it's modern day equivalents more in tune with our modern times?
2.Does the Old school speak make it more difficult to understand the KJV or is it something you soon get used too and is not a problem?
3. Should you maybe use more than one version instead of being reliant on one single one?
4. Should you follow the lead of most Churches who mainly use the NIV version of the Bible?
5. Some people say the NIV version is heretic and even satanic in nature and changes some major elements that are important to Christianity?
6. Does the NIV contain new text that was found after the the KJV was published which renders the KJV obsolete?
7. Which is the biggest in Bible sales terms, surely that is an indicator?

Other questions will be looked at with regard to the Tech side of the Bible, what Bible´s are online?, best websites, can you get say a PDF version for download and is it free?, best Bible software for a PC or Laptop and what Appsare out there for your mobile?

My personal experience

To start, personally I use the KJV version, it´s the one I started with, had a brief flirtation with the NIV version and went back to the KJV. Why? THe NIV is definetly easier to read and understand but I felt that some important points were being changed with this version in the process of translating the old KJV version into something more in line with modern day speak. The KJV for me has a more meat and potatoes and veg non digested feel about it, whereas the NIV I compare to eating say Baby Food. I also find the KJV Version slows you down so you really assimilate and take time with each verse. You cannot speed read it! So I went back to the KJV after a brief couple of weeks with the NIV and haven´t looked back since. That was in my first couple of months of being "Saved".

Quite simply you do get used to the old fashoned lingo and once you know the meaning of say "Verily" which means "truly" which comes up repeatedly in the New Testament espcially, it really shouldn´t be an issue. I personally think reading the KJV wires your brain up to be more in tune with God´s Word, that´s just my personal opinion. A good tip if you are reading the Bible for the first time, read the New Testament first in KJV, that is easier to digest and it´s the main book of the Christian Faith, then move onto the Old Testament which is harder work but by then your mind will be accustomed to the old school language and just take your time. That´s how I started. To give you a rough time span, I was Saved on October 6th 2015 and read the Bible every day from that date and finished both Old and New Testaments by Feb 6th 2016....exactly 4 months, I have to say a very intensive 4 months. These days I now do more in the way of Bible study maybe focusing on one Book or One Chapter or even one verse and cross referencing. Sometimes it may be topic focused for example sin, helping the needy, baptism, salvation or anything else. That´s just my personal experience and personal view, you need to find what best fits your needs.

So let´s take a look at the two main versions of the Bible the KJV and the NIV (these are just 2 of about 900 versions in existence)

The King James Version (KJV), also known as the Authorized Version (AV) or the King James Bible (KJB), is an English translation of the Christian Bible for the Church of England begun in 1604 and completed in 1611. The books of the King James Version include the 39 books of the Old Testament, an intertestamental section containing 14 books of the Apocrypha, and the 27 books of the New Testament. Information courtesy Wikipedia 

The New International Version (NIV) is an English translation of the Protestant Bible. Biblica (formerly the International Bible Society) is the worldwide publisher and copyright holder of the NIV, and licenses commercial rights to Zondervan in the United States and to Hodder & Stoughton in the UK. Originally published in the 1970s, the NIV was updated in 1984 and 2011, and has become one of the most popular and best selling modern translations via Wikipedia

The KJV v NIV arguments

The NIV Problems
1. Thousands of words removed:
There has been some recent hullabaloo about the New International Version NIV, its publisher Zondervan, Zondervan's parent company HarperCollins, and the end of the world. The claim is that the NIV has removed almost 65,000 words and several verses from the Bible, and that Harper Collins also publishes The Satanic Bible, therefore the NIV has been corrupted in essence and by association. Via Blogos

2. Gender Wording Issues:
The 2011 New International Version includes some of the same problems that caused the TNIV to go out of print. The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood found over 3600 gender-related problems, including alterations to verses like 1 Timothy 2:12 and Nahum 3:13 which misrepresent the original text's teaching on gender roles. Despite this, the 2011 will now be the standard NIV sold. More at Blogos

3. Missing Verses:
If you compare the King James and New King James Versions with the newer translations (e.g. the New International Version, New American Standard, New Living Translation, etc.) - you will notice that several verses are entirely missing from the newer translations. Examples are John 5:4, Acts 8:37, and 1 John 5:7. Mark 16:9-20 is another example, although it is always placed in the text or in footnotes. Why do these translations not have these verses? Are the newer translations taking verses out of the Bible? More at 

4. Publisher Ownership:
The publisher of the NIV version is owned by News Corporation who also onwn Fox News, 20th Century Fox and National Geographic. It's published (not owned) by the same parent corporation that publishes The Satanic Bible! Via Blogos

The KJV Problems:

1. Better manuscripts, some older, have been found since the KJV was published

“The KJV New Testament (and all editions since Tyndale) was compiled primarily from the Byzantine family of manuscripts (AD 500 – 1000) frequently referred to as the Textus Receptus. But many of the newer translations were produced using a composite of later discoveries of other manuscripts and fragments dating from an earlier period. Among such are The ‘Alexandrian Family’ manuscripts (AD 200 – 400) which include the three oldest The Codex Alexandrius, the Codex Vaticanus and the Codex Sinaiticus, all which were major contributors to most Bible versions after the King James version.” via Graham Pockett Anointed Links

2. The Missing Verses issue in NIV are because they were not correct.
If you check most of the verses ‘missing’ from the NIV and other modern Bibles you will find, in nearly every case, they were an explanation of the previous verse – which makes those verses more likely to have been added by a copyist rather than deleted by a translator. This makes the ‘Alexandrian Family’ of manuscripts more likely to be closer to the original than the Textus Receptus (Byzantine Family) manuscripts, which is why they have been chosen by the later translators. via Anointed Links

3. 17th Century (KJV) Language v 20th Century (NIV) Language
People who did not grow up using the KJV have a hard time understanding it. Some of its words are no longer in use, and the antiquated forms of many words impede the understanding of the text."Words, phrases and concepts which meant one thing to a 17th Century reader often mean something totally different to a 20th Century reader?" via Anointed Links

4. Was the KJV considered heretical in 1560?
“I wonder if the Christians who used the Geneva Bible of 1560 complained loudly about the “heretical new KJV Bible” when it was first introduced?” via Anointed Links

5. Difference in Greek Translations between KJV and modern are minimal
Third, when one examines the variations between the Greek text behind the KJV (the Textus Receptus) and the Greek text behind modern translations, it is discovered that the vast majority of variations are so trivial as to not even be translatable (the most common is the moveable nu, which is akin to the difference between ‘who’ and ‘whom’! via Why I Do Not Think the King James Bible Is the Best Translation Available Today by Daniel B. Wallace via

Conclusions on the NIV and KJV Issues
Yes there are problems with both versions as they are both mere translations and rely on the translator to provide an accurate translation. Many have come to the conclusion and have emphasized that none of the revisions in the new era translations, such as the NIV or NASB (compiled with Alexandrian Family Manuscripts), conflict with any rule of faith or doctrinal issue, but some conservative church leaders refuse to accept any tampering with the “tried and proven” Textus Receptus translation of the King James Version.

KJV v NIV Bible Sales/Readership

Bible Sales and ownership would be a good indicator as to which Bible is not only the most popular but possibly the best version? If you notice in the NIV Wiki definition it is stated that the NIV "has become the most popular and best selling modern translations". There is no mention that it is a bigger seller than the original KJV version so what are the latest figures on Bible ownership and recent Bible sales to shed some light to which is the more popular version? Historically For over three hundred years the King James Version, published in 1611, was the prominent translation used in most Protestant churches but now due to changes in the English language in that time period the NIV is more prominent in Churches as a a result.

But what is the most popular version of the Bible, the KJV, NIV or maybe some other new version. Here´s some numbers and you will be surprised. Given the strong sales of NIV translations in bookstores. The NIV has topped the CBA's bestselling Bible translation list for decades, and continued to sell robustly in 2013 so it should be the NIV. But here´s the truth according to a new study advised by respected historian Mark Noll.

55 percent who read the KJV easily outnumber the 19 percent who read the New International Version (NIV). And the percentages drop into the single digits for competitors such as the New Revised Standard Version, New America Bible, and the Living Bible. This also confirms the findings of last year's American Bible Society (ABS) State of the Bible report. They found that 52 percent of Americans read the King James or the New King James Version, compared with 11 percent who read the NIV. The KJV also received almost 45 percent of the Bible translation-related searches on Google, compared with almost 24 percent for the NIV, according to Bible Gateway's Stephen Smith. In fact, searches for the KJV seem to be rising distinctly since 2005, while most other English translations are staying flat or are declining, according to Smith's Google research. Courtesy

So to answer Question 6 above "Does the NIV contain new original text that was found after the the KJV was published which renders the KJV obsolete?" the answer is Yes but nothing substantially different from the Original KJV, and the KJV is far from obsolete as the readership numbers above show.

Comparing some Bible verses betwwen the KJV and NIV

If the NIV apparently uses more accurate information from different manuscripts found after the KJV was published and merely translates the meaning into a modern day English that is understandable by people in the 21st Century there really should be no major differences......RIGHT?

Here some samples taken from taking into account some important points of Doctrine.


Psalms 12:6-7 (KJV) The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. 7 Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.

Psalms 12:6-7 (NIV) And the words of the LORD are flawless, like silver refined in a furnace of clay, purified seven times. 7 O LORD, you will keep us safe and protect us from such people forever.

Complete change in Verse 7?

John 9:35 (KJV) Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God?

John 9:35 (NIV) Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and when he found him, he said, "Do you believe in the Son of Man?"

Son of God changed to Son of Man?

Revelation 1:8 (KJV) I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

Revelation 1:8 (NIV) "I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty."

The beginning and the Ending Removed which I think is quite important

Matthew 8:29 (KJV) And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?

Matthew 8:29 (NIV) "What do you want with us, Son of God?" they shouted. "Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?"

Jesus removed

John 4:42 (KJV) And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.

John 4:42 (NIV) They said to the woman, "We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world."

The Christ changed to man

John 6:69 (KJV) And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.

John 6:69 (NIV) We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God."

Christ removed, Holy One replaces The Son

Ephesians 3:9 (KJV) And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:

Ephesians 3:9 (NIV) and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things.

Jesus Christ removed

Isaiah 14:12 (KJV) How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! Isaiah 14:15 (KJV) Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.

Isaiah 14:12 (NIV) How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! Isaiah 14:15 (NIV) But you are brought down to the grave, to the depths of the pit.

Lucifer changed from Son of the Morning to Morning Star? Hell changed to The Grave?

Matthew 1:25 (KJV) And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.

Matthew 1:25 (NIV) But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.

Removes firstborn son which would confirm the virgin birth


Matthew 27:35 (KJV) And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots.

Matthew 27:35 (NIV) When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots.

" that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet" completely missed out? Not relevant....I think it is!

Check out masses more at the superb article at

Bible Software and Apps

If you are looking for online Bibles BibleGateway is superb with 150 versions to play around with including of course the KJV and NIV.  KingJamesBibleOnline is also good and does what it says on the tin. Search on Google for downloadable PDF versions of the Bible, normally all FREE.

There are stacks of Bible Study software for your PC or laptop some will just have one version of the Bible either NIV, ESV or KJV, some are more complex and have many different Bible versions available. Some will have additional study aids, some will have concordance, some will enable you to add notes. Some of these packages can be quite bloated and need a fast machine with some decent memory to work well. I´ve tried them all! Me personally I use the Linux Operating System and not Windows and use a very simple non bloated Bible Software called "Wide Margin". It simply lists the Books, you can do a Search and highlight text and copy to an article. You can also search for a particular word and verses will come up that feature that word and you can narrow that search. It also does verses of the day. Superb bit of software and an invaluable study aid, simple, fast in KJV only and does the job and it´s free. Also available for Windows but doesn´t appear to be available for Mac. Further details at Wide Margin Highly recommended and this is used offline

These days most people are into Apps for their mobile device such as Tablet or Phone.  The Bible App is a must and I have to say it does look hip. Again just Google Best Bible Apps for whatever system you are using Iphone, Android, Windows and you will get a good selection of Apps. Some are basic, most are free but may have ads. Mine is called Holy Bible King James Bible App for Android produced by Warp Studios. Has verses of the Day, Ability to add notes to verses, search for word or chapter or book, keeps a record of what you have read and tells you in % terms what you have read of a certain chapter. Handy when pulling out a hard copy of the Bible in certain situations is not practical or desirable, read it on your phone or tab instead. It´s a free download from Google Play again KJV.  Again Highly recommended and this is used offline.


The choice of Bible you read from is of paramount importance but as you can see from the above you really have to decide what version you are going to use and I think stick with it. Each has it´s advantages and disadvantages, it is how that version fits in with how you read and study that is important and the Spirit will guide you to the correct version. The KJV is good but not perfect but I personally think it is as close as you are going to get. The NIV as demonstrated is much clearer, but much has been removed including sometimes the word Christ or Jesus for no apparent reason which is worrying?. Implying the virgin birth was not a Virgin Birth even accidentally shows the weaknesses of this Bible, many more mentioned in the featured videos. These I think, are quite glaring differences between the NIV and the older KJV. Many say the NIV Bible is sound just like the KJV on the major areas of Doctrine, but as the videos and verses above prov,e it can be radically different at times and this cannot be put down to the use of a different or so they say superior manuscript. The KJV version has been around since 1611 and has stood the test of time and readership levels at over 50% are testament to that fact, to this very day. If you struggle (especially in the Old Testament) to read the KJV, try the New King James Version (NKJV) which is the slightly more modern version but uses the same manuscript sources as the Original KJV.

My hard copy was obtained from a local Boot Sale for a Quid literally days after I was "Saved", leapt out from amongst many books, has been well thumbed by somebody that was very religious (still has his name and address in it) and by myself, is carried everywhere with me everyday...ALWAYS! I have been going to that same boot sale ever since looking for another bigger KJV copy for home use, and have never seen a bible let alone a bigger KJV or even a KJV version since? Divine intervention or not, that is a recommendation for the KJV version itself?

Either way, whether you use the KJV Bible, the NIV Bible or any other modern version of the Bible it shouldn´t be used as a way of judging somebody in the Christian faith or a way of dividing the flock, just like denominations, we all worship the same God but I think whatever version works for you,stick with it and don´t use multiple versions especially in preaching (see Rick Warren) . The true test of a Bible is when you read a verse and you are continually checking with another version of the Bible either in hard copy or online, something is not right. Personally as stated I have read the NIV and returned to the KJV after a couple of weeks. Something didn´t feel right with it.

As you´ve probably gathered I´m firmly and very enthusiastically in the KJV camp but my attitude is whatever version floats your boat and speaks to you with God´s CORRECT word, that is the right version to use. On a final note some people ask "what is the best version of the Bible to read to get "Saved". A website called answers that question . The bottom line is reading a particular version of the Bible or the Bible in general will not get you "Saved". Going to a particular Church or Churches in general even on a daily basis will not get you "Saved". Visits to the Holy Land or any other religious Geographical location get you Saved either, but all those things will "sow seeds" and  be guides to head you in that direction. I started to read the KJV Bible and went to church AFTER I got "Saved or Born Again" and not before!
The KJV Bible v The NIV Bible and other modern versions. Which is best? The KJV Bible v The NIV Bible and other modern versions. Which is best? Reviewed by Frank John on September 06, 2016 Rating: 5
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