On this blog we look at the three main reasons for differences between the KJV and NIV. It is a fact that God employs man in His plans to carry forward His Word. At present we have different types of translations like the Direct, and Dynamic translations. There are also Paraphrases and Bibles translated with Pre conceived purposes or for specific groups.
To understand the causes for differences, we have to understand the origin of the New Testament. We look at the first century and how the Church decided on the Canon. At first all manuscripts were written in the Uncial type, but since the ninth century, Minuscule type took over. With more than 5000 Greek manuscripts we can reconstruct the New Testament. Scribes played a vital role in the duplication of manuscripts, making unintentional errors by interpolating letters or by leaving some words out by mistake. Sometimes they altered the text with synonyms or did not hear properly what was dictated. But in other cases some scribes intentionally altered the grammar, or tried to harmonize texts. There are cases where they altered it for doctrinal considerations.
Due to differences with the first printed Greek New Testament that came into use in 1516 A.D., the available manuscripts were studied more intensely, discovering that texts belonged to specific Text Types according to their peculiar readings. By studying the important witnesses of the New Testament, and comparing them with Antique Translations and quotations of Church Fathers, we are able to evaluate variant readings. Yet this has to be done with legitimate criteria and not personal preference.
The translator of the Bible is often challenged in the technique of translation and sometimes confronted with unique translational problems. I urge you the reader of this blog to study the causes for the differences between the KJV and NIV with an open mind. But most of all I beg you to study the Word of God until you are in a living relationship with Him.