NIV/TNIV Comparison

Exactly how different is the TNIV from the NIV?

I wondered this for sometime.

And then, because I have Logos Bible Software, I decided to check. I left my computer running all night and it took a total of about 14 hours to complete the comparison [Update] An old laptop from 2002.

Here are the results:


4.2% Variant from Base.

Not as different as I expected….(sorry that its so small, I was trying to keep the file size down, and yes it is clickable)

What about you? What did you expect?

UPDATE: I’ve since began a series going through the sections of the Bible noting and discussing the kinds of changes made:

NIV / TNIV – The Pentateuch

NIV / TNIV – The Historical Books

NIV / TNIV – Poetic Books

NIV / TNIV – The Major Prophets

NIV / TNIV – The Minor Prophets

NIV / TNIV – The Gospels

NIV / TNIV – Paul’s Letters

NIV / TNIV – The General Letters & Revelation

15 thoughts on “NIV/TNIV Comparison

Add yours

  1. That adds fuel to the fire that IBS could have taken the majority of those changes, made a general revision of the NIV and avoided the whole TNIV mess. On the other hand, I can feel somewhat better about using a TNIV in a NIV church environment…

    I’m even more impressed that you left your computer alone for 14 hours. I’m not sure I could do that… addicted I am.

  2. This was deliberate. The Committee on Bible Translation for the NIV continues to meet annually and, somewhat to my amazement, have invited me to join so I’ll be attending their annual summer meetings in 2008 for the first time. The purpose of ongoing revisions in not to create yet another new translation of the Bible (arguably we already have too many in English) but to improve previous editions in a comparatively small number of places, but in those places where the committee feels changes are most needed.

  3. I’ve thought of doing that but when I saw my computer attempt to generate I stopped it thinking to myself it will never finish. I’d like to compare the RSV with the ESV. Maybe I’ll let it run all night one day too.

  4. It is interesting to me that the variation is so miniscule and yet I LOVE the TNIV and just don’t care for the NIV. Those small areas they worked on made a lot of difference for me, personally.

  5. But what does “4.2% Variant” mean? 4.2% of words different? Surely not that many. 4.2% of verses changed? Perhaps. But in that case this is an extremely crude measure. Something different? In that case, indeed in any case, this is a meaningful figure only if put in the context of differences between other versions. How different is NIV from RSV? Probably quite a lot more. How different is the 1984 edition of NIV from the the first edition? Probably less. How different is ESV from RSV? Perhaps less – but depending on how the measure is done that might be distorted by the very common but essentially trivial change from “thou” to “you” for God.

  6. I’m certain this is only changes, additions and subtractions. Expanse to vault, that sort of thing. 4% is pretty significant in my estimation. Now what they thought they were updating by changing expanse to vault I don’t know…

    If you have more info on your impressions on kinds of changes that would be cool.

  7. I didn’t write the program.

    As far as I can tell, it compares every place a word is different.

    Unfortunately, I did this several weeks ago and cannot remember any details about specific changes.

    One thing that it did not do was compare the punctuation differences between the two versions.

    Peter, the comparison goes word by word as far as I can tell, not verse by verse.

    One of the greatest books for change is Proverbs, which has over 10% – no doubt affected by Bruce Waltke’s commentary & translation.

    In order to compare the RSV and ESV, the best way might be to compare the RSV with the ESV and the NRSV and then compare the ESV with the NRSV, that way you could eliminate the “thou” to “you” changes.

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