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About the NIrV
New International Readers Version

  1. NIrV

The New International Readers Version

  • Approximate Reading Level: Grade 3
  • First Published: 1993 (NT) 1996 (Complete)

The NIrV is a simplification of the New International Version (NIV), today's most popular translation. The easy words and short sentences of the NIrV make it ideal for the beginning readers. Written at a thrid-grade reading level, the NIrV is a natural stepping-stone to the NIV.

In August 1991, Zondervan Publishing House wrote guidelines for developing a simplified version of the Bible to be based on the New International Version (NIV). The new version would be at a reading level of third or fourth grade and would be intended as a stepping-stone to the New International Version. The board of the International Bible Society voted to begin the project early in 1992.

In March 1992, a committee met in Colorado Springs to set up the working guidelines. Once the "simplifiers" had been recruited, training sessions were held and the process began. Fourteen denominations were represented by the forty translators and simplifiers of this Bible. Many of the translators had also worked on the NIV. All work went through a final review by an Old Testament scholar, a New Testament scholar, and an educator.

While constant reference was made to original manuscripts, the translators used the words of the NIV wherever possible. When questions arose, Greek and Hebrew scholars were consulted to help formulate what the earlier texts said and meant. The team used synonyms for some words and explained words that might not be easily understood. They also worked hard to use shorter and simpler sentences.

The initial simplification of all of the books of the Bible was completed in early 1994. In March of that year the New Testament was completed, and the painstaking review and proofing process began. The name New International Reader's Version (NIrV) was announced by the International Bible Society in August, 1994. The Old Testament was completed by the end of 1995, and the complete Bible was published in the fall of 1996. A revised edition was published in the fall of 1998, incorporating more traditional use of gender language and thus more closely matching the NIV.

Readability studies have verified that the NIrV was translated at a third grade reading level, making it the ideal choice for children and adults who are learning to read, adults who are unacquainted with the Bible, and readers for whom English is a second language.