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New International Reader's Version (NIrV)

But I won't brag more than I should. Instead, I will brag only about what I have done in the area God has given me. It is an area that reaches all the way to you.

2 Corinthians 10:13 (NIrV)

Reading Level: 2.90
Readbility: Very easy to read and understand; uses simple, short words and sentences
Reference Support Material: Low; but NIV materials can be used.
Number of Translators: 11 Translators, 40 (including stylists and simplifiers)
Translation Philosophy/Format:

Designed to help young children and new readers read and understand the Bible for themselves and create an easy stepping-stone from a children’s Bible to an adult Bible.

Translation Philosophy/Format

Balance between a word-for-word translation and thought-for-thought, with an emphasis on meaning for simplification.


“The NIrV meets a crying need. Its simplicity, clarity, and accuracy put God’s Word within reach of millions of persons who find standard translations beyond their grasp.”

Dr. David Hubbard

President/OT professor Emeritus, Fuller Theological Seminary


“I’m sure that Christian parents will appreciate the NIrV, especially those looking for a Bible the whole family can use for quiet time, home schooling, family devotions — all kinds of home study. The simplified sentence structure will help kids understand what they are reading or hearing.”

Brad Lewis

Editor of Christian Parenting Today


“I’ve searched the shelves for a Bible that my children can easily understand. At lasthere is one. Now I have only to pray for flashlights under the covers late at night as they turn the pages and discover God.”

Elisa Morgan

President of MOPS International


A thorough, scholarly simplification of the New International Version (NIV) to enable early readers, ages 6 to 10 read and understand God’s message. Many of the same scholars who translated the NIV also worked on the New International Reader’s Version (NIrV) translation. Literary experts and educators worked with these Bible scholars to ensure both the scriptural integrity and literary stylistic excellence. The NIV for kids!

In August 1991, Zondervan established general guidelines for developing a simplified version of the Bible to be based on the New International Version (NIV). The new version was designed for  a third or fourth grade reading level and 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 “translators” 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 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.