Today's question comes from a young woman in Pakistan that recently converted to Christianity! God Bless her!
Question: I've been reading the Bible (Catholic Version), is it reliable and okay to read it? Is there any difference in teachings or the words from other versions of the Bible? I've been researching,and I found out that the Bible was adulterated and changed with the passage of years and the Jews have changed the Word of God in the Bible, is it true? Is there any reliable version of the Bible that has been 'unchanged' and same when it was first written. I'm using the NRSV Catholic Bible, just for your reference. Also, I heard that the NIV is bad to read, but I heard a lot of people use if because it's easy to read. Is it good too?
Answer: I'd be remiss if I didn't at least tell you something about that Bible you have in your possession...
It contains books that not only Protestants and Jews don't agree with, but they haven't agreed with them since the early 1st century.
For example, the books of Tobit and Judith don't exist in a "proper Bible". Neither does the "book of Wisdom" for that matter.
My advice to you, if you have the ability to, is find one of these Bibles: NKJV, KJV, NASB, ESV (and in that order as the ESV is a worst case scenario). Jesus said, "For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light", reading this Catholic Bible may make you find yourself questioning certain basic things like Salvation, Grace & Freedom in Christ. Needless to say, it is not considered "reliable", as you had asked...
As for the NIV issue, I cover this quite thoroughly in my book. I've had some quite heated discussions with people regarding the NIV as well.
From my perspective, any Bible that goes out of it's way to LEAVE THINGS OUT or change Scripture in such a way as to weaken it or make it seeker friendly, is a Bible to avoid.
Missing Verses from the NIV:
So how many missing verses does a Bible have to have, in order to consider it rubbish?
I say *1*...
And then there's MAJOR issues like 1 John 5:7...
NIV - For there are three that testify:
NKJV - For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one.
Why did the NIV leave more than half of verse 7 out, and why oh why is there a CRITICAL teaching missing here?
Another big thing, is the NIV only mentions the "Blood of Christ" about 80 times, while the NKJV & KJV reference it more than 100. Most of the NIV readers I meet and speak to in my Ministry are completely clueless, as to the redeeming nature of His Blood.
There are more than 60,000 words missing from the NIV. Which words are missing, that would further your maturity in Christ? Do you know?
I've been using this example to try to make people understand WHY Bible choice is so important:
If you've got a glass of water and there's one small drop of POISON in it, will you still drink it?
I teach every week on my show, "Be like a Berean... Never believe anything I tell you, LOOK IT UP FOR YOURSELF and be CONFIDENT that what you have learned is TRUE. Not because I said so, but because God said so..."