Saturday, October 26, 2013

Gideons Edition of the New International Version

First, I want to thank Joshua Holman for alerting me to this edition. He has also done quite a bit of research on this and other Bibles. Thank you Joshua!

What Joshua discovered is that The Gideons International distributed slightly modified editions of the New International Version. This is exciting to Bible Collectors and those who study different versions. The rest of you may yawn appropriately.

I don't know all the details of this edition yet. I believe in the U.S. The Gideons International distributed the New International Version of the Bible from 1983 to 1986. I have New Testaments from 1984 and 1985. I do not know if they distributed the full Bible in NIV as well.

The editions distributed by The Gideons had the following changes:

  1. Footnotes were removed.
  2. Some alternate readings in the footnotes were incorporated into the text (John 1:14, 18, 3:16, 18; Acts 13:33; Hebrews 1:5, 5:5; 1 John 4:9).
  3. Verses which were found only in the footnotes in the original NIV were incorporated into the Gideons text (Matthew 17:21, 18:11, 23:14; Mark 7:16, 9:44, 9:46, 11:26, 15:28; Luke 17:36, 23:17; John 5:4; Acts 8:37, 15:34, 28:29; Romans 16:24).

I am still trying to find out:

  • What years did The Gideons in the U.S. distribute the NIV?
  • What years did The Gideons in the U.K. distribute the NIV?
  • Were there any other changes besides the ones mentioned above?
  • Are the U.S. and the U.K. editions the same aside from anglicized spelling?

(The Gideons also distributed The New Berkeley Version in the 80s and are now distributing a slightly revised English Standard Version. More about this in a future post. I also wish to thank The Gideons International for their incredible ministry around the world!)


  1. Before this thread is dying, I'd like to share some information from a distance (Germany): Yes, Joshua H. kindled my interest in the Gideons Bibles, starting with his contribution to bibles.wikidot, the "modified" ESV, which he helped me to obtain from Michigan. Only days later I received - by mistake - a 2012 British Gideons– NIV from England, which, once being evaluated, might shed some light on questions this thread raises. Only today I rescued the 1983 edition of the NIE (!), not NIV, sent from Maryland, from our the letter box. It took me days to find this link here, after unsuccessfully hunting for substantial information given by an "expert" called Mr. Verdell, who maintains that 44 changes have been made to the NIE compared to the standard NIV. First of all I will share my basic information about both versions, the NIE and the British NIV to bibles.wikidot; thereafter, as I find time, check the information you gave about the 1.) footnotes that are or are not incorporated in the main text and 2.) the differences between the U.S. and the British NIV.
    I am very grateful for the forum I "just found" today and appreciate this discussion.
    S. J. Birnbaum, Karlsruhe, Germany

    1. Birnbaum, send me an email to josh AT sillydog DOT org and I will forward you the message I received from the British Gideons. God bless.

  2. Some remarks to the British NIV (Gideon) edition compared to the US version of the NIV:
    I do have both the standard NIV © 1978 and © 1984 versions with British and American spelling.

    There are NO footnotes elevated into the text of the Gideons' NIE for the American 1983 (=© 1978 ) version:
    None of the verses mentioned in § 3., from Mat 17:21, to Rom 16:24 are to be found in the main text.
    That means that only in the revised editions with © 1984 the "missing" verses are incorporated in the text. That's also the case for the British Gideons' until at least 2012 (with © 1984).

    Regarding the American 1983 edition "New International Edition NIE" (© 1978) the alternate readings (§ 2) are incorporated in the text.

    I did inquire from the British Gideons about the publication data/ details of their NIV. I hope they answer my request.

    As to the question whether the British and American versions are identical aside the spelling:
    They are. Both the © 1978 and the © 1984 editions are otherwise identical. They share the same Copyright data and owner: New York International Bible Soc. for the 1978 and International Bible Soc. for the 1984 version. The British publishers are Hodder & Stoughton. For both, the U.S. and the British version "The Committee on Bible Translation" wrote the preface; the earlier one dated June 1978 (in the anglicized Ed.) and supplemented with "Revised August 1983" (also in the anglicized version), written in East Brunswick NJ for 1978 and Colorado Springs CO for 1983. The preface has no British note. The only indication of a British printing is in the 1978 version, where the Copyright data are amended with »First published in Great Britain 1979« The 1984 version has no addendum.

  3. Addendum:
    The following 30 footnote- verses from the standard (British) © 1984 version have been elevated into the main text of the Gideons' : (hope I' ve got them all)
    Mat 5:22.44 - 6:13 - 15:6 - 17:21 - 23:14 - 27:35.
    Mark 7:14.16 - 9:44.46 - 11:26 - 12:23 - 13:33 - 14:68 - 15:28
    Luk 9:54.55 - 17:36
    John 1:14.18
    Acts 8:37 - 15:34 - 24:6.7 - 28:29
    Rom 11:6 - 16:24 -- 1 Cor 10:28 -- 1 John 5:7

    1. Thank you for all this information. I appreciate your work!

  4. Upon my query for British Gideons' versions, I received the following reply:

    »The version that we use in our Bibles is the 1984 New International Version but
    the NIV has been printed here since 1979. The Gideons have been placing
    Scriptures in the UK since 1949.

    There has also been another revised New International Version which was published
    in 2011 which we do not use. If your NIV Bible is a Gideon Bible then it will
    still be a 1984 version.«

    M.M. of Gideons', Lutterworth, U.K.