NCV Bible Translation

I read any Bible translations that I can read.  I am frequently asked for my comments on translations, so here are my thoughts on the New Century Version or NCV

The Bad

The translation is a gender neutral which totally removes it from use for some people (I am referring to the people that think all gender-inclusive Bibles are evil). It does add to the language, but not nearly, or as bad, as the TNIV (Todays New International Version).

  • The Hebrew characters are removed from Psalm 119 which takes out some of the character, but does not impact the meaning.
  • Cheribum is simply translated as "creatures", which certainly does NOT add any value to the splendor for God.
  • References to God are lowercase as in the NIV (Note, that was also true in the old 1611 edition for you who think that capital references to God are absolutely needed).
  • Some specific parts (womb for example) are translated way to general (body). Although the womb is part of the body, it is better to be more specific!

Some verses are TOTALLY translated wrong. I do not have a complete list, but a serious and common verse is this:

Romans 10:17 NASB - So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ. KJV - So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. NIV - Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ. NCV - So faith comes from hearing the Good News, and people hear the Good News when someone tells them about Christ.

As you can see, the typical translations focus on the word being the transforming mediator, but the NCV, the person becomes the mediator. This is certainly not faithful to the text. There are several other verses that can be used.

The Good

There is not much that I really considered extraordinary. There are a few verses that I liked the wording for Romans 1:32 - They know God's law says that those who live like this should die. But they themselves not only continue to do these evil things, they applaud others who do them. Other than that, one can get some comedy relief from reading Ezekiel 12 and counting how many times he writes "Human"...I can almost see a fraternity drinking game spawn out of this one. Why does it say this so much? Because the term "Son of Man" is not gender neutral!


I don't quite think we should engage in book burning here, but when you get an NCV, you may not be getting the most faithful translation. It is of note that this translation is sold as many other names, most commonly, ICB, or the International Children's Bible (I think that there are 7 verses that are different between the two). (Image - Thomas Nelson, The Answer: Authentic Faith in an Uncertain World)