Which NIV Bible is Which?

Posted on: June 28th, 2013 by Michelle Stramel 15 Comments

The New International Version of the Bible (NIV) was originally published in 1973. It was updated in 1978, 1984 and then again in 2011. If you purchase the New International Version Bible from Laridian today, you will be purchasing the 2011 edition. If you purchased the NIV Bible previous to 2011, you have the 1984 edition. According to the translators of the NIV, the 2011 update reflects developments in biblical scholarship and changes in English usage yet 95% of the text from the 1984 edition has remained the same.

The PocketBible version of the NIV includes two options (or files) – one with cross-references and one without. If you purchase the 2011 version, the two files will be labeled as follows in your download account:

  • New International Version (NIV Cross Reference Edition)
  • New International Version (NIV)

Note that the cross-reference edition lists a larger file size than the second or non-cross-reference edition. If you also owned the 1984 edition of the NIV, you can continue to use it even if you purchase the 2011 edition. You will see the 1984 edition in your download list as:

  • New International Version (1984 NIV)
  • New International Version (1984 NIV)

Again, look at the file size to distinguish between the cross-reference and non cross-reference edition – the larger file contains cross-references.

If you are not interested in cross-references, install the edition without cross-references. If you like to use cross-references, install only the cross-reference edition. If you ever want to view the Bible text without the cross-reference indicators (also known as footnotes), you can turn those off temporarily in the settings of PocketBible.

If you install both the NIV 1984 and NIV 2011 editions (either cross-reference or not), when you go to open the Bibles – the 1984 Edition is the one that is titled The Holy Bible: New International Version. The 2011 edition is entitled simply as the New International Version. If you open both versions, they each use the NIV abbreviation so it is better to open only one at a time.

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15 Responses

  1. Susan A. Karnesky says:

    THANK YOU! I have never been able to tell which NIV Bible is which (from the download link), and never knew which to install when I got a new device (iPad, Android phone, replacement phone). This looks very helpful.

  2. Paul says:

    Thanks for the info. It all makes sense when choosing which to open or download. And while the cross referenced one’s are easily identified in use, it would be extremely helpful if the abbreviation on two of the four could be changed(either to the NIV11, or NIV84.) Just because I’ve found they are quite indistinguishable on my iPod even in separate panes.

    It’s been in the last while, while teaching, I’ve run into the situation where someone in the class will say “My NIV doesn’t have that word”, and having a quick way to tell the difference between the two would be extremely helpful.

    Thanks Again

    • Paul, thanks for your comment and request. We are trying to follow the publishers requests that we call these books the “NIV” but I understand why this is difficult when you want to use the both editions at the same time.

      Michelle S.

  3. Rick (Indy) says:

    I understand that the NIV itself is untouchable, but what about adding a copyright after it (NIV ©1984, and NIV ©2011) ? Or, perhaps, include the most recent year of copyright in the longer name?

  4. Jeremy says:

    Thanks for the explanation. Can you not just name them all using the same syntax, to avoid any confusion? Even with this explanation, it’s still confusing. Eg what about:

    New International Version (2011 NIV Cross Reference Edition)
    New International Version (2011 NIV)
    New International Version (1984 NIV Cross Reference Edition)
    New International Version (1984 NIV)

    If you can use the year 1984 in the name of the latter two, then why not use the year 2011 in the name of the first two? And if you can use “Cross Reference Edition” for the 2011 version, then why not also for the 1984 version? Then each one is immediately clear which year it is, and whether or not it’s the cross reference edition.

    Likewise, when the 2011 and 1984 are both installed together, I would recommend putting the year into the title as well:

    The Holy Bible: New International Version (1984)
    New International Version (2011)

    (I guess you can’t remove “The Holy Bible” from the 1984 edition – if you could, then this would also be good for brevity/consistency with 2011)

    And when each one is open, can you make the abbreviation something like ’84 NIV and ’11 NIV or similar?

    Everything you can do to make it visually clear which version we are downloading, opening, and currently viewing, will be a big help!


    • Jeremy, thanks for your suggestions. The names and abbreviations are subject to a combination of programming issues and publisher requirements so, unfortunately, it isn’t as easy as it appears to change all this. In the meantime, we have this explanation 🙂

      Michelle S.

  5. Chris Waddington says:

    Hi thank you for the explanation regarding different NIV versions. At the risk of adding more complexity will you be offering a version in British English

    • Chris,

      I seem to recall some licensing issue pertaining to the British-English NIV. Whatever it was it caused us not to pursue it the last time we looked into it. I’ll make sure it’s on the suggestion list, though, for consideration going forward.

  6. Pat says:

    On my Android devices I have both NIV 84 and NIV 2011. But on Windows I can only download NIV 84. ???

    • Craig Rairdin says:

      Make sure you’re logged into the same account on both devices. And contact support@laridian.com if you continue to have problems. The comment section of this post from three years ago isn’t the best place to get help. 🙂

  7. Colin Gibson says:

    I see that 3 years ago there was an enquiry about an anglasised version of the NIV (NIVUK). The response was that there were licensing issues but the situation would be reconsidered.
    Could you advise if now there are any plans to offer a British-English NIV.

    • Craig Rairdin says:

      There is an article here that describes what we’re working on currently. The Anglicised NIV is not in that list.

  8. Paul Wright says:

    Useful article. Where does NIV Study Bible Notes (2008 Revised Version) fit into this spectrum. Does it attach to one of the bibles or is it just a stand alone reference?

    • Craig Rairdin says:

      All our study Bibles are organized like commentaries. They do not contain any Bible text themselves, and work alongside any Bible.

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