Skip to comments.Top Bible Translations Remain NIV, KJV and NKJV
Posted on 09/22/2013 6:08:10 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
The New International Version, the King James Version and the New King James Version continue to enjoy popularity among Bible readers, according to the Association for Christian Retail (CBA) and the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA).
While the CBA and the ECPA agree on the top-selling three Bible translations for the month of September, the organizations vary on which versions of Christian Scripture rank among the remaining 7 bestsellers.
According to the CBA, whose rankings are based on sales at member Christian retail stores in the U.S. through Aug. 3, 2013, the top Bible translations are: (1) New International Version; (2) King James Version; (3) New King James Version; (4) English Standard Version; (5) New Living Translation; (6) Holman Christian Standard Bible; (7) New American Standard; (8) Common English Bible; (9) New International Readers Version; (10) Reina Valera 1960.
The ECPA's list, compiled using adult book sales data from Christian retail stores across the U.S., includes: (1) New International Version; (2) King James Version; (3) New King James Version; (4) New Living Translation; (5) English Standard Version; (6) Reina Valera; (7) New American Standard Bible; (8) New International Reader's Version; (9) The Message; (10) Christian Standard Bible.
Sales charts from the ECPA going back all the way to January show that the NIV, NLV, KJV and NKJV have consistently wrestled for the top spot among buyers.
Daniel Wallace, a New Testament scholar who has served as a consultant and editor on at least five Bible translations, told The Christian Post earlier this year that Bible readers can benefit greatly from reading various translations.
"I think that English speakers should have more than one translation. If we have in our background a history of Christian thought in the Western world, especially in the English-speaking world, it's part of our tradition and it's important to own a lot more than one translation," said Wallace.
He suggested the King James Bible for English-speaking readers, citing its "elegance and its cadence and the beauty of its language."
"But it's not the most accurate anymore," Wallace added of the KJV. "So it's elegant, it's easy to memorize out of even though the language is archaic, but it's not always real clear and it's not always real accurate."
The Dallas Theological Seminary professor of New Testament Studies also suggested the NIV as a "reading Bible," expressing the opinion that the translation is good for reading discourses or narratives "a paragraph at a time, a chapter at a time "
Other suggested translations were the NET Bible, ESV, NLT, the Revised English Bible and the Message.
Despite the number of translations available and the Bible being the world's most printed and widely distributed book, surveys have consistently showed that many Christians rarely read the Bibles they own.
While LifeWay Research reported in September 2012 that 80 percent of churchgoers do not read the Bible daily, the American Bible Society and Barna Research found in their "State of the Bible 2013" study that 57 percent of Americans read Scripture less than five times throughout the year.
NIV? Tricky as far as the Greek texts used.
I’m not Protestant, but I like the NKJV and the ESV.
While I own a wide variety of translations the 1961 large print ed. of the NWT is the one I prefer for reading. A truly excellent work.
The best Bible translation is the one you’ll actually read. I tend to switch every year so I don’t gloss over familiar scriptures.
This year I’m reading the ESV, and it may be my favorite.
IHMO, serious students of scripture need to use NASB with KJV and Darby for reference. Along with Strong’s & Young’s concordances....commentaries are ok, but should only be referenced once one has done their own personal prayerful research first. Books by good authors (most of whom are not living) should be last.
So sad there is such a poverty of men and women who really know scripture cover-to-cover, and in depth.
Today’s Christianity is 100 miles wide and 1/8” deep, and 95% (or more) of what Christians believe is 2nd hand, pre-digested food - something they heard a pastor say, read in a book, or heard in Sunday School or a Bible Study. Living on pre-digested food will ensure that one is an immature believer all of one’s life. Even good commentaries and books are still “pre-digested” food, and what another has heard from God.
And how is one to discern when an author is “off” on something without knowing the scripture? Yes, the Holy Spirit can speak to one’s spirit, but one needs to know what scripture says to really know.
The lack of personal, direct knowledge of God’s word is perhaps the greatest need among God’s people, greatest lack. One who truly desires to know God personally and deeply will always be a serious student of scripture. True Christian maturity is impossible without this.
Even if it happens to be The Message?
The best Bible translation is the one youll actually read
Indeed, reading different versions is always good for balance, deeper understanding - and should be a regular practice for every student of scripture. But while keeping one good translation as a base....
I do several Bible studies and I may read 4 different versions of the same passage to get the real meaning of it.
KJB for me!
There’s a nice feature on Biblegateway.com that allows display of two versions, side-by-side. One is NIV.
Actually, I’m wrong, you can display 3 at a time and it doesn’t have to be NIV
The Message...UGH! Run from preachers who use it.
I agree . . . no feminazi phrase changes or watering down . . . little tough to read sometimes, but I can handle it.
Actually, I’m wrong, you can display a lot of versions side by side, the columns just keep getting thinner.
I read the NIV (actually listened to Max McLean reading it) about four times. I might have done it a fifth time or just started it and got halfway through. I forget.
I’m now reading the New American Bible, a Catholic translation revised in 2011. I was apprehensive having tried an earlier version and found it difficult. But I love this version. I have it on my Kindle. Reading it on Kindle, I can highlight, take notes, bookmark, and not feel like I’m damaging a sacred book. I love it.
I can’t recommend too strongly, if you are interested in what the New Testament says go to your local college and take 2 years of Greek. The at least you will know what it says (but I won’t guarantee you will know what it means). I believe that you will also have a much deeper understanding of the text. Most English translations of the New Testament leave much to be desired. (Sorry all you guys that worked on the translations).
To me, it's akin to the Catholic Church using Latin until a while ago (and some wanting to bring it back). As a child, I knew all the proper responses to the Mass, but hadn't an idea of what the priest was saying or what I was saying - it was useless to me and I never got the message until many years later and was sitting in a non-denominational church. I was baptized, had my first communion, and was confirmed, all without a clue - following rituals does not save a person - even though the NIV and others may have some background you disagree with, the fundamental message of God's Love and Christs saving Grace rings loud and clear.
The NIV (and the NASB to a degree) have redacted New Testaments, because they used corrupted manuscripts. This goes back to the 3rd century, when people were already taking offense to the gospels and other NT passages, and changing them to their liking.
The manuscripts used for many modern translations were assembled in the late 19th century by a couple of "intellectuals," but the Textus Receptus/Majority Text were put together by Desiderius Erasmus in the late 16th century. The TR/MT are used by the King James translation.
Anyone not familiar with the Revised English Bible (1989) should give it a try. It is a British translation that is clear without sounding breezy or colloquial. I’m surprised it is not more well-known and used.