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.
The Jerusalem Bible is used for Mass throughout the world. Except in the United States.
This is really a biased poll of Bible users since it does not include Catholics.
Other Catholic Bible translations approved:
Vulgate — from where do you think you got your Bibles?
NABRE or Revised NAB
I read NRSV every day, 2 chapters. Is it Catholic approved?
no. Dark cover, brown to near black. But then the cover color isn’t of much importance..
I had a NWT version from the early 60’s. IN comparitive study, especially to later version of the NWT. It was a farce. Doctrinal translations defended in earlier versions were changed in later versions with no explanation give and as if the previous translation never happened. Then some such nonsense about the translation committee not giving their names so as to not detract from glorifying God...or whatever the nonsensical reason given. Your organization is duplicitous. Study the history of your group.
I like The Message and New Living Translation versions.
As I said the NWT is an excellent work of translation. Top of the line!
Someone recommended the Scofield Bible to me. I plan to order one and check it out. Anyone have any thoughts about it they’d like to share, I’d appreciate your insight.
Douay Rheims and NAB for me.
I don’t consider paraphrases like “The Message” to be ‘Bible translations.”
I almost always read Psalms and Ecclesiastes in KJV, but use many other versions for much of the rest.
***Someone recommended the Scofield Bible to me.***
The Scofield is just a KJV, Oxford version, with Scofield’s notes. I just got rid of mine as I no longer believe his notes are correct. I get my bibles from Bibles Direct.com.
They are true English Oxford and Cambridge bibles with no notes.
Thanks for the info.
RE: Someone recommended the Scofield Bible to me.
The notes and commentary in that Bible translation lean definitely DISPENSATIONAL when it comes to their view of prophecy and the second coming.
See here for details:
RE: As I said the NWT is an excellent work of translation.
How does the NWT translate John 1:1-3 ?
NWT (New World Translation ):
John 1:1. “the Word was a god”
Thanks. Looks like it was pretty influential. Might make for some interesting reading. Looking at others’ viewpoints helps me understand my own understanding (if that makes any sense).
The Jerusalem Bible is my favorite Bible, but I also have both the NAB updated and the NRSV, Catholic edition as well.
Heresy straight from the pit of hell.
All the manuscripts have mistakes—if they had one that they could be sure had every letter exactly as it was first written by the author of that book they would use it, but each surviving manuscript is the product of repeated recopying and the copyists inevitably made mistakes in their work. The same problem exists for the texts of all the other ancient authors—Homer, Plato, Cicero, etc. The editors do the best they can to restore the original text but at times they cannot be sure how the text originally read.
Likely you have in mind John 1:1c which the NWT renders “...the Word was a god..”
Did someone forget a /sarcasm tag?
The Revised English Bible is an update to the New English Bible. Like it, it does a ‘thought for thought’ translation, which often borders on a paraphrase. I liked the NEB, but sometimes felt a need to double check what it said.
I’d go with the NASB for a detailed study, or the NLB for reading 1 Corinthians, for example, in one sitting.
“Vulgate from where do you think you got your Bibles?
Well, not from the Vulgate. The last major translation into English from it was the Wycliffe Bible.
And the modern DR is the revision made around 1750, which took the KJV and adjusted passages to make it agree with Catholic theology.
Do you actually know what Bible was printed on the Gutenberg press?
It was the Catholic Bible.
You may want to re-check facts.
RE: Likely you have in mind John 1:1c which the NWT renders ...the Word was a god..
Yes, is that accurate translation?
The NLT is my favorite translation just to read.
Do you actually know what Bible was printed on the Gutenberg press?
It was the Catholic Bible.
You may want to re-check facts.
My facts are not wrong. The first and ONLY major translation into English of the Vulgate was Wycliffe’s, which was brutally suppressed by the Catholic Church in England.
The DR version sold today is the revision made in the 1700s, largely a minor rewording of the KJV to make the KJV agree with Catholic theology.
“Much of the text of the 1582/1610 bible, however, employed a densely latinate vocabulary, to the extent of being in places unreadable; and consequently this translation was replaced by a revision undertaken by bishop Richard Challoner; the New Testament in three editions 1749, 1750, and 1752; the Old Testament (minus the Vulgate apocrypha), in 1750. Although retaining the title DouayRheims Bible, the Challoner revision was in fact a new version, tending to take as its base text the King James Bible  rigorously checked and extensively adjusted for improved readability and consistency with the Clementine edition of the Vulgate.”
The Catholic Church bitterly opposed vernacular translations for hundreds of years. The rich were allowed Bibles, but the commoners were not.