Most Popular Bible Translations - Current List

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bookslover

Puritan Board Doctor
I saw this at Pastor Brett.

The top ten Bibles currently are:

1. NIV
2. KJV
3. NKJV
4. NLT (New Living Translation)
5. ESV
6. HCSB (Holman Christian Standard Bible)
7. The Message (ugh!)
8. NASB
9. NIRV (New International Reader's Bible - whatever that is)
10. The 1960 Spanish translation

Amazing how The Jimmy (#2) keeps hanging in there. I expect there will be an uptick in sales this year, with the 400th anniversary.

I'm surprised the ESV is only at #5, considering how good the translation is (In my humble opinion) and considering that Crossway Books has given it a thoroughly relentless marketing campaign since it first came out in September, 2001. Perhaps it's suffering from over-exposure.

...and the humble NASB is down there at #8...
 

CIT

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Could the reason for the ESV numbers be that the top four are put out by various publishers, but the ESV is put out by only Crossway?
 

Scottish Lass

Puritan Board Doctor
The ESV is also the new guy on the block. Most people don't rush out and get a new Bible, especially of a new translation. People tend to stick to what they know; it would take somewhat of a paradigm shift for most lay people to change translations. I only know two laity who have changed translations in the last five years--one because of a growth in faith, the other to match what was being read/quoted/preached in worship). The first switched from a paraphrase to the NIV, and the second simply added the NASB to her collection, but generally leaves it in her pew.
 

LawrenceU

Puritan Board Doctor
From what I can see the ESV has only really been embraced among the younger Reformed/Calvinistic crowd.

I hate to see the NASB slipping. I guess mine will become more valuable someday. ;)
 

KSon

Puritan Board Junior
I guess I would react in amazement that the ESV is only #5 given the "both barrels" marketing approach that Crossway has taken (every type/color of cover, advertised acceptance by many well-known evangelicals).
 

Micah Everett

Puritan Board Freshman
I guess I would react in amazement that the ESV is only #5 given the "both barrels" marketing approach that Crossway has taken (every type/color of cover, advertised acceptance by many well-known evangelicals).

From what I can see the ESV has only really been embraced among the younger Reformed/Calvinistic crowd.

While the ESV is popular in Reformed/Calvinistic circles, our corner of the professing-Christian world is still pretty small. Reminds me a bit of the famous (and possibly constructed out of thin air/urban legend rather than actually spoken by Pauline Kael) quote following the 1972 presidential election, "I don't know how Nixon could have won. I don't know anybody that voted for him."
 
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Edward

Puritanboard Commissioner
I'm surprised that the NKJV is that high. I like it, but I didn't realize that I was that mainstream. Disappointing that the NIV is top of the list.
 

Jack K

Puritan Board Professor
I guess I would react in amazement that the ESV is only #5 given the "both barrels" marketing approach that Crossway has taken (every type/color of cover, advertised acceptance by many well-known evangelicals).

But Crossway has resisted the most profit-making new trend in Bible marketing, which is publishing the Bible with added, cheesy devotional material aimed at particular segments of the market: the Teenage Girl's Devotional Bible, the Businessman's Devotional Bible, the Fisherman's Devotional Bible, etc. The only thing close that Crossway does with the ESV is a new Bible for children, but it's more like a study Bible than one of those bad devotional Bibles.

Crossway's refusal to stoop to such tactics must certainly result in lower sales figures, but is highly admirable. It's much better to give customers many options of cover design than to give them many options added of human wisdom. Alas, it is not more marketable.


9. NIRV (New International Reader's Bible - whatever that is)

New International Readers Version. It's based on the 1984 NIV, but with the sentences made shorter and some words simplified for young readers or those for whom English is a second language. I've used it in some situations with younger kids. It is easier for them to read and follow, and take to heart. It's not my choice for everyday use by adults and older kids, but it's worth having in your arsenal around younger kids.
 
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