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The Most Popular and Fastest Growing Bible Translation Isn't What You Think It Is

NIV vs. KJV: Surveys and searches suggest the translation that most Americans are reading is actually not the bookstore bestseller.

When Americans reach for their Bibles, more than half of them pick up a King James Version (KJV), according to a new study advised by respected historian Mark Noll.

The 55 percent who read the KJV easily outnumber the 19 percent who read the New ...

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Displaying 1–5 of 15 comments.

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Chris Stephens

March 13, 2014  4:51pm

I don't read the KJV, but I do frequently search for passages using it because often the segments of a verse that I remember were planted in Sunday School, when we read the version Paul used.

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March 13, 2014  4:13pm

I suspect that many of those KJV buyers are looking for a bookshelf bible, or following their parents' tradition, etc. People who seriously want to understand the bible's meaning will choose a modern translation. I currently use the ESV Study Bible, finding the clear text and the commentary giving me a much better understanding of the entire bible.

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Amos Stoltzfus

March 13, 2014  4:02pm

KJV--Good News for Modern Man in the 17th Century! And it also was revised and changed throughout the years as are other translations including the NIV.

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March 13, 2014  3:38pm

A large chunk of people think that the KJV is the original Bible and that the others are human, culturally driven, rewrites. Many Christians cannot name the original languages and give a coherent explanation of basic translation principles. I think that Pat Bailey (above) in throwing Sophia into the conversation has the careful, methodical NIV translators mixed up with the leftmost fringe of religion. The Sophia "re-imagining" advocates are far, far left of the mainline NRSV and CEB let alone of the evangelical NIV translators who are translating the Hebrew and Greek into the language usage of this time and place. While my overall favorite translation is the formal ESV, those who want very little hint of egalitarian language can choose the formal NASB or mid-range HCSB or NET, but the NIV is a solid translation with only moderate use of inclusive language. It ought to be consulted along with some other evangelical dynamic options that are moderately inclusive (NLT, NCV/EXB, VOICE).

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Karen Rhodes

March 13, 2014  3:19pm

I would be very interested in more detail from their study; such as, ages of respondents, region from which they came, Christians, nonbelievers, church affiliation, etc. Those answers could make a world of difference. I'm 65, and I grew up reading/memorizing KJV, but I much prefer newer translations, such as New Living Translation, The Message, and The Voice. I agree with others who bemoan the fact that you can no longer purchase an NIV 1984 Bible. Such a shame. I'm also wondering if the questioners were aware of some newer translations, seeing as how the article mentions the New RSV, The Living Bible, etc--which has been replaced by the New Living Translation. And the RSV and New RSV are used in Bible colleges and Seminaries for study--not read so much by people during personal devotion time, I think. I, of couse, could be mistaken.

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