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Best Selling Bibles of 2012

Dollar Sales

1. New International Version

2. King James Version

3. New Living Translation

4. New King James Version

5. English Standard Version

6. Holman Christian Standard Bible

7. New American Standard Bible

8. Common English Bible

9. Reina Valera 1960

10. The Message

Unit Sales

1. New Living Translation

2. New International Version

3. King James Version

4. New King James Version

5. English Standard Version

6. Common English Bible

7. Holman Christian Standard Bible

8. New American Standard Bible

9. Reina Valera 1960

10. New International Readers Version

Source: Christian Booksellers Association

Observations?

9 Responses to “Best Selling Bibles of 2012”

  1. Strange that the New Living stands so high? I don’t like so-called “dynamic equivalence” myself. Not bad just looses something without the literal of the cognitive equivalence! My place anyway. But the KJV and the NKJV still are high also. I buy the NKJV in case lots to give away to new believers or seekers! Mainly for the cadence and Bible verse memory. Though I do like the ESV very much also. And personally, I use the NASB Updated Edition quite often myself.

  2. It would be interesting to know where the KJV would rank if you did combined KJV/NKJV. Very surprised to see it so high considering the difficulty of the language. (Though clearly some of its translations from an English phraseology perspective are so incredibly great that it’s a wonder anybody every deviated from them. For example, not clear why anyone would ever deviate from “The judgements of the LORD are true and righteous altogether” – especially since Abraham Lincoln quoted it in his famous second inaugural).

  3. I’m happy to see the NIV & NLT near the top. But it will always be very helpful to engage with multiple translations in our study of the Scripture.

  4. I’m not surprised by the NLT sales. The TNIV suffered from a lack of robust support from its own publishers, causing more than a few to consider something else. During the same time the second edition of the NLT was released, which many found to be a compelling functional translation (not formal but also not overly dynamic or paraphrastic). I was skeptical myself until I checked it out, and found it to be refreshingly clear in its translation. Of course, there are a few readings in the NLT that aren’t quite to my liking—but that’s the case with any translation.

    I teach expositionally every week, and place great significance on the meaning of the text. I’ve found the NLT to be a wonderful text to use in teaching. When I need to bring out more of the technical meaning, I do (that’s part of what I’m there for after all :) ), but I don’t have to spend valuable time translating the translation.

    I grew up with the KJV, and I love the NASB and other formal translations. But few of the unbelievers with whom I interact these days are familiar with the “Biblish” of formal, traditional translations. In fact, I’ve had quite a few bring me NKJVs and ESVs and complain that they can’t make any sense of them. But I’ve also heard a great many of our people say that since they began using the NLT they have a much greater understanding of the meaning of Scripture. It reminds me of the first time I read the NIV, and found myself pouring through all the epistles because they were suddenly, newly fresh and alive to me. We need to remember that most people aren’t seeking to be scholars; they want a Bible that communicates in “Koine English”—one that reads as naturally and clearly in English as the originals did in Hebrew and Greek.

  5. I would be interested to see the top ten languages used in these versions. I suppose English and European languages would rank on top somewhere.
    No less important are our family in the Far and Middle East!

  6. I read the NKJV in the simplest edition available mainly for its New Testament footnotes, which are a simple, understandable presentation of some basic textual transmission and criticism issues. The notes compare the NKJV text with the Nestle-UBS text and the Majority text (although it does not indicate whether it is the Hodges & Farstad or Pierpont & Robinson version.

  7. Great to see a Spanish bible in there. I think it speaks to the spiritual awaking that is happening in Latin America and among Latinos.

  8. I understand KJV, NIV and even the Message bible being the most popular bit I have never heard of the Reina Valera 1960.

    I am going to have research that one.

  9. My own draft book rates, overall, NASU as D-, KJV/NKJV as D+, ESV/HCSB as C+, CEB as B+, and NIV/NLT as A. On marriage, the KJV at 100%, NKJV at 92%, then ESV/NASU/HCSB&NIV, and sadly CEB at 15%, and NLT 8%. For John’s Gospel, NIV 99%, NLT (95), and 3 failures (NKJV 15%; NASU 12%; KJV 00%). On God’s son’s deity, best NLT (90%), and lowest at 50% (NKJV). All between 50-60% on God’s name, except HCSB (73%). For gender accuracy, CEB 95%, NLT (90), NIV (77), – all the rest failed to score above 23%. My tests gave the highest scorer in each test 100%, even if it could have done better, and the lowest 00% even if it could have done worse. For ease of read, NLT (615), CEB (49), NIV (42), ESV (26), NASU (25), HCSB & KJV (23), NKJV (16) – all put in similar paragraph format & checked for FRE & FKGL rating.

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