The Most Popular & Fastest Growing Bible Translation is Not What You Think

The story is told of a woman, who, wanting to impress the pastor in her home for a visit, said to her little girl, “Honey, go get the book that Mommy loves to read so much.”  The daughter soon returned with the new Sears catalogue.  The mother replied, “Oh no dear, I mean the book that Mommy really, really loves to read.  The child departed and came back with the TV Guide.

Now here’s the question, Which Bible translation do people most love to read?  Christianity Today (an evangelical magazine and a strong promoter of new Bible versions) has, to their credit, published the following in their latest issue.  I quote from the article:

When North Americans reach for their Bibles, more than half of them pick up a King James Version, according to a new study by the highly respected, The Center For Religion And Culture.  The 55% who read the KJV easily outnumber the 19% who read the NIV (New International Version). And the percentages drop into the single digits for competitors such as the ASV, RSV, Living Bible, etc.  The KJV also receives twice as many inquiries on computer search engines as does the NIV.  In fact, according to Google, hits for the KJV continue to rise while hits for all other translations show decline.

The bottom line?  To paraphrase Mark Twain, “The death of the KJV Bible has been greatly exaggerated.”

King James Version

Question & Answer – Pastor, why do we still use the King James Version when just about all of the other churches have long ago gone to the newer, more  modern Bible translations?  There are many reasons why we still use the KJV, but here are the two main ones:

#1 The Source – All Bible translations derive  from just two sources.  The King James Version comes from one set of old Hebrew/Greek manuscripts and all the other versions come from a different set of old Hebrew/Greek manuscripts.  It is my opinion that the manuscripts the KJV comes from are far superior to that of which all the other versions are derived from, especially when it comes to Jesus Christ. For instance, for their Bible translation, all the cults use the same manuscripts as that of all of the other modern versions.  They avoid the KJV manuscripts like the plague. And you won’t find a KJV Bible in a Catholic bookstore.  All that says something.

#2 The Style – All Bible translations are done in just two styles.  The King James Version is a word translation and all other versions are thought translations.  When you come to the KJV, you are getting word-for-word what it said in its old set of Hebrew/Greek manuscripts.  When you come to the other versions, you are getting the thoughts of what the translator thinks is being said in their old set of Hebrew/Greek manuscripts.  In my opinion, the KJV word-for-word translation method is far more trustworthy than the thoughts of man formula.  The Bible says, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.

So we use the KJV Bible, not because other translations are so bad, but because to us, this one is so much better.