The Bible is the most popular book in the world according to Business Insider, and even if you’re not religious, that statistic is fascinating. What draws so many people to this particular holy book? And how is it so popular when there are so many different translations? While we can’t explain why so many people read the Bible, we can examine the most popular Bible translations and why they’re so popular. Keep reading to learn more.
New International Version (NIV)
The New International Version (NIV) has recently surpassed the New Living Translation (NLT) and King James Version (KJV) for the most popular Bible translation. This is because NIV translations use more accessible language that various English speakers can understand, while KJV tends to use more formal language. NIV balances this accessible language with translation accuracy so that those who ascribe to the Christian religion trust that they’re getting an accurate education when they read it. Blending accessibility and accuracy also makes it a top choice for those who preach and teach the Bible.
New Living Translation (NLT)
The second most popular Bible translation is the New Living Translation, although some experts describe this Bible as more of a paraphrase than a translation. This is because the NLT was originally based on another translation, the Living Bible, not on the original Biblical texts. However, what started as a revision turned into a translation that aimed for a combination of textual accuracy and literary beauty. Readers can see this in how translators focused more on relaying the original ideas of the text than relaying specific words.
King James Version (KJV)
The King James Version of the Bible has been around for hundreds of years, and many readers are reluctant to let it go. While experts disagree on whether it’s the most accurate translation, and some of the language is inaccessible to people who are not native English speakers, people still love this translation. The KJV prioritizes artistry so that readers feel a more emotional connection to the words, as well as imagery that helps maintain that emotional, personal connection. Those searching for a Bible based on their beliefs may find that the KJV is exactly what they’re looking for.
So what are the most popular Bible translations and why? The three most popular Biblical translations are the New International Version, the New Living Translation, and the King James Version. Each is popular based on its claimed level of accuracy to original texts, use of accessible language, and artistry. Whether or not you personally believe in the Christian faith, understanding these popular translations gives you a better understanding of this popular world religion.