Version Demographics

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by mesly, Apr 4, 2003.

  1. mesly

    mesly
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    I am interested in hearing what bible versions are in use in your town (in churches, bible studies, by your friends, etc.)

    For instance, in my area (Dayton, OH), the versions that appear to be prominent are: KJV, NIV, and NLT. I have yet to visit a church or attend a bible study that uses anything different. This is also reflected in the way that these versions are marketed at the local Christian bookstores (we have approximately 8 Christian bookstores in the area). All of the bookstores will usually have an extremely large section for the NIV, then the NLT comes in second, and the KJV third. Other versions that are sold, but hold miniscule shelf space are: NKJV, NASB, and sometimes the ESV.

    I would have thought that the NASB would be in greater use, but from my observations the NASB is slowly slipping into obscurity, for there is an entire generation of Christians who know nothing about the NASB.

    Is this pretty much the way it is out there?
     
  2. Clay Knick

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    I live in south central Virginia
    right on the VA/NC border. The
    Family Christian Store in our
    area ranks #3 in the country for
    sales of the KJV. If people in
    this area are not using the KJV
    they use the NIV.

    Clay
     
  3. swordsman

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    Savannah, Georgia
    KJV NIV are the top 2 followed by the nasb
     
  4. TomVols

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    Well, this area here in East TN is full of KJVOs or KJVPs, so sadly it remains top. The others that are in use are NIV and NKJV in that order.

    [ April 04, 2003, 11:28 PM: Message edited by: TomVols ]
     
  5. Jude

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    In eastern Nebraska, it's the NIV #1, probably KJV 2, and then the NLT. Frankly, I'm not sure these are the best translations.
     
  6. Marathon Man

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    Here in central Illinois, as I suspect in many other areas, the KJV and NIV seem to account for roughly 80% or so of Bible inventories in the bookstores. Depending on which store, one would typically find the NKJV, NLT, or the updated NASB accounting for most of what's left over.

    BTW, my church is probably majority NIV (used from the pulpit), with a fair amount of NASB users as well.

    One other observation, and one which surprises me, is that the ESV really hasn't caught on yet, either in my church or in the bookstores around here. I really don't know why, as I believe it to be an excellent translation, but perhaps one reason may be that the publications currently on the market from Crossway, to put it as kindly as I can, really haven't been Grade A quality.
     
  7. mesly

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    MM, I have noticed the same thing. In fact, I picked up my copy of the ESV from the bargain book table at a local Christian bookstore! I couldn't believe that they had put their entire inventory of ESV's for sale like that, especially since it is such a new item. What was even more surprising is that after the sale, they still had all of them there with the exception of the one I bought.
     
  8. Pete

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    I think most Christian book-shops here would have a majority of NIVs on shelves. A few variations of other translations as well though...

    Maybe even a NCV here and there...no one knows why? ;)

    Pete
     
  9. Terry_Herrington

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    My wife works for a christian bookstore here in Houston, Texas. According to what she has told me, they sell quiet a few NIV, NKJV and KJV bibles. Right now, they are selling many NLT bibles. As far as the NASB is concerned, they do not sell very many of them. They have never sold even one ESV. They have had three on the shelf for over a year.
     
  10. rlvaughn

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    NIV, KJV, & NKJV appear to sell very well in our area Christian bookstores, though many other versions are also well represented on the shelves. I haven't bought a new Bible recently, but in the past it has been very common for these bookstores to promote the sales of the newer versions over the KJV. For example, I have gone to bookstores, knowing exactly what I wanted to purchase, only to have the salesperson try to talk me into a newer version. Don't know if that was a business decision type of thing, or if it simply represented the zeal of a salesperson for his/her favorite version.
     
  11. TomVols

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    That is surprising to hear about the ESV. Crossway has done a terrible job marketing it and producing the binding on the early copies. I have bonded leather Bibles that have better bindings than my genuine leather ESV.

    Having said that, I find it hard to believe that the ESV will wither up and disappear given the pedigree and caliber of its translators and proponents. I believe John Piper has begun using it exclusively from the pulpit. Others are following.
     
  12. Terry_Herrington

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    TomVols,
    I too am surprised by the slow sales of the ESV. I am afraid it goes beyond the quality, or lack thereof, of the binding. I have ask several christians, some who were pastors about the ESV. To date, no one I have talked to even knows there is such a version. :confused: [​IMG]

    Could part of the problem be that many do not see a need for another extremely literal version considering the KJV, NKJV and the NASB already exist and are in widespread use. I know if I were forced to choose only one Formal Equivalence translation I would choose the NASB as that version.

    While I love the NIV and will probably never cease to use it as my primary version, I would also love to see the ESV become more popular. [​IMG]
     
  13. Haruo

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    Both of my churches (the one I belong to and the one I worship at) have the NIV as pew Bibles (in English, that is; at JBC the Japanese pew Bibles are JCV, probably most comparable to RSV). At Fremont, where I rarely attend morning worship but usually make it to the evening hymn-sing-prayer-circle-psalm-study-food-fest we use a variety: KJV, NIV, a couple of Jewish versions, NRSV, RSV, The Message, sometimes Goodspeed or Moffatt or my ad hoc translation from the Esperanto or Japanese or Hindi. The nearest Christian bookstore to my home is Episcopalian, in fact it's called "The Episcopal Bookstore", so it mostly handles NRSVs, though I mostly use it for special orders in the hymnic field.

    I've never seen an ESV nor known anyone who had one. There's an occasional NKJV kicking around (at Fremont we used to use the "Serenity" 12-step NT+Ps&Prov edition extensively; we gave away hundreds of them), NASB, etc.

    Haruo
     
  14. moeowo

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    I've worked for several christian bookstores in San Antonio,TX and NIV is the top seller with KJV following. ESV sold quite well at first but sales declined quite quickly. NIV is also my preference and NASB following but I do like ESV also.
     
  15. Abiyah

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    Northwestern U.S.A.

    The KJV is hard to find in any form other than
    cheap gift-Bibles or from elders from the Mormon
    church. The NIV is the biggest seller, apparently,
    because it is what mainly occupies the store
    shelves. When I ask for the NASB in any particular
    form, I almost always have to order it in. The
    Stones is available only through regular book
    stores, not Christian book stores; however, they
    do carry the Complete Jewish Bible most of the
    time.

    My husband's church's pew Bibles are NASB 1995.
    My synagogue has no pew Bibles and uses many
    versions.
     
  16. mesly

    mesly
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    Abiyah, forgive my ignorance, but what is "The Stones"?
     
  17. Abiyah

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    Please forgive my oversight. It is a Bible we
    use often, which is only the Law, Prophets, and
    Writings, in both Hebrew and English, in one book.
     
  18. Keith M

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    Near my home there are three national chain Christian book stores, and a few independent stores. Oddly enough, each of the three chain stores seems to promote a different Bible version.

    One of the chain stores promotes NIV first, KJV second, NKJV/NASB third, and other translations fourth.

    Another of the chain stores promotes KJV first, NIV second, NKJV third, NASB fourth, and other versions fifth.

    The third chain store mainly promotes RSV/NRSV, with other versions coming in a distant second.

    Of the independent Christian book stores, most seem to promote the KJV first. One of these independents is Catholic (no offense intended) and the Catholic NAB seems to be its predominant version, with Catholic versions of the RSV/NRSV following.
     
  19. Pastor Larry

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    No offense intended, but in an age of the completed canon and the incarnation, of what possible value is something that only contains the Law, Prophets, and Writings?
     
  20. Dr. Bob

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    Larry, the Complete Jewish Bible (CJB) is a dynamic equivalence contemporary translation of ALL the Bible into English. It gets my recommendation as a good bridge into understanding the OT/NT in light of Judaism.

    At the Jewish/Christian assembly I attended, they often paraded the OT as "special" or more applicable", virtually ignoring the NT. Never heard a message there on "breaking down the wall of division" between Gentile and Jew and "making us all one body". They WANTED to be unique and separate.

    The wonderful group I worshiped with in Minneapolis, on the other, was open and inviting to goyim of any denomination to come and learn and worship. They were a different breed, and continually used the NT in explanation and fulfillment of the OT passages.

    That's just MY experience.
     

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