Bible Translation Poll Results

Over the last 12 months, we have run a poll on the front page of the College website, asking people to vote for their preferred Bible translation from a list of 12. Over 1200 people have registered a vote, and the results can be seen below (the number after each Bible version represents the number of votes).

NIV …. 249………….20.1%
KJV …. 235 ………….19%
NASB ….225………….18.2%
NKJV ….196………….15.8%
ESV …. 141 ………….11.4%
NRSV ….52………….4.2%
NLT …. 48………….3.9%
HCSB ….41………….3.3%
NJB …. 16 ………….1.3%
RSV …. 14………….1.1%
GNB/TEV ….12………….1%
CEV …. 9 ………….0.7%

A few points to be made:
1. My guess is that most of the visitors to the College website are British or American evangelicals. I am assuming a particularly large number of US visitors have voted because the NASB (New American Standard Bible) is a very poor seller in the UK but achieved a high poll rating here.
2. It’s probably no surprise that the NIV and KJV registered high scores, although I was not expecting the KJV to run the NIV quite so closely. Again, this may represent an American influence: my feeling is that in Britain, the NIV is relatively more popular than the KJV in comparison to the situation in the US.
3. I’m surprised that the NLT only registered 3.9% of the vote. I did not expect the NRSV to register more votes, especially given the Evangelical audience of our website. (The NRSV is more popular among liberals.)
4. I’m surprised that the GNB and CEV together totalled less than 2% of the vote. Both of these appear to be selling quite well in the UK, at least judging by the shelf space afforded in most Wesley Owen Christian bookstores. Moreover, as products of the American Bible Society, they tend to be well received among evangelicals. I certainly did not expect there to be higher scores for the NJB (preferred among Catholics) and the RSV (preferred among liberals).

Your feedback on these results would be most appreciated. For those interested in missions, our new poll asks which missionary, from a list of eight, has been most influential. A number of these, of course, were involved in significant efforts towards Bible translation.

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Andy Cheung teaches Biblical Languages and New Testament at King’s Evangelical Divinity School, a leading UK distance education provider.

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