What Are the Top 10 Bible Translations?

10trans597For more than 2,000 years, scholars have been translating the Bible.

The Old Testament was written over a 1,500-year period before the birth of Christ. It was written primarily in Hebrew, with a few portions in Aramaic. The New Testament was written within 70 years of Christ’s death and resurrection (AD 50-100). The writers of the New Testament wrote in koine Greek (“common” Greek). The original manuscripts have not survived, but God’s Word has been preserved through meticulous copying.

Because of the changes in language and scholars’ changed understanding of ancient languages, we usually end up with more translations than we know what to do with! So what are the most popular translations as of late? (Note: these are simply a list compiled by unit sales, and not an endorsement by Rose for one translation over another).

Top 10 Bestselling Translations (by 2014 unit sales)

  1. New International Version
  2. The Voice
  3. King James Version
  4. English Standard Version
  5. New King James Version
  6. New Living Translation
  7. Holman Christian Standard Bible
  8. Reina Valera 1960
  9. Nueva Version Internacional (Spanish)
  10. New International Reader’s Version

The Right Translation For You?

While we can agree there’s no “right” translation for every body, there are various translations to suit various purposes. Here’s a handy chart:


Free Giveaway of the Week!

This “Bible Translation Comparison” eChart compares four of the most popular Bible Translations, the King James Version (KJV), New International Version (NIV 2011), New American Standard Version (NASB), and New Living Translation (NLT).

This eChart compares Year published, Method of translation (“word-for-word” or “thought-for-thought”), Sponsor, Purpose of translation, Notable features, Sample verses, enabling you to compare the four versions at a glance. Download It Now!

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One Thought on “What Are the Top 10 Bible Translations?

  1. Alexander Thomson on October 2, 2015 at 10:03 pm said:

    The sales figures are interesting, but do not reflect e.g. internet purchases, digital reading, private printing and distribution by Christian groups and missionaries. More interesting, and more revealing, are the annual State of the Bible reports commissioned by the American Bible Society. These show, consistently over at least the past five years, that the preferred reading version is the AV(KJV) – latest figure 39%; and NKJV-13%. Thus, the American Bible -reading public appears to have a definite preference for a very traditional/lightly updated translation! Why is this? The NIV is preferred by 13%, and the ESV by 8% ( though I understand that the ESV continues to make inroads into the NIV market!) And why is the excellent NASB read by only 2% of readers..at the same level as the NRSV and the NLT? (All other translations hardly are now eead, it seems!) We really do need a new debate on Bible versions, as there is definitely a big ” disconnect” between publishers/academia and the long-suffering Christian public! (By the way, can anyone tell me where to find the UK figures? No- one seems to produce them!
    Best wishes (from the UK)!

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