categories: I'm curious, YouVersion, books
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May 23rd, 2008

by Bobby Gruenewald

28 comments (+ Add)

Results: Bible Translations

Thanks to everyone who commented on the previous post I wrote asking about Bible translations. I think we set a record number of comments!

Here are the results (as of early Friday afternoon)…The links will take you to that translation in

NIV - 27%
NLT - 26%
ESV - 18%
NASB - 10%
TNIV - 6%
NKJV - 5%
Message - 3%

(We are working diligently on adding the NLT and others to the various translations.)

What do you think? Any surprises?

For those of you in the US, have a good Memorial Day!

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there are a total of28
  1. May 23, 2008 at 4:49 pm

    Go ESV, go! She’s leaping forward! :)

  2. 2Kurt
    May 23, 2008 at 5:06 pm

    yeah for the ESV

  3. May 23, 2008 at 5:09 pm

    I actually surprised as to the NLT being numero uno. I think it can be a good devotional read but I’m not sure about using it for preaching. I guess it depends on the preacher’s goal in preaching on whether or not to use the NLT.

  4. 5Kenyon
    May 23, 2008 at 5:22 pm

    I’m shocked that the KJV or NKJV is not higher. Of course, most of the churches that preach from those translations probably don’t do the net…

  5. May 23, 2008 at 5:31 pm

    Also surprised, but pleasantly, about the NLT. I really like the Second Edition.

  6. May 23, 2008 at 6:32 pm

    I am surprised by the strength of the ESV. I’ll have to take a look to see what makes it so appealing!

  7. May 23, 2008 at 6:35 pm

    I would like to see the Phillips Translation (NT only) added. He translates Acts 8:20 as “To hell with you and your money.” And, being British, he translates Paul’s answer to his own question in Romans 6:1 as “What a ghastly thought.” I shudder as I read those words.

  8. May 23, 2008 at 6:45 pm

    Kenyon: You are exactly correct.

    My church preaches from the N/KJV and it is like kicking and screaming to get them into the 21st century of this here interwebz.

    Honestly I wish more people from my 13k member church were on Twitter :)

  9. May 23, 2008 at 10:05 pm

    wow, HCSB didn’t even make the pie chart. I’m surprised.

  10. May 23, 2008 at 11:58 pm

    Aw… I was really hoping NRSV would have a better showing than that. It’s kinda fringe, but it’s a brilliant translation.

  11. May 24, 2008 at 12:02 am

    Actually, I currently don’t use YouVersion purely because of the absence of the NLT. Sorry!

  12. May 24, 2008 at 12:31 am

    NIV is tried & true. And the NIV Study Bible is still the best in it’s class across-the-board.

    I, personally, enjoy the ESV, Message, NCV and NLT but being able to get affordable study materials into the hands of our people is a no brainer: NIV

  13. May 24, 2008 at 7:09 am

    Joe: You talking about Gateway? Wow. Must confess to being surprised.

    Not really surprised. And thanks for all your efforts on YouVersion. That’s a resource I look forward to using more in the future.

  14. May 24, 2008 at 9:55 am

    I was pretty interested to see NLT number 2! I started using it last year and thoroughly enjoy it. I figured NIV would win by a mile! Bobby, been waiting patiently for NLT on YouVersion - thanks for all you guys do! I’ll probably switch the majority of my reading over once that is up.

  15. May 24, 2008 at 11:34 am

    I was really surprised that the nkjv showed so poorly. I think it has more to do with the readership of tis blog then the church overall.

    Makes sense that the ESV showed so well with this demographic. If I wern’t an avid blogger I would not have heard much about it. That’s why I use it.

  16. May 24, 2008 at 12:04 pm

    John Ireland,

    Most young Calvinists use the ESV and that is probably the main reason for its popularity.

  17. May 24, 2008 at 1:12 pm

    It really is amazing how quickly the ESV has gained popularity and is in the process of sweeping the pulpits across the nation. I love it! It’s amazing that these guys came up with somewhat-literal translation and still were able to make it so readable. Brilliant!

  18. May 24, 2008 at 4:03 pm

    The ESV, like most other translations, doesn’t properly translate John 21:15-17. The first two times Jesus uses one Greek word for “love” and Peter responds with a different Greek word. Peter is grieved the third time, not because Jesus asked the same question three times, but because Jesus catches on and switches to Peter’s lesser Greek word for “love”.

  19. May 26, 2008 at 1:25 am

    So sad for the powerful AMP!

  20. May 26, 2008 at 11:50 am

    I heard that the esv is word for word as much as possible, while the niv is thought for thought or sentence for sentance, and that the message is meaning for meaning.

    According to Marc Driscoll, the ESV is better because the word for word matters - something I’m looking into.

  21. May 26, 2008 at 12:55 pm

    Here is a link to why Mars Hill uses the ESV, which I think will be helpful (I’m working on reading it myself ;p) -

  22. May 26, 2008 at 1:02 pm

    A few corrections - there’s word for word (ESV, NASB), thought for thought (NIV), and paraphrase (Message) - Sorry for the multiple posts :[

  23. May 27, 2008 at 1:47 pm

    I’m Surprised that the message was only 3%. I love the message, we even use The Message for our service keynote.

  24. 26Peter Thourson
    May 27, 2008 at 2:04 pm

    Hey Bobby,

    Great Survey. I am not sure if there are any license agreements in place that might prevent this. However, since it seems that a majority of people use NIV, maybe you should switch YouVersion to default to NIV instead of KJV. It would definitely make 27% of the people out there happier.. :)

    Just a thought.

  25. 27Jim Sanders
    Jun 8, 2008 at 10:02 pm

    Thanks for the survey. I’m not surprised that NIV is number 1 and was happy to see the ESV as high as it is. I switched to the ESV after becoming curious about translations and seeing that the NIV was not as literal as it could be. Having said that, I’m starting in the NLT now, just for a ’switch’, but I think that the ESV will remain my ‘main’ text. I’m not really a fan of the massage.

  26. 28April
    Dec 3, 2010 at 10:21 am

    Do you have a current 2010 survey of the responses to the tranlations used today? It’s amazing how many have turned to the Bible during the down economy and job layoffs. I just wondered if you have an updated survey or would you consider posting an update survey. Thanks.