There are many different Bible translations available in English. Which one is the best? That depends on your preferences. Some people prefer a more literal translation, while others prefer a version that is easier to read. Here is a list of the 10 most popular Bible translations in English, based on data from the website esvbible.org.
Table of Contents: English Versions of the Bible
- Different types of Bible translations are available in English because translators have different goals.
- What is the Most Popular English Bible Translations?
- 2022 Most Popular Bible Versions
- 10 Popular English Bible Translation
- ESV: English Standard Version
- KJV: King James Version
- NIV: New International Version
- NASB: New American Standard Bible
- NKJV: New King James Version
- NLT: New Living Translation
- CEB: Common English Bible
- NCV: New Century Version
- The Message
- NIRV: New International Reader’s Version
- NVI: Nueva Version International Bible (Spanish Translation)
- RV: Reina Valera (Spanish Translation)
- How to choose the best Bible translation for you?
Different types of Bible translations are available in English because translators have different goals.
There are four general approaches to Bible translation philosophy: formal equivalence, dynamic equivalence, paraphrase, and literal.
Formal equivalence seeks to translate the text as closely as possible to the original Hebrew and Greek texts, while dynamic equivalence takes into account the context and culture of the original audience in order to render a translation that is both faithful to the source material and more readable for a modern audience. Paraphrase translations are often written in modern vernaculars and aimed at general audiences, while literal translations attempt to remain as close as possible to the original texts but can be difficult to read for modern audiences.
What is the Most Popular English Bible Translations?
The top selling Bible translations are the King James Version, the New International Version, and the English Standard Version.
The King James Version is an English translation of the Bible that was first published in 1611. It is one of the most popular Bible translations in use today.
The New International Version is a modern English translation of the Bible that was first published in 1978. It is also one of the most popular Bible translations in use today.
The English Standard Version is a modern English translation of the Bible that was first published in 2001. It has gained popularity in recent years as an alternative to the King James Version and the New International Version.
2022 Most Popular Bible Versions
According to Thom Rainer, here are the rankings of English Bible translations from 2021. We can expect those trends will continue in 2022. You can read more on his blog about the top selling Bible Translations 2021 statistics.
New International Version (NIV)
King James Version (KJV)
New Living Translation (NLT)
English Standard Version (ESV)
New King James Version (NKJV)
Christian Standard Bible (CSB)
Reina Valera (RV)
New International Reader’s Version (NIrV)
The Message (Message)
Nueva Version International (NVI)Source: Thom Rainer. Church Answers blog. https://churchanswers.com/blog/top-ten-best-selling-bible-translations-compared-to-ten-years-ago-2021-update/
10 Popular English Bible Translation
ESV: English Standard Version
The ESV is a word-for-word translation of the Bible from the original Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek texts. It preserves the accuracy and beauty of the original languages while making the text readable and understandable to modern readers. It’s considered one of the most accurate translations available today.
KJV: King James Version
The King James Version (KJV) is an English translation of the Christian Bible first printed in 1611. It was commissioned by King James I of England and is therefore also known as the Authorized Version.
The KJV is one of the most popular translations of the Bible, and has been in continual use since its publication. Its language is archaic, however, and it contains several phrases that are no longer in common use. Modern translations have been produced to correct these deficiencies.
NIV: New International Version
The NIV is a Bible translation that was first published in 1978. It is one of the most popular versions of the Bible in the English language, and it has been translated into over 100 languages.
The main goal of the NIV translators was to create a Bible translation that would be easy to read and understand for modern-day readers. To achieve this goal, they made some significant changes to the traditional translations of the Bible. For example, they removed many of the archaic words and phrases that are difficult for people to understand today. They also tried to make the language more gender-neutral, so that both men and women could easily read it.
Answer: The most popular Bible translation in 2022 will be the New International Version (NIV). It was published in 1978 and is one of the most popular Bible translations in the world. As of July 2017, it had been translated into 336 languages.
NASB: New American Standard Bible
Answer: The New American Standard Bible is a modern English translation of the Bible. It was first published in 1971. The NASB seeks to preserve the original meaning and word order of the biblical texts while making the language transparent and easy to understand.
NKJV: New King James Version
The New King James Version (NKJV) is a modern translation of the Bible. It was created in response to perceived errors in the Revised Standard Version (RSV), and it incorporates the latest scholarship while remaining accessible to the average reader.
The NKJV was published in 1982 and has been widely accepted by Christians of all denominations. It is considered accurate and reliable, and its readings are typically more literal than those of other translations.
NLT: New Living Translation
The New Living Translation (NLT) is a translation of the Bible into modern English. It was produced by a team of scholars from different Christian traditions in response to the need for an accurate, yet easy-to-read translation of the Bible.
The NLT seeks to express the meaning of the original texts in clear, everyday language. In addition, it seeks to be faithful to the traditional teachings of Christianity. As such, it reflects both evangelical and mainstream Christian theology.
CEB: Common English Bible
The CEB is a modern translation of the Bible that was created to be accessible to as many people as possible. It’s based on the King James Version, but it has been updated to reflect changes in language and culture.
One of the things that makes the CEB unique is that it includes gender-neutral language, so it can be read by both men and women. It also includes helpful footnotes and study guides, which make it perfect for personal or group Bible studies.
NCV: New Century Version
The New Century Version (NCV) is a Bible translation that was commissioned in 1992 by the Lockman Foundation.
The primary goal of the NCV translators was “to produce an accurate and readable text which would be both faithful to the original Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek texts and also comprehensible to modern readers.” The New Century Version became available in 1996. It is published by HarperCollins Christian Publishing, Inc.
The NCV is considered a literal translation, meaning that it seeks to translate the biblical texts as literally as possible while still preserving the meaning of the text. As such, some words or phrases may appear archaic or unusual to modern readers. However, the NCV does seek to
The Message Bible is a paraphrase, not a translation. A paraphrase is a retelling of the text in one’s own words. Eugene Peterson, the author of The Message, says that his goal was to produce “a reading Bible” – one that would be accessible to modern readers.
Some people appreciate The Message for its fresh interpretation, while others find it too informal or even inaccurate. It’s important to remember that The Message is NOT a formal translation endorsed by scholars and theologians. If you’re looking for an accurate, scholarly translation of the Bible, you’ll want to choose one of the more traditional versions like the King James Version or New Revised Standard Version.
NIRV: New International Reader’s Version
The New International Reader’s Version (NIRV) is a translation of the Bible that is specifically designed to be easy to read and understand. It was created in response to feedback from people who said that other translations were too difficult to follow.
The NIRV is based on the popular New International Version (NIV), but has been simplified to make it easier for people who are new to reading the Bible. For example, words that are typically used only by scholars or theologians have been replaced with simpler terms, and sentence structures have been made more straightforward.
The NIRV is available in both print and digital formats, and can be read online or downloaded for free.
NVI: Nueva Version International Bible (Spanish Translation)
The Nueva Version International Bible is a Spanish translation of the Bible. It was first published in 1975.
The New Testament was translated by José Luis Segundo, and the whole Bible was translated by a committee of scholars. The goal of the translators was to produce a translation that would be faithful to the original texts, yet understandable to modern readers. The New Testament has been revised twice (in 1986 and 1997), and the whole Bible has been revised once (in 2004). The latest revision is known as the Nueva Version Internacional Reina-Valera 2009.
RV: Reina Valera (Spanish Translation)
The Reina Valera (RV) is a Spanish translation of the Bible that was first published in 1569. It is one of the most popular translations of the Bible in Spanish, and it has been reprinted many times over the years.
The RV was originally translated from Hebrew and Greek texts, and it has been updated over the years to reflect changes in language and grammar. The most recent update was published in 2009, and it is now available in both digital and print formats.
How to choose the best Bible translation for you?
The short answer: the translation that will help you spend more time in God’s Word.
Scripture preferences depend on what you are looking for in a Bible translation. Some translations are more accurate to the original Hebrew and Greek texts, while others are easier to read. You may want to consider the target audience of the translation, as well as the intended use. For personal study, you might want a more literal translation, but for reading aloud or teaching, a more idiomatic translation might be better.
Our website will frequently quote the top 3 translations (ESV, KJV, NIV) side-by-side to help you compare the wording. Other websites like BibleHub.com allow to compare many more versions on one page.
References on English Translations of the Bible
- Read the Wikipedia article about English Bible Versions
- Visit the Bible portal for even more in-depth information