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proudpapa
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Joined: 2012/5/13
Posts: 2936


 The Most Popular and Fastest Growing Bible Translation Isn't What You Think It Is

When Americans reach for their Bibles, more than half of them pick up a King James Version (KJV), according to a new study advised by respected historian Mark Noll.

The 55 percent who read the KJV easily outnumber the 19 percent who read the New International Version (NIV). And the percentages drop into the single digits for competitors such as the New Revised Standard Version, New America Bible, and the Living Bible.

So concludes "The Bible in American Life," a lengthy report by the Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). Funded by the Lilly Foundation, researchers asked questions on what David Briggs of the ARDA, which first reported the results, calls "two of the most highly respected data sources for American religion"—the General Social Survey and the National Congregations Study.

The numbers are surprising, given the strong sales of NIV translations in bookstores. The NIV has topped the CBA's bestselling Bible translation list for decades, and continued to sell robustly in 2013.

The high numbers of KJV readers confirm the findings of last year's American Bible Society (ABS) State of the Bible report. On behalf of ABS, Barna Group found that 52 percent of Americans read the King James or the New King James Version, compared with 11 percent who read the NIV.

The KJV also received almost 45 percent of the Bible translation-related searches on Google, compared with almost 24 percent for the NIV, according to Bible Gateway's Stephen Smith.

In fact, searches for the KJV seem to be rising distinctly since 2005, while most other English translations are staying flat or are declining, according to Smith's Google research.

Smith, whose research on how technology is shaping Bible use is profiled in this month's CT cover story, blended data from Google Trends and the Google Keyword Tool to see how English Bible translations compare in search terms. Bible translation searches may not necessarily be an indicator of Bible transation usage—a Bible Gateway study earlier this year found dramatic differences between the cities most likely to search for Bible verses and the American Bible Society's list of top "Bible-minded" cities.

Nevertheless, other studies also indicate that the KJV remains the translation powerhouse. A 2011 Lifeway study, for example, found that 62 percent of Americans—and 82 percent of Americans who regularly read the Bible—own a copy of the KJV.

"Although the bookstores are now crowded with alternative versions, and although several different translations are now widely used in church services and for preaching, the large presence of the KJV testifies to the extraordinary power of this one classic English text," Noll commented in the IUPUI report. "It also raises most interesting questions about the role of religious and linguistic tradition in the makeup of contemporary American culture."

Noll, a leading evangelical scholar, wrote a cover story for CT on where the world would be without the KJV.

The study from IUPUI in some ways paints a more religious picture of Americans than the ABS/Barna study, recording that 78 percent read their Bibles monthly, compared with the 41 percent found by Barna and the 53 percent found by Lifeway.

But IUPUI also found that fewer Americans read their Bibles every day—just 9 percent, less than the 13 percent recorded by Barna and half of the 18 percent found by Lifeway.

IUPUI also noted several main tells: You're more likely to read the Bible if you're female (56 percent compared with 39 percent of men), African American (70 percent read at least once a year, compared with 46 percent of Hispanics and 44 percent of whites), and older (56 percent of those over 70 years old, compared with 44 percent of those between 18 and 29). You're also more likely to read the Bible if you live in the South (61 percent) rather than the Northeast (36 percent).

While IUPUI found that readers name Psalm 23 as their favorite scripture, followed by John 3:16, Barna found that more people liked John 3:16 the best, followed by Psalm 23. (CT covered the 10 most-searched Bible verses of 2013.)

CT has reported on ABS's State of the Bible reports, including how the Bible gained 6 million new antagonists in 2013.

CT's previous coverage of the KJV includes a history of the translation, its influence, and how the KJV compares to other translations.

CT's previous coverage of the NIV includes the Southern Baptist Convention's rejection of the 2011 version for avoiding male pronouns where both genders are intended and responses from Lifeway and CT.

http://www.christianitytoday.com/gleanings/2014/march/most-popular-and-fastest-growing-bible-translation-niv-kjv.html

 2014/3/18 12:22Profile
proudpapa
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Joined: 2012/5/13
Posts: 2936


 Re: The Most Popular and Fastest Growing Bible Translation Isn't What You Think

RE: ///The 55 percent who read the KJV easily outnumber the 19 percent who read the New International Version (NIV).///

RE:/// The numbers are surprising, given the strong sales of NIV translations in bookstores. The NIV has topped the CBA's bestselling Bible translation list for decades, and continued to sell robustly in 2013.///

Leland Ryken English professor at Wheaton and literary stylist for ESV in his book "THE Legacy of the King James Bible" on p.230 writes . "...biblical illiteracy has accompanied the decline of the King James Bible. This is widlely acknowledged."...
.... "Claims by modern translators and bible scholars that the Christian public is fortunate to have been delivered from the archaisms and occasional inaccuracies of the KJV turn out to be hollow. If Bible knowledge in our day has declined across the board, where is the alleged gain from modern translations? The very proliferation of translations has discouraged the Christian public from seeking to know what the Bible actually says.
p. 231 "...dynamic equivalent and colloquial translations do not come close to the King James standard, and modern readers of those translations have no reason to gloat; they have exchanged a birthright of excellence for something manifestly inferior."

p.188 the context is Bunyan of what C.H. Spurgeon wrote : "... our Authorized Version, which will never be bettered, as I judge, till Christ shall come;...."

 2014/3/18 15:09Profile
TMK
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Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 5638
NC, USA

 Re:

Quote:
"Leland Ryken English professor at Wheaton and literary stylist for ESV in his book "THE Legacy of the King James Bible" on p.230 writes . "...biblical illiteracy has accompanied the decline of the King James Bible. This is widlely acknowledged."..."

This statement is an example of the "fallacy of the single cause" which takes the form: "x occurred after y. Therefore, y caused x (although a,b,c& d also caused x)

I would argue rather strenuously that it is NOT the decline of the KJV that had caused the increase in bible illiteracy but rather the increase in TV, video games, smart phones, social media etc etc.

The author of that quote is trying to suggest that if we lived in a KJV only world then bible illiteracy would not have decreased. And to that I say "poppycock."


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Todd

 2014/3/18 15:50Profile
proudpapa
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 Re:

Hi TMK,

TMK wrote : ///This statement is an example of the "fallacy of the single cause"///

I can agree that the introduction of the modern versions/text was not the single nor the root cause of bible illiteracy and the great falling away from truth. But they are products of those philosophies that started influencing the culture and Christendom in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, this is when methods of studing the bible such as the historical - critical method was introduced.
I am of the opinion that rather we relieze it or not we have in some way succumed to the exceptance of the historical - critical method by embracing modern versions that have been based on the modern critical text.

I think the original thread artical also bears witness to the relization that there is a correlation with biblical illiteracy and the declined usage of the King James Bible.

The NIV is what is selling but statistically a very small percentage of those buyers are reading it.
It would seem to me that Statistics are revealing that those whom are holding to the KJV are the ones most likely to read it.
My opinion is that this is not coincidental but that those whom hold to the KJV are more likely to feel that God in his Sovereignty has in some way Anointed even our english translation, Where as those whom use translations based on the critical text have succumed to the view that only the non-existing originals where inspired and therfore bible reading often becomes purely academic and quickly becomes a bore.

TMK wrote : ///The author of that quote is trying to suggest that if we lived in a KJV only world then bible illiteracy would not have decreased. And to that I say "poppycock."///

Leland Ryken is not KJV only, my personal opinion is that the underlining message of his book is to embrace the ESV of which he was a literary stylist for.






 2014/3/18 17:07Profile
TMK
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Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 5638
NC, USA

 Re:

You are correct PP- i do see that he is not KJV only. My bad.

I think there is an alternative reason why people who buy KJVs read them more- its because they are generally of an older school of believers who have always read their bibles more. I don't think it is because a person who starts reading the KJV is entranced by its obvious superiority. Most people who read the KJV for the first time likely have an opposite reaction- particularly young people. Now I know I am speaking in generalities.

In other words, I suspect the majority of persons buying KJVs are older believers who have worn their old KJVs out. I doubt that many young persons are buying KJVs but of course I could be wrong and would like to see some demographics on that.

Please understand that I am not anti- KJV. I personally love the language and it is easier to memorize. I have fond memories of my grandma reading from her KJV and of course Linus's recitation of the nativity story from Luke in Charlie Brown's Christmas is classic- in KJV of course.

But I simply have a very hard time understanding the idea that the KJV and only the KJV is the inspired word of God. Any good translation of the Bible, if approached with a teachable heart and a desire to hear from the Lord will have its intended effect. God could care less if a person is reading the KJV, NIV, ESV, or NLT. I suspect even a naive but sincere searcher of the word reading The Message (horrors) could be blessed by God.

Can you honestly imagine Jesus telling an honest searcher of the scripture-- "Sorry I cannot honor your searching after Me because you are not reading the KJV."


_________________
Todd

 2014/3/18 18:19Profile









 Re:

Quote:
Can you honestly imagine Jesus telling an honest searcher of the scripture-- "Sorry I cannot honor your searching after Me because you are not reading the KJV."



I suspect He would still say, "And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life. I receive not honour from men. But, I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you." (John 5:40-42.

I am KJV Preferred but will read other versions if that is all I had.

I believe the KJV improved my children's literacy as they excel in english, spoken and written and are voracious readers. Much of it is also credited to the fact that they have a "love for learning". But, they appreciate the accuracy of the KJV and if it is their choice, prefer the most accurate version of the Bible.

I have heard that the reason for today's many versions is to keep up with an "ever changing language". But, the language of the Bible is what matters and it (greek and hebrew) never changed. Besides that, it messes up all the cross-references and word associations (for me at least). I am very happy that the KJV is public domain and has been preserved. And the new versions messed up the KJV built in thesaurus. That is how my kids learned the multiple meanings of words.

 2014/3/18 18:37
dolfan
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Joined: 2011/8/23
Posts: 1649
Tennessee, but my home's in Alabama

 Re:

IMO it is not the language of the KJV that makes it as hard to read as the stilted format----columns with numbered verses in a ladder as opposed to paragraphs. The flow of the text just robs its clarity.


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Tim

 2014/3/18 18:47Profile
proudpapa
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Joined: 2012/5/13
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 Re:

TMK wrote : ///Can you honestly imagine Jesus telling an honest searcher of the scripture-- "Sorry I cannot honor your searching after Me because you are not reading the KJV."///

God can and undoubtly does Illuminate truth to the honest seeker even when it is mingled with a mixture of error.
As a young child I seeked God with what was available at my disposal which included watchtower and awake material put out by the JWs, Christian Science children bible stories from the followers of Mary eddy Baker , what I could find about and by Edgar Casey, (even though most of it was beyound my comprehesion at the time.) a very paraphrased childrens bible story book.
but that does not mean that such material was Inspired nor Anointed, and easly could have and often has lead to error

 2014/3/18 19:05Profile
proudpapa
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Joined: 2012/5/13
Posts: 2936


 

I believe that the literary superiority of the KJV is one of the manifestations of its Special Anointing.

Professor of historical theology at Oxford University and Principle of Wycliffe Hall, Oxford and general editor of the NIV Thematic study bible. Alister McGarth in his book "In the Beginning" on p.254 writes : "...there is no evidence that the translators of the King James Bible had any great interest in matters of literature or linguistic development. Their concern was primarily to provide an accurate translation of the Bible, on the assumption that accuracy was itself the most aesthetic of qualities to be desired. Paradoxically, the kings translators achieved literary distinction precisely because they were not delibertly pursuing it. Aiming at truth, they achieved what latter generations recognized as beauty and elegance.
Where later translations delibertly and self-consciously sought after literary merit, the kings translators achieved it unintentionally, by focusing on what, to them, was a greater goal. Paradoxically, elegance was achieved by accident, rather than design."

The only disagreement that I have with McGarth on what he has written here, is that I believe the superior elegance was not achieved by accident but I believe it was achieved by Divine design

 2014/3/18 19:55Profile









 Re:

If you read about the lives of the translators of the KJV you will see that they were born-again and true believers filled with fear regarding the manipulating and changing of the Scriptures.

I love how they were intent on keeping even the smallest, seemingly unimportant thing. This demonstrated a sensitivity to the Spirit. When I understood the difference between the usage of ensample or example, it helped me with the context of several passages. Even "Thee, thou, and ye" have purpose that I did not know for awhile.

"Example" deals with exterior (ex) and ensample deals with interior (en).

ensample comes (from within) you (from Christ but could be Satan, too) and is actively passed on to others.

2Pe_2:6 And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly;

What is being brought to our attention in 2 Pet 2:6 by ensample is not their outward acts so much as their inward wickedness (which is producing the outward acts). EN = IN, EX = OUT.

Php_3:17 Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.
2Th_3:9 Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us.

Here the emphasis is not so much on what they do, but who they are in relation to their inward life, their attitude, fruit of the Spirit, etc. We are not to copy or pattern ourselves after each others outward examples. We are to take note of each other's ensample (inward example) and follow others as they follow Christ.

"example" is your (outward) life which is (outwardly seen) or could be a copy or a pattern.

In the following, the outward acts of suffering and wickedness is actually being drawn to our attention.
Jas_5:10 Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience.

Jud_1:7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.

This is why I really, really like the KJV translation. And there are so many more things like this. It truly is good english, with much meaning and the best translation from the greek and hebrew that there is.

Just my own testimony, I don't care what anyone else reads.

It is also easier for me to memorize because of it's natural rythmn and syncopation. I don't really even memorize to memorize, it just sticks in me as I read it. It has a rhyming to it and that is why there are so many scripture songs from the KJV and virtually none from any other version.

 2014/3/18 20:51





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