Best-Selling Bibles (February 2011)

Bible Translations (based on dollar sales)

1. New International Version by various publishers

2. King James Version by various publishers

3. New King James Version by various publishers

4. New Living Translatoin by various publishers

5. English Standard Version by Crossway

6. Holman Christian Standard Bible by B&H Publishing Group

7. The Message by Eugene Peterson, NavPress

8. New American Standard Bible by various publishers

9. New International Readers Version by Zondervan

10. Reina Valera 1960 (Spanish) by American Bible Society and licensees

Study Bibles / Specialty Bibles

1. KJV Personal Size Giant Print Reference by Hendriksen

2. NIV Life Application Study Bible Revised by Zondervan

3. ESV Study Bible by Crossway

4. HCSB Study Bible by B&H Publishing Group

5. KJV Study Bible by Thomas Nelson

– data from Christian Booksellers Association


9 thoughts on “Best-Selling Bibles (February 2011)”

  1. The list doesn’t change too much. I am eager to see if the NIV 2011 will keep its reign as number one. I have a hunch in the next couple years it won’t be. I have decided to leave the NIV. Right now the NET, NLT, and NKJV are top on my list for replacements.

    1. Justin, it will be interesting indeed to see how the NIV 2011 fares. I definitely think it will not dominate the market in the same way that the NIV 1984 did, but I’m not sure who will overtake the #1 spot. Perhaps the NLT will vault up to #1, but I hope not. In my opinion it is too far on the functional side for serious study. Great for reading, but weak for in-depth study. Have you considered the HCSB or ESV? The HCSB is really the newest translation of them all, but Crossway has done a marvelous job of supporting the ESV with great resources. The ESV Study Bible is simply the best.

  2. Pastor Brett,

    When I saw that John Piper and other great teachers endorsed the ESV I quickly ran out and bought a soft cover version to explore. I like it, and use it as a supplement, it just didn’t click well with me. I read a good paper which I am certain you read called Why the English Standard Version should not become the English Standard Version. It kinda convinced me not to adopt it as a # 1.
    I like the HCSB a lot! I can’t get over the use of Messiah over and over in Pauls letters. I love the Psalms and Proverbs in the HCSB. I don’t think think the NLT will be number one, but I think it’s a worthy translation, it’s made Bible readers out of a whole new audience! I think it’s worthy to be memorized, studied, and applied. In terms of preaching it’s a great supplement text but a more formal may be better full time. I’ve spoken messages from both the NIV/NLT. Academically you are probably right, it’s not a seminary bible. 🙂
    I am getting really drawn to the NET because it’s like a cross-breed between the NIV 84 and NLT, my two favorite translations. Any thoughts on the NET?
    Also I have heard great things about the ESVSB. One day I may get it as a resource!

    1. J,

      Thanks for stopping by the blog and sharing your thoughts.

      I can understand your disappointment with the ESV. I went through a similar stage myself in my relationship with it. Yes, I too read that paper by Mark Strauss and he makes some excellent points. I hope that Crossway will address some of those verses that need to be adjusted. I still use it as my primary translation because (a) I think it is wise to use a formal translation as your primary version and (b) What I like about the ESV far outweigh my frustrations.

      As for the HCSB, I like it a lot. In fact, I am currently using to my pulpit translation as I preach through Colossians. I wanted our people to be exposed to another excellent translation. I plan to return to the ESV after Colossians (and after a month of preaching from the KJV in honor of the 400th anniversary this May), but I will definitely keep referring to the HCSB.

      Regarding the NET, I use it online almost every week in my message preparation. I am even considering getting a bound print version. I like it as a study tool but would not use it as my teaching/preaching version because I want to have a version in my hands that people can buy in stores.

  3. Interesting that the KJV keeps hanging in there! It may see a slight uptick in sales since this year is the anniversary, even though its English is not the English spoken in the world anymore (and hasn’t been for several centuries now). I’m surprised that the ESV is not #1, since it is an excellent translation (IMHO) and has been the subject of a thoroughly relentless marketing campaign by Crossway since the day it came out. The ESV gave a lot of people, including me, the excuse they needed to dump the NIV (it being too paraphrastic).

    1. Richard, I too wonder if the KJV is getting a slight uptick in sales, but I suspect it will only be slight. I think that the bombardment of new translations has a tendency to cause people to run back to what has stood the test of time…the KJV.

      I am not surprised at all that the ESV is not #1. The ESV is a champion in conservative evangelical churches with Reformed theology. But the evangelical tent is very big and a lot of denominational churches and seeker churches have yet to embrace the ESV, nor do they probably see any need to do so.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

  4. Just an FYI…. I went into a lifeway store in the Kansas city area, they’ve already started the removal of all NIV’84’s. I also saw that CBA had their list up for march.
    At this point I am still considering staying with the NIV 84, it will still be easy to find them for years to come, it’s a translation which I really wanna teach my kids from. We’ll see.

    Was also wondering if you had any blogs in regards to Christian family and education?

  5. I just found your website from doing a search on MacArthur vs Ryrie Study Bibles and have really enjoyed your writings.

    I greatly enjoyed you articles on Study Bibles and on best selling bibles and translations. In the above article I noticed you failed to comment at all on the NASB. I have had this version since the earlier 1980s and think it is one of the best. I have it both in the 1977 ver and the new updated version used in the MacArthur Study Bible for my wife. Could you and your readers comment on the NASB, your thoughts, and why it was not included in any in your articles. Also where does it fall in the best selling list, for this year and past.

    1. David,

      Sorry for the delay in my response to your question. I highly recommend the NASB for Bible study. Many people find it difficult to read for in long settings because it is rather wooden and choppy but I think the update in the mid-90s helped with that considerably.

      As for not mentioning it in previous articles, I am not sure what you are referring to exactly. If you will do a search of “nasb” in the search window located just above my “Twitter” update up the screen and to the right, you will find I have mentioned it in many of my previous blog posts.

      Finally, if you will look carefully above, the NASB is ranked #8 in dollar sales. In February of 2010, the results were that the NASB ranked #7 in dollar sales and #9 in unit sales. That was posted here on my blog February 19, 2010.

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