Top Ten Bible Translations in the United States


The Christian Booksellers Association has published its list of bestselling Bible translations in 2012 for the United States.

2012 – Based on Dollar Sales

  1. New International Version
  2. King James Version
  3. New Living Translation
  4. New King James Version
  5. English Standard Version
  6. Holman Christian Standard Bible
  7. New American Standard Bible
  8. Common English Bible
  9. Reina Valera 1960
  10. The Message

2012 – Based on Unit Sales

  1. New Living Translation
  2. New International Version
  3. King James Version
  4. New King James Version
  5. English Standard Version
  6. Common English Bible
  7. Holman Christian Standard Bible
  8. New American Standard Bible
  9. Reina Valera 1960
  10. New International Readers Version

Are there any surprises to you? How many of these translations have you read?



Posted on March 19, 2013

With nearly 40 years of ministry experience, Thom Rainer has spent a lifetime committed to the growth and health of local churches across North America.
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  • I am used to the KJV but I am eclectic reader, I simply read a verse in multiple versions to get more understanding about the verse.

    You get a better understanding of a verse by reading it in multiple versions.

  • To whom it may concern:

    I’vr been strongly considering a move from my ESV to a different version (specifically the HCSB) for about two years. However, before I purchase one, I would like to know if there is a way to preview on in PDF format. The reason? I use the Prof. Horner Bible reading plan, and, with the exception of the YouVersion app, none of the apps allow you to see bookmarks in the order when they are marked. For example, list 1 is the gospels, and list 2 is the pentateuch. It I bookmark Matthew 1 first, then Genesis 1 second, Genesis shows up first. Also, Prof. Horner rcommends reading a paper bible so one can begin memorizing where things are on the page.

    Thanks for your consideration.

  • Do you read the NIV, NLT, ESV or other popular Bible versions?

    If so, you should check this out, “No Liars in Heaven”:

    For a more in-depth analysis listen to “Changing the Word” here:

    OR read the Bible online here:

  • Thank GOD! We only have one version of bible in Chinese! So 10 million Chinese christian, one same bible!

  • On a previous post, I was critical of the HCSB’s use of the name “Yahweh.” However, after I have been using the translation, I have grown to appreciate the HCSB’s use of God’s personal name. Call it commenting too soon on my part. The HCSB is a good translation.

  • Just one more comment about the HCSB. What really touched my soul, and made me feel as if i were hearing Gods Word for the first time, was when I read the Beatitudes. This blew me away! It was like being there listening to Jesus speak those Words. Also, thanks for not removing all those verses like the Non Inspired Version did. The HCSB will do well because God is in it. Your brother in Christ always,J.C.

  • I love the NIV, but the controversy shrouding the 2011 update makes me uneasy using it in particular circumstances. The HCSB is an excellent translation, but I wish they would update it taking out the personal names of “Yahweh” and going back to the traditional “LORD” renderings. In many ways, I think it is disrespectful to use the name following thousands of years of supplanting the personal name with LORD. For devotions, hands-down the best translation is the New Living Translation. It doesn’t surprise me that it is doing so well. In fact, I believe that the NLT will be the translation that replaces the NIV eventually.

  • Terry Gray says on

    I don’t care much for any of the listed translations. I use the 1901 ASV.

  • Paul Arnold says on

    I have read nine versions including most on your top ten. I will finish the Contemporary English Version in the next few weeks which will be my tenth. Have read KJV, NKJV, HCSB, ESV, NLT & NASB all more than once.

    Maybe because it was emphasized when I was in seminary, but the NASB is my favorite.

    Also, I thought the Message was presented as a paraphrase rather than a translation.

  • Arlene R. says on

    Yes, the NIV is the one translation that the christian booksellers are “pushing” in their stores. No surprise that it is outselling. It is really too bad.

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