Survey Finds Most Pastors Prefer NIV Bible

( [email protected] ) May 13, 2004 08:10 AM EDT

According to a recent poll conducted by Ellison Research, it was found that the ministers continue to prefer the New International Version, among all the different Bible versions available in Christian market

The survey was conducted with a representative sample of 700 senior pastors across the U.S. The survey also found that the ministers’ choice of Bible is based on the accuracy of the translation and its readability.

With the NIV being the most popular version (31% favored the NIV), four other favored Bible versions include the King James, the New Revised Standard, the New King James, and the New American Standard Version.

Ron Sellers, president of Ellison Research, pointed out that many of the newer versions and translations of the Bible have yet to make significant inroads into the market. Meanwhile, he said, "When you take everything other than those [aforementioned versions], just nine percent of all Protestant ministers rely on anything other than the big five, if you will. So it was a bit of a surprise that other ones have really done very little to impact the clergy market."

The survey also revealed that the church denominations vary in their choice of the Bible versions and that each denomination has its own favorites.

According to Sellers, the study revealed that there is "tremendous variation denominationally in what Bibles are used by ministers as well as what Bibles they would recommend to their congregation."

"Number one among the Pentecostal churches was the King James Version -- it almost wasn't mentioned among Methodists," Seller noted, "The New American Standard was very popular among Southern Baptists and among Lutherans it was fairly popular, but it was not one of the most popular versions among Methodists and Pentecostals."

Ministers also expressed their strong opinions about which versions to not to use. According to the survey, ministers chose the Living Bible, Today's NIV, The Message, and the King James Version as the versions they would least likely to recommend.