Americans have seemingly contradictory desires in choosing Bible translations, judging from a new Gallup Poll for the American Bible Society.
The poll showed the Bible is the category of book Americans say they most often read regularly, and that 93 percent of American homes have one.
The King James Version, with its old-fashioned language from 1611, remains by far the most revered translation, and yet Americans say the Bible should be easier to read and understand. In the Gallup poll, 61 percent said the Bible should be easier to read than it is.
Until the 1950s, the King James was the only Bible in wide use among Protestants, who tend to dominate the Bible-buying market. Since then many versions have been produced to meet the demand for modernized Scriptures.
The Gallup Poll found that in households with a Bible, 54 percent owned the King James, followed by 15 percent for the New International Version, and single-digit responses for the updated New King James, the New American Standard, Catholic editions and the New Revised Standard Version.
The King James was used most often, by 41 percent of homes with any Bible.
As reported in the Knoxville News Sentinel
(Saturday, May 5, 2001)