Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Taxonomy of Popular Bible Versions

Mainstream Evangelical
Conservative Evangelical
Liberal Alternative
Mainstream Version
Conservative Alternative

I have written before that even though there are a multitude of translations on the market today, that one a handful are in established use. The above chart attempts to lay them out on a spectrum of fundamentalist to mainline, with the mainstream version, and the liberal and conservative alternatives. A chart of this nature invites many criticisms, but take of it what you will.

A few comments are in order, I suppose. The choice of the KJV as the mainstream version for fundamentalists could be controversial, as well as the implication that the NKJV is a conservative alternative. The reasons for this are many. First and foremost, the traditionalism inherent in fundamentalism has resulted in the KJV retaining its place at most fundamentalist institutions. The NKJV functions as a conservative alternative with the emphasis on "alternative." But since there is little to no desire to replace the KJV within fundamentalism, the NKJV has not seen that much uptake. The NASB is much more prevalent as an alternative translation within fundamentalism, but it also suffers from being more often relegated to study.

Another reason that the choice of KJV as the mainstream fundamentalist version might be argued against is the significant number of conservative church leaders and teachers using the ESV. But this is just confusing the conservative evangelicals with the fundamentalists. In fact, fundamentalists are melding and combining with conservative evangelicals at a great rate. This is due to the general rise of conservative evangelicals themselves and the reduction of the fundamentalist population, both in terms of laymen and institutions.

1 comment:

Brano Willis said...

I really love reading bible. It is a first thing I do after waking up in the morning. There are many translations of bibles these days to choose from. My favorite is New American Catholic Bible Thanks for sharing!