I am a big fan of two English Bibles – the King James and the English Standard. I don’t really mind other versions like the NASB, the NIV, or even the NLT. They have their uses; but for me, the King James is the gold standard of English bibles and the English Standard is the closest thing to a reasonable successor that has been produced.
But my point isn’t to argue about translations. My point is that every year, the Bible market is deluged with new editions of the eternal book. Every year, someone writes a new study “definitive” Study Bible. John MacArthur, Kay Arthur, Max Lucado, Charles Stanley, John Maxwell, Joyce Meyers, Stormie Omartian, Ray Comfort, Charles Ryrie and who knows who else have study Bibles published under their names. There are new editions of the Scofield, Thompson Chain, and Dake study Bibles. There are Bibles for seekers, Bibles for Charismatics, Bibles for students of all ages, Bibles for African-Americans, and Bibles for Reformed theologians.
Doesn’t it strike anyone as just a little bizarre that on the Christian Book Distributors website, there are over 3,000 different editions of the Bible, of which nearly 800 are different types of study Bibles? They offer thirty-one different translations in English and several in Spanish.
Do we really need all of this?
We say we believe the Bible is the Word of God; but we rely on so many different opinions about what it says. How can there ever be unity in the church when we are marketing our differences?