I dropped into a local Christian book store today just to browse around.
As I came to the Bibles section I overheard one of the store's sales people, a young guy, trying to tell a boy of about 16 and his mother about the different Bible translations.
I stood there for a few minutes listening in on his advice as to why they should buy one translation over another. For a moment or two I was quite stunned at what I heard.
The young boy asked the salesman about the ESV, just to be told that in the ESV and other more modern translations some words have been left out. At this point I jumped into the discussion just to help this poor boy and his mother out of the big hole they have been dumped into by this salesman.
I firmly believe that the salesman had no clue what he was talking about, read a couple of internet sites that claimed that modern translations leave words out and believed it! He referred to the KJV and the NKJV as the better translations based on his internet research.
The problem with the Bibles section in any Christian bookstore is that you cannot have a salesman like this with just a little bit of knowledge. He knows just enough to cause serious damage.
Each Christian bookstore should have a resident, trained person who understands the different translations, and not just the translations, but should have a strong understanding of the theory of Bible translation and of manuscript transmission.
If you do not know the product you are selling, you end up causing more problems than solving any. The same goes for the Bibles section in a Christian bookstore.
A couple of books I can recommend are:
The King James Only Contoversy, James R. White – Purchase: Amazon, Kalahari.
The Text of the New Testament: Its Transmission, Corruption, and Restoration (4th Edition), Bruce M. Metzger – Purchase: Amazon, Kalahari.
The Word of God in English, Leland Ryken – Purchase: Amazon, Kalahari.
How to Choose a Bible Version (Revised), Robert L. Thomas – Purchase: Amazon, Kalahari.