The King James became the popular Bible in the new United States as well.
This is another great mystery to ponder: why the founding fathers in 1776 didn't commission their own Bible. The whole story of what Congress thought of the Bible in the first few weeks is a rather puzzling one. They didn't support Robert Aitken, who tried to bring the first mass-produced Bible [in the King James Version] to the United States. He died bankrupt. It wasn't until just after WWII that the attempt was made to make an American translation [the Revised Standard Version]. The first edition was published in 1952, and it was the first great American Bible, and very successful.

What about the efforts to make the Bible easier to read, like the Good News Bible or The Message?

I'm very critical of a lot of what they do. The Message is afraid of upsetting people, which seems to me odd, considering that Christ gave his life on the cross. At the end of 1 Corinthians 13, Paul's great hymn to love, Tyndale says, "Then shall I know even as I am known." It says that love leads to being known, a very profound concept. Peterson has, "It won't be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright." That's near criminal. It's not what the Greek says, and the uplift is completely wrong for Paul. We no longer burn Christians alive, we sell them a New Testament from which God has been removed.

On the other hand, if a truckdriver throws aside a girlie mag for The Good News Bible to get something from it, who am I to criticize?

Which translation would you recommend?
I don't think you can beat the original Tyndale. People keep writing to me to say how modern he is. But if you want a truly modern one, there's also one that's not very well known in America called the Revised English Bible. It came out in the late 1980s. It was the first that had Roman Catholics and Protestants working together on it. Parts of the Old Testament are a bit dodgy, but the New Testament is extremely good.