Monday, January 28, 2008

Bible versions and over-marketing

An article in the Los Angeles Times notes how bible 'publishers have found a niche -- a big one -- for stylized Bibles inspired by pop culture. Almost anything goes'. It appears that 2008 'marks the 30th anniversary of the best-selling New International Version of the Bible, a highly readable translation that has vaulted Zondervan (a division of HarperCollins) to the top of the Bible publishing world, with a 40% market share. To celebrate, the company is producing an update of the NIV Study Bible, with thousands of revised footnotes. Formatted with extra-wide margins for note-taking, bound in premium leather, the new edition has been tentatively priced at $119.99.'

The trouble is that bible publishers have so over-marketed their product that it is creating confusion. 'Half of all customers who walk into a store intending to buy a Bible leave empty-handed, according to Brenda Lugannani, a vice president of Family Christian Stores' (the USA's largest Christian chain). "When they look at what's available," she says, "it begins to confuse them." There is an even more serious issue, which is that the multiplicity of versions as well as editions are seriously undermining the authority of what is the Word of God. Which one is the right one? Which one contains all of the original? Another post on this blog looks at this issue:

For the full text of the article in the LA Times go to,1,502680.story?page=1&ctrack=1&cset=true