God’s Word Never Changes, but the Way We Read It Does by ABBY PERRY via Christianity Today
In a crumbling economy, with rising inflation and interest rates, countless industries are flailing–but not Bible publishers.
Many Bible publishers will tell you that while it seems to be a time of plenty, they face many challenges that must be understood as opportunities. What sets them apart from the rest of the marketplace is their unifying commitment to distributing the unchanging, accurate Word of God into the hands of both Christians and the curious.
Bible publishers must walk a tightrope of honoring the inerrancy and sanctity of Scripture while still understanding the ebbs and flows of sales and marketing. With accurate translation as their number one priority, Bible publishers can then apply their creativity and consumer desires to aspects like cover design, special features, and suiting Bibles to certain age groups.
Whether publishers are designing covers that match a popular aesthetic or producing children’s Bibles according to elementary school reading levels, their goal is singular: “We want the Bible to feel accessible to people,” said Catherine DeVries, publisher at Kregel Publications.
These top four Bible publishing trends reflect publishers’ commitment to the text and ears open to the consumer so that the story of Scripture can be told to all.
1. Fighting for Underserved Populations.
As America’s awareness of racial and cultural injustices has taken center stage in public discourse, some Bible publishers have seen an opportunity to serve new target markets with their Bible translations.
Take the First Nations Version (FNV) from InterVarsity Press, for example. This version came about through the campus ministry work of Native InterVarsity, which had been using portions of the FNV at some of their events for college students.
“They found that students grasped the truth and reality of Scripture more vividly and immediately through the Native sensibilities of language choices and cadences of oral storytelling, which parallel the biblical context and literary style,” said Al Hsu, senior editor at InterVarsity Press. “The freshness of the FNV’s translation helped readers and hearers experience the gospel narratives in ways that were less abstract and spoke to their lived experience.”
Other Bible publishers have grown their catalogs of Spanish Bibles. Editorial Portavoz, the Spanish language subsidiary of Kregel Publications, especially shines in this department. Over the past few years, Editorial Portavoz has published or distributed several Spanish Bibles tailored to specific audiences, including Biblia Devocional Mujer Verdadera (True Woman Devotional Bible), Biblia de una joven conforme al corazón de Dios (A Young Woman After God’s Own Heart Bible), and La Bible para Grupos Pequeños (The Bible for Small Groups).