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Saturday, November 11, 2006

Has ESV displaced HCSB in sales?

Yesterday foreign man commented on one of our posts:
According to the latest ranking on CBA website, ESV surpassed HCSB and was #5 on the list last month. HCSB was #7. I have no idea how this happened. I personally prefer HCSB over ESV.
I don't know how that happened either. As foreign man did, I checked the rankings a few days ago and HCSB was in the middle of the sales rankings. The ESV was not in the top 10 rankings.

In any case, it will be interesting to watch the relative rankings between the ESV and HCSB in the next few months. Both Bibles follow the Colorado Springs Guidelines (CSG) developed by complementarians who believe that traditional grammatically masculine terms should be used in English Bible translation for gender inclusive meanings.

The ESV is worded in traditional Bible English from the Tyndale-KJV tradition. The HCSB is written in more contemporary English. Both versions are essentially literal. I happen to prefer the more contemporary English of the HCSB. Its English is closer to my own dialect of English than that of the ESV. I have observed that for most people--except for those who prefer traditional sounding Bibles--translations which are worded more closely to the English which they themselves use communicate more accurately and with greater impact to them.

UPDATE: The ESV Bible blog comments on the ESV sales increase (HT: Rick Manfield):
Part of the jump from the previous month (when the ESV wasn’t on the bestseller list) stems from the Spread the Word campaign, which offers a fifty-cent New Testament through Christian bookstores.

5 Comments:

At Sat Nov 11, 10:41:00 AM, Blogger Mark Strobel said...

It's curious to see that the rest of the top five includes KJV (#2) and NKV (#3).

The marketplace's desire for "Bible English" appears strong.

 
At Sat Nov 11, 03:22:00 PM, Blogger AndyZuu said...

The copyright restrictions are interesting. The ESV is more generous than either the TNIV or HCSB.


ESV -- "...may be quoted (in written, visual, or electronic form) up to and inclusive of one thousand (1,000) verses without express written permission of the publisher, providing that the verses quoted do not amount to a complete book of the Bible nor do the verses quoted account for 50 percent or more of the total text of the work in which they are quoted."

TNIV -- "...may be quoted in any form (written, visual, electronic or audio), up to and inclusive of five hundred (500) verses without written permission of the publisher, providing the verses quoted do not amount to a complete book of the Bible nor do the verses quoted account for 25 percent or more of the total text of the work in which they are quoted."

HSCB -- "...may be quoted in any form (written, visual, audio or electronic) up to and inclusive of two-hundred-fifty (250) verses without the written permission of the publisher, provided that the verses do not account for more than 20 percent of the work in which they are quoted, and provided that a complete book of the Bible is not quoted."

 
At Sat Nov 11, 08:16:00 PM, Blogger R. Mansfield said...

The sudden jump in ranking for the ESV may coincide with the 50¢ evangelistic NT promotion. Since CBA figures are based on numbers, that would probably do the trick.

In other markets, lower prices would signal a price war. I doubt Bible publishers would market so aggressively, but inexpensive copies of God's word can never be a bad thing.

It's also interesting that not only did the ESV beat out the HCSB, but the Reina Valera did as well.

 
At Sun Nov 12, 10:18:00 AM, Blogger Peter Kirk said...

Andyzuu, I wonder if ESV and HCSB are breaking copyright by blatantly plagiarising the copyright notice in NIV, which has almost the same wording? (I don't suggest the same of TNIV because its publishers are openly adapting NIV.)

 
At Mon Nov 13, 07:36:00 AM, Blogger R. Mansfield said...

Today's post on the ESV blog confirms that the jump in the ESV's standing was partly the result of it's 50¢ New Testaments.

 

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