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Friday, December 15, 2006

TNIV breaks into the top 10 for Bible sales

For the first time, the TNIV has broken into the top 10 list of Bible sales tracked by Christian retailers. It is currently at #7. Here is the list from the CBA website:

General Versions/Translations

December 2006

New International Version
various publishers
New King James Version
various publishers
King James Version
various publishers
New Living Translation
English Standard Version
Reina Valera 1960 (Spanish)
various publishers
Today's New International Version
Amplified Bible
The Message
Eugene Peterson, NavPress
New American Standard Bible update
various publishers

This list is based on actual sales in Christian retail stores in the United States and Canada during October, using STATS as the source for data collection. All rights reserved. Distribution and copyright ©2006 CBA and Evangelical Christian Publishers Association.

TNIV sales may have been enhanced by sales of the wonderful The Bible Experience TNIV audio production. If so, more power to them--and The Bible Experience is powerful!

I confess to being surprised. I have been pessimistic that the crusade Dr. Grudem and his friends have been waging against the TNIV, with their request and subsequent boycott of the TNIV by many Christian booksellers, might prevent the TNIV from ever gaining the sales that it deserves. I hope that I have been wrong. My blogging friend Rick Mansfield has told me that February Bible sales rankings will be key, after Christmas sales. Perhaps more people are moving beyond the anti-TNIV crusade and uncareful lists of purported errors in the TNIV and discovering for themselves that it is an accurate translation and an improvement upon its popular NIV predecessor.


At Fri Dec 15, 02:19:00 PM, Blogger Gary said...

Wayne, I think that Zondervan just waited until the hubbub died down, and now have started promoting the TNIV as if it never even happened.

People have poor memories for such things.

Those of us who were concerned about it all along do remember, and are aware of the arguments going both ways. But few outside of our circles ever became aware that it was going on. It's like they had a war, but nobody noticed. Now they see this new Bible translation at the local Christian Book store (if they're even aware that it's a new translation), and whatever form it's in it looks nice, so they buy it.

Zondervan ain't no dummies! Now the TNIV will be readily available, and most people won't know the difference!

That's my two cents worth, anyway.


At Fri Dec 15, 02:38:00 PM, Blogger R. Mansfield said...

Plus, I was in a store the other day and the NIV and TNIV Bibles were essentially mixed together in the same section. Many "average" consumers won't know the difference.

At Tue Jan 02, 11:26:00 AM, Blogger Jon Bailey said...

I was surprised to get on and see that list you posted, which has the ESV as NUMBER FIVE! How long has this been so? I remember earlier in the year it was not in the top ten either.

So it seems that both the TNIV and its arch rival are both gaining momentum. Of course I concur with the poster above who is basically saying that it's the promotion that counts. Not the translation. I imagine the ESV sales increase has more to do with the really cool line of soft, nicely colored pocket bibles that recently came out. Or perhaps it is the name. All those British people are probably releived to have a literal translation that does not have "American" in the title. Or maybe it is that the popular Schofield bible is now available in the ESV.

To explain how the TNIV will sell will be a matter of how many pretty colors it comes in or if they can find a 'niche bible' like the 'Daily Devotional TNIV for Men with Arthritis' that will increase sales among arthritic men or something.

Sadly, bibles are a marketing game. The average Christian doesn't know a thing about bible versions or translations.


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