How many versions of the Bible do we need? Or Why the Bible makes good economics.
I ran across this article in a Kansas City newspaper. I found it interesting since it talks about the economics of Bible publishing. Perhaps they read my blog asking whether we have too many translations and were inspired to write this article. :)
If you stacked all the Bibles sitting in American homes, the tower would rise 29 million feet, almost 1,000 times the height of Mount Everest.
More than 90 percent of American households own a Bible, and the average family owns three, according to pollsters at the Barna Group. The American Bible Society hands out 5 million copies each year; 1.5 billion Gideon Bibles wait in hotel rooms worldwide.
Scripture outsells the latest diet fads, murder mysteries and celebrity bios year after year. Evangelical publishers alone sold an estimated 20 million Bibles in recession-battered 2009, raking in about $500 million in sales, according to Michael Covington, information and education director of the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association.
“Bibles are in many ways a cash cow,” said Phyllis Tickle, a former longtime religion editor at Publishers Weekly. “The Bible is the mainstay of many a publishing program.”
However, some Christian scholars wonder whether that popularity can sometimes be a bad thing, as a major new translation and waves of books marking the 400th anniversary of the venerable King James Bible inundate the market this fall.