Christian Retailing

ICRS Bibles-Scripture publishers focus on retail Print Email
Written by Christine D. Johnson   
Tuesday, 08 July 2014 04:13 PM America/New_York

MEV translation travels while companies revisit top brands

MEV-StarnesBusBible publishers at the International Christian Retail Show were helping Christian retailers capitalize on their uniqueness in the marketplace with new Scripture offerings. Passio, an imprint of Charisma House, brought the only new Bible translation—the Modern English Version (MEV)—while multiple companies varied their Scripture offerings with new approaches and styles.

Charisma House came to the show in a big way, bringing a tour bus that not only featured Todd Starnes’ book God Less America, but also the MEV Bible, releasing this fall.

The consensus on the MEV is that “it’s going to be well-received,” said Jason McMullen, director of ministry services and publishing director of the Modern English Version. “There’s a lot of enthusiasm about it. Obviously we’ve promoted it heavily here with the goals of raising awareness and driving engagement. We are encouraged by what we see so far and look forward to a strong launch.”

McMullen said he believes the MEV—a new, modern translation in the spirit of the King James Version (KJV)—“will benefit the church.”

Just before ICRS, B&H Publishing Group announced its plans for The Rainbow Study Bible, the best-selling color-coded, themed Bible acquired from Standard Publishing.

Launching in September, the Holman Rainbow Study Bible, KJV Edition features an all-new page layout that includes the unique color-code key across every spread.

The NIV edition will release in February 2015, and then the RVR 1960 Spanish edition will follow in April 2015.

B&H is also helping retailers maximize the effectiveness of their presentation of text Bibles. About a year ago, the company began to offer the KJV in a merchandising program with seven Bible sizes and 14 styles and designs. B&H is now rolling out the New King James Version (NKJV) in the same program, and from fall 2014 to spring 2015 will be doing the same with the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB).

“We have three pretty sizable translations in the market,” Tim Jordan, Bible marketing manager, said. “We felt like we needed to move that into plain text Bibles to help bookstores, help consumers walk in and make just simplified decisions—1, 2, 3. There’s no reason for customers to leave.”

Sharon Heggeland, director of sales operations, at Tyndale House Publishers, said that the company’s significant One Year Bible “anchor brand” has been refreshed with full-color imagery for each day’s reading. The One Year Bible Illustrated comes in the New Living Translation and the New International Version. Tyndale also introduced HCSB version of its popular Life Application Study Bible.

Several publishers had women’s Bibles to promote, including B&H (The Study Bible for Women, HCSB), Charisma House (SpiritLed Woman Bible, MEV) and Crossway (ESV Women’s Devotional Bible, English Standard Version).

The end of August will see the release of Crossway’s ESV Women’s Devotional Bible with a “Word-centered” devotional for every day of the year, said Anthony Gosling, vice president of sales at Crossway. “This is not just sort of a helpful thought for the day.”

HarperCollins Christian Publishing was promoting The Duck Commander Faith and Family Bible (Thomas Nelson, Oct. 28), continuing the popular brand, and the NIV First-Century Study Bible (Zondervan, Sept. 9), which guides the reader in Scripture study through the eyes of a first-century disciple.

Abingdon Press was promoting October’s The Step Stone Bible, which focuses on the people and places of the Bible. It includes extended introductions, sidebar articles and is described as “a full Bible with an in-depth reference handbook in one.”

Kingstone Comics continues work on The Kingstone Bible, releasing the installments of the 12 graphic-novel metanarrative as they are completed. —Johnson