I visited Good News Centre Newent again this weekend. It’s always a pleasure to go there. It was looking even more splendid than usual and was really busy – important in the run-up to Christmas. The shop continues to defy all the normal location rules of retailing, situated as it is in rural Gloucestershire.
They have an excellent card and gift range including a really good range of Indian crafts, with which I was not familiar. It was especially good to see lots of books being sold. Good to see the Bookseller Association’s marketing campaign kit in use – ‘Celebrate Bookshops in Your Community – Keep Books on the High Street’.
I couldn’t resist taking this shot of the CWR Cover to Cover Bible Study spinner! Those of you who know me well know how much I love spinners in shops – something about a poacher and a gamekeeper, I think!
Here’s my mobile phone photo update and my earlier GNC post;
Iconic images of India from a visit to the Golden Triangle of Jaipur, Dehli and Agra plus Shimla in the Himalaya foothills.
Last evening, a bombshell exploded in the worldwide book trade with the announcement by HarperCollins in New York of their proposed purchase of Thomas Nelson USA (Publisher of Billy Graham, Max Lucado and the New King James Bible).
This is astonishing. News Corporation already owns Zondervan (the Publisher of the New International Version, on licence from Biblica USA) and HarperCollins (the Publisher of the Good News Bible).
I, for one, am not hugely keen on the news that an ethically discredited NewsCorp may shortly own two major USA Christian publishers; Zondervan & Thomas Nelson; thus – incredibly – making Rupert Murdoch the largest Christian publisher in the world, in control of many of the major English translations of the Bible!
I believe, in the light of the phone-hacking scandal here in the UK, that NewsCorp is not a ‘fit and proper’ entity to control such a major percentage of English Bible translations. To me, this is extremely worrying.
As John Duncan said on Facebook today;
‘By my reckoning this now makes HC owners of the companies that produce the NKJV, a large percentage of the KJV (both Nelson and HC), the NCV, the NIV (US editions), the GNB, the ESV (UK editions), and some NRSV – rather a lot of bibles, really’.
Christianity Today reported in September 2010 that:
‘The American Bible Society says there are 32 translations on the North American market, while Christian Book Distributors offers over 50. BibleGateway.com offers 23 English versions’.
Whilst this is true, CBA USA figures indicate that the list of best selling Bibles by unit sales in 2010 is actually a much smaller group of translations;
- New International Version
- King James Version
- New King James Version
- New Living Translation
- English Standard Version
- Holman Christian Standard Bible
- The Message
Make no mistake; News Corp may soon control the majority of the bestselling English translations of the Bible. In this list, the only independent translations are The New Living Translation (Tyndale), the Holman Christian Standard Bible (Broadman and Holman) and The Message (NavPress).
I have known and worked with good people in all of the companies mentioned above and I have no wish to cause offence but this seems to be a rather perilous and serious state of affairs. Thomas Nelson is a privately owned USA company – maybe the owners will see sense and reconsider the sale.
2 Corinthians 2:17 states; ‘Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, as those sent from God’.
These are salutory and hard words indeed for all of us working in this industry.