Guns and ammo are not the only markets enjoying high sales increases so far in 2021. Bible sales are soaring.
Book publishers first noted strong demand in April 2020 when the China Virus pandemic lockdowns and curfews began.
“We believe this is no accident, as people often go to the Bible as a source of hope in times of crisis and uncertainty,” LifeWay Christian Resources CEO Ben Mandrell noted. “People draw hope from Scripture because in it they see a God who is with us during our suffering.”
Alabaster Co., another religious book seller who markets to younger adults, reported a sales increase of 143 percent in 2020 compared to the previous year.
Tyndale reported almost a 50 percent improvement gain in Bible sales in 2020 compared to 2019. The beginning of 2021 continues to see high sales. The company is also experiencing increase in sales for their Life Application Study Bible and Immerse Bible for study groups.
LifeWay Christian Resources, one of the world’s largest providers of Christian resources based in Tennessee first noted especially higher sales trends in April through July 2020. Christmas sales broke records and 2021 New Year resolutions exceeded 2020.
Evangelical Christian Publishers Association compared Bible sales in 2020 to 2011. The numbers in parentheses below represent the rankings in 2011. Note that some Bibles may be paraphrases rather than translations.
Rankings in 2020 (numbers in parentheses are 2011 rankings)
- New International Version (NIV) (1)
- King James Version (KJV) (2)
- New Living Translation (NLT) (4)
- English Standard Version (ESV) (5)
- New King James Version (NKJV) (3)
- Christian Standard Bible (CSB) (6)
- Reina Valera (RV) (not ranked)
- New International Reader’s Version (NIrV) (9)
- The Message (Message) (8)
- New American Standard Bible (NASB) (7)
- TNIV was discontinued in 2011. It was ranked 10 that year.
- The NLT is considered by some as “the quiet Bible.” The translation continues to gain readers without as much attention as other translations. It is now #3 in the rankings.
- The RV is a Spanish translation.
“It’s no surprise when people are in trouble [or] when they feel anxiety and when they feel uncertain about their lives, what do they do? They start looking for hope,” Mandrell explained. “They start looking for help.And in a time where local churches are struggling to gather, people are more interested in reading the Bible right now and having quality time with God alone and so they’re reading scripture more.”
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