Where Did Your Bible Come From?

I mentioned a week or two ago that impending tariffs, that are on hold for now at least, could cause an increase in the price of Bible. It has to do with the incredibly thin paper that Bibles use and equipment which require special set up in order to process. One of my friends in real life said she would be checking her Bibles to see where they were made. So I decided to do the same.

It’s no secret and should come as no surprise that I spend a lot of time online. Bible Gateway is my go-to resource for reading and sermon preparation. I can easily look at several translations side by side on the same screen for any given passage. In real life I don’t have as many translations in physical form. Since the ESV is my translation of choice I have more copies of that than any other. So my results are less than scientific but here’s what I found.

My first copy of the ESV was given to me at my ordination into ministry back in 2004. It is a thinline ESV and was printed in the USA. The ESV was a relatively new translation at that time and a limited number of varieties were available from Crossway publishers. They introduced the ESV Study Bible in 2008 and thanks to Michael Spencer, who solicited donations from his contacts as Internet Monk, I was given a copy very early in their production. There were a couple of different bondings available but there was no compact, large print, student, teen or whatever other flavors have been produced since. The bonded leather version I received retailed for just under a hundred dollars and on the mission field we served many of us would not have been able or perhaps willing to afford one. I don’t know about the ESV Study Bible today but mine from 2008 was printed in the USA. So was the hardback Billy Graham Training Center Study Bible in NKJV that I have used in the pulpit since 2014.

The only Bible I have that was printed in China is a compact (supposedly) large print ESV that I bought last November. My Thinline ESV from 2004 is literally held together with duct tape, although it is black duct tape and I believe hard to tell from a few feet away. I broke down and bought a Bible for the first time since the early 90’s. So I do have a Bible that was printed in China but I’ve only had it a few months.

So where was your Bible printed? Look on the title page near the front which will list copyright information and the name of the publisher. Just curious. If you live outside the United States that’s fine too, go ahead and share in the comments what country you live in and where your Bible came from.

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