Bible sales also rising amidst virus crisis
By Michael Gryboski — Originally published in The Christian Post
Although large numbers of churches did not hold in-person services for Holy Week due to coronavirus shutdowns, Bible reading greatly increased compared to last year, according to YouVersion App.
YouVersion reported this week that Bible reading on its app from Palm Sunday to Easter was 54% higher than it was for Holy Week of last year.
During Holy Week of last year, YouVersion reported approximately 26.4 million Bible Plan days completed. This year, they reported a 54% increase to around 40.6 million Bible Plan days completed.
YouVersion also reported that while last year’s Holy Week had 10.8 million verse shares, for this year the total increased by 30% to 14.1 million verse shares.
“This Easter Sunday was the highest day in YouVersion Bible App history for verses shared and Bible Plan completions,” stated Rachel Feuerborn, spokesperson for Life.Church, which launched the app.
“Easter looked different this year, but it didn’t stop the global church from celebrating Jesus’ resurrection.”
YouVersion also reported that during Holy Week, users of the Bible App for Kids had 5.2 million Bible stories completed, also a record week for that app.
“All this on the heels of a record-breaking month,” added Feuerborn. “March 2020 was the number one month in Bible App history for the number of unique users, app shares, verse shares, Bible searches within the app, audio Bible plays, and video plays.”
“March was also the number one month for Bible App for Kids installs and Bible story completions in this app..”
Widely shared verses included Mark 16:6, ‘Don’t be alarmed,’ he said. ‘You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him’, and Psalms 30:5, For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favour lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.
The YouVersion report on Bible reading done on its app is not the only indicator of an increased interest in the Bible since the coronavirus was declared a pandemic.
Earlier this month, multiple Bible publishers, among them Tyndale House Publishers of Carol Stream, Illinois, reported an increase in Bible sales compared to the same time last year.
Tyndale reported that their Life Application Study Bible sales went up 44 percent and sales of the Immerse Bible went up 60 percent, compared to March of 2019.
Jim Jewell, an executive at Tyndale, told The Christian Post in an earlier interview that he believes concerns over the pandemic “has upended almost everyone’s lives in some way”.
“It’s not surprising that people turn to the comfort and clarity of the Bible in times of trouble and uncertainty,” he said, explaining that social media engagement also grew.
“On [our Facebook page for the] New Living Translation, where we post Bible verse memes, engagement was triple what it was last March and up 72% from just last month.”
Pandemic spurs Bible sales
Meanwhile Fox News reports that with uncertainty amid the coronavirus pandemic and many people holed up in their homes, people are ordering books online, especially the Good Book, according to sales from top Christian publishers.
But that could be changing.
Alabaster Co., a small business in California that sells books of the Bible for the Instagram generation, saw an increase of 143% compared to last year.
“In this life-altering and unprecedented pandemic, people are looking for hope and restoration,” Brian Chung, co-founder and business director of Alabaster Co., told Fox News.
“Even amidst suffering and financial hardship we’ve continued to see people engage with Alabaster by utilizing our free resources and purchasing Bibles as encouraging gifts for loved ones,” he added. “We believe people are buying Bibles because there’s a longing to connect with God, find meaning, and experience peace.”
Mandrell added, “The Bible, as God’s words to us, is a reminder that He doesn’t leave us to walk through difficult times alone.”
And Tyndale has also seen an increase, especially for their Life Application Study Bible, Immerse Bible for study groups, and other Bibles on their online store.
“It’s not surprising that people turn to the comfort and clarity of the Bible in times of trouble and uncertainty,” said Jim Jewell, communications director of Tyndale House Publishers. “We have been seeing this at Tyndale House during the last month, with strong Bible sales and engagement on our social media platforms.”