Who Owns the Bible?

By Trevor McKendrick 👋 - Have you read my free newsletter?

This was originally published in my free weekly newsletter, How It Actually Works.

I’m best known as the “atheist Bible salesman”. I created the #1 Spanish language Bible app & eventually sold that business to a public company on the Nasdaq.

Today I’m sharing one of the most interesting facts I discovered while working in the religion industry.

Most people don’t realize that Bible translations are copyrighted. I.e. you can’t sell the Bible without first licensing it from the proper owner.

So who owns the Bible?

There’s thousands of translation of the Bible, so let’s talk about just one: the bestselling English translation aka the NIV.

The NIV copyright is owned by an organization named Biblica. Instead of publishing the NIV themselves, they chose to sell the license to the copyright for more money than God (pun intended).

And guess who bought the NIV license for North America?

Rupert Murdoch & News Corp.

(Technically it’s a subsidiary of News Corp called Zondervan.)

That’s interesting, but it gets better.

Zondervan sells a lot of bibles in a lot of different languages. And so it turns out that Zondervan, owned by News Corp, is the largest publisher of Bibles in the world.

The biggest seller of Bibles is the same company that owns Fox News, HarperCollins, Dow Jones, 20th Century Fox, and others.

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