According to CNN Belief Blog, “people are still intensely curious about the Bible, its meaning, and its origins.” In a blog post June 8, CNN religion editor Dan Gilgoff said, “More than any other book in the Western tradition (with the Quran being the lone exception), the Bible still fascinates us. And it still feeds our most heated debates.” Gallop surveys show 92% of Americans believe in God, and 78% believe the Bible is either the actual word of God to be taken literally or believe the Bible to be inspired by the word of God.

The International Christian Retail Show (ICRS), held this next week in Atlanta, is the annual convention of the CBA retail industry, which represents the selling of faith-based products valued at more than $4.6 billion, much of that coming from the sale of Bibles. The event’s theme this year is “Celebrate the Word,” in conjunction with the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible.

More than 50 modern English Bible versions and derivatives are available today. Now a new one is added to the list with the ICRS debut of the complete Common English Bible (, a translation that’s different from all the others, according to Associate Publisher Paul Franklyn, because “it’s the result of large-scale collaboration between opposites: scholars working with average readers; conservatives working with liberals; teens working with retirees; men working with women; many denominations and many ethnicities uniting  to create a fresh translation using vivid natural language.”

The Common English Bible is sponsoring a press conference jointly with multiple Bible publishers on Tuesday, July 11, 9:30 am Eastern Time in conference center room B 301 of the Georgia World Congress Center. Its purpose is to respond to criticism of over-proliferation of English Bible translations. Participants in the press conference will include representatives from Common English Bible, Baker Publishing Group,, B&H, and Thomas Nelson.  Yours truly will be moderating the panel discussion.  This should be fun! We’ll see if any of these folks go Jerry Springer on me. (wink!)

400 years ago the King James Version was the first Bible for the common man. Today a vast number of modern English translations and paraphrases are available. This press conference welcomes Bible publishers to the table to discuss why these many different translations are needed. Additional discussion topics include:

  • What you are doing to encourage people to read the Bible?
  • How many English Bible translations do we need? 
  • How is the English language changing and how does that impact Bible reading?
  • What is the difference between Bible translations? 
  • Who is really reading the Bible?

LOCATION:  ICRS 2011, Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta, GA, Press Conference Room B 301
DATE/TIME:  Tuesday, July 11, 9:30 AM
SPONSOR:  Common English Bible
PARTICIAPTANTS: Common English Bible, Baker Publishing Group God’s Word, NET Bible, B & H Holman Bible, Thomas Nelson New Century and New King James