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The Bible in American Life$
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Philip Goff, Arthur Farnsley, and Peter Thuesen

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190468910

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190468910.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 19 October 2019

Selling Trust

Selling Trust

The Living Bible and the Business of Biblicism

(p.169) 14 Selling Trust
The Bible in American Life

Daniel Vaca

Oxford University Press

Focusing especially on the early history of The Living Bible (1971) and the Living Translation, this chapter asks how commodity status shapes the way that Americans have acquired, engaged, and perceived their Bibles. Created by Kenneth N. Taylor, The Living Bible would become one of the bestselling books of the 1970s. Yet as a paraphrase of the Bible, it deviated from many of the conventions through which Bibles typically have claimed authority. Those conventions include a direct connection to the Bible’s original languages and the support of an esteemed religious institution. Cultivating consumer trust by other means, The Living Bible not only capitalized on its creator’s business networks but also drew on marketing research to emphasize the benefits of the book for mothers and their families. By exploring the creation and commercial success of The Living Bible, this chapter conjoins the stories of modern consumer capitalism and the Bible in American life.

Keywords:   evangelicalism, The Living Bible, Kenneth N. Taylor, Tyndale House, Christian Booksellers Association, Literalism, Bible translation, Bible business, Philip Doddridge

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