Zondervan invites 31,173 Americans to handwrite NIV Bible

More than 31,000 Americans will have a hand in publishing a new NIV Bible – America’s NIV – the first NIV Bible ever written “one-verse, one-person” at a time.

                Zondervan, the world’s leading Bible publisher, embarked Sept. 30 on a 90-city, 44-state cross-country tour – called Bible Across America – to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the New International Version (NIV) translation, enlisting the help of the American people to publish its next Bible. A team of four will drive a 42-foot luxury motorhome, generously donated by RV supplier Spartan Motors, more than 15,000 miles, crisscrossing the United States over the next five months.

                The tour will stop in Miami on Dec. 6 at 10 a.m. The location is yet to be determined.

                The Bible Across America tour will also stop at events, churches, universities, retail stores, American landmarks and other venues to allow people of all ages and walks of life to write a verse in the Bible, which will then be published and sold nationwide. The tour began at Zondervan headquarters in Grand Rapids, Mich., and includes stops ranging from a NASCAR race in Charlotte, N.C., to a young church leaders conference in Atlanta to the National Pastor’s Convention in San Diego, as well as signing events in the heart of New York City and for legislators at the Capitol in Washington D.C.

                According to USA Today, celebrity signers such as President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and Evangelist Billy Graham have all been invited to write a verse in their own handwriting.

“The Bible is America’s favorite book of all time. And because of its accuracy, clarity and literary quality, the NIV has become the most successful Bible translation of all time. We believe that a completely handwritten version of the NIV Bible by people from all across our country will help America rediscover the Bible in a fresh, new way,” said Moe Girkins, president and CEO of Zondervan. “The Bible Across America is a symbol of Zondervan’s commitment to make the Word of God more accessible and more relevant to more people. We couldn’t think of a better way to commemorate the 30th Anniversary of the NIV Bible than by inviting Americans to join us on this monumental tour and open more hearts to the Word of God.”

                The NIV complete Bible was released in 1978, and since that time has become one of the most trusted, most widely read contemporary Bible translation today. With more than 300 million copies in print worldwide, more people use an NIV Bible than any other English-language translation. The NIV was commissioned by the International Bible Society, which owns the copyright and is a long time partner of Zondervan, and was translated by a team of more than 100 scholars.

                Writers of America’s NIV will pen a single verse on actual thin-stock Bible paper. Each verse and each page will be published together as a complete America’s NIV Bible available in stores nationwide. The Bible will include an unprecedented index of 31,173 contributors, one for every verse of the Bible. Zondervan plans to create two original editions. One original transcript of America’s NIV will be offered to the Smithsonian Institution and the second will be auctioned off to benefit the International Bible Society in support of their Bible translation and distribution efforts around the world.

“Before the Gutenberg (the first Bible printed on a printing press), they were all handwritten,” Zondervan’s Steve Sammons told USA Today. “In our digital age, we lose sight of what it means to have a tangible product we create by our hands. This will truly make the NIV America’s Bible.”

To find an event near you or for more information, visit www.BibleAcrossAmerica.com.

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