One Year Bible – how it began . . .

{Reminder: This is Give-Away week. If you leave a comment on this blog between now and Friday night, you might win one a copy of One Year Bible for Women. I’m giving away two copies.}


Ken Taylor, the founder of Tyndale House Publishers, came to Tyndale’s publishing committee back in the 1980’s with what he thought was a wonderful idea.  He suggested that the whole Bible be divided up into daily readings – one short reading in the Old Testament, one short reading in the New Testament, one from the Psalms, and a verse or two from the Proverbs.

At that point, Bibles had never been formatted that way.  Ken’s vision was for the actual, full text of the Bible to be divided into readings for all 365 calendar days.  January 1 would begin with a short reading from Genesis, a short reading from Matthew, a reading from Psalm 1, and the first few verses of Proverbs.  January 2 would carry on, and by December 31, we would have read through the whole Bible in one year.

When Ken Taylor brought this idea to the publishing committee at Tyndale, the committee was not keen on the concept.  “Why would anyone buy a Bible that they wouldn’t carry to church?” they asked.  They tried to talk Ken out of the idea, but Ken was not easily talked out of his ideas.  He was a quiet and humble man – but he was also quietly persistent.

In the end, because Ken was President of Tyndale, the publishing committee decided that the least they could do was to present his idea to a group of retailers and see what they think.  So that year, in Anaheim, California, the idea for the One-Year Bible was presented in a meeting to a dealer council.  With about a dozen Christian book store owners sitting around a table, Tyndale executives showed them a prototype book of a One-Year Bible.  As the book was passed around the table, the executives waited to hear what the dealers would say.

The dealers didn’t like the idea, either.  “Why would anyone buy a Bible where it was difficult to find a particular passage?”  they wondered.  Tyndale executives left the meeting thinking that they would have a difficult time selling a One-Year Bible, so they came back to Tyndale’s publishing committee suggesting that Ken not proceed with the concept.

Ken, however, overruled the publishing committee.  Since Ken owned the company, he had the last word!  He took the One-Year Bible to production, and started the project.

The One-Year Bible was first published in the 1980’s, and has now sold over 3 million copies!  It went on to be published in hardcover, softcover, leather-bound, compact, audio, large-print, and many more options.  It also inspired more ideas in the One-Year line – a whole line of One-Year Devotion books continue to be published and enjoyed.

Here are a few verses from today’s reading:

“Serve only the Lord your God and fear him alone.  Obey his commands, listen to his voice, and cling to him.”  Deuteronomy 13:4

“O Lord, you alone are my hope.  I’ve trusted you, O Lord, from childhood.  Yes, you have been with me from birth; from my mother’s womb you have cared for me.  No wonder I am always praising you!”  Psalm 71:5-6

Any particular products from the One-Year line that you have found helpful?





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6 responses to “One Year Bible – how it began . . .

  1. Barbara Korell

    LOVE LOVE LOVE my one year Bible. I am reading it through for the third time this year.
    Thanks Ken Taylor!

  2. It’s sweet to share the adventure with you, Barb!

  3. I’ve never personally used a One-Year Bible, but your explanation of how these began and how they are laid out have really made me interested in getting one. Thanks!

  4. Roanna

    I’ve never used a One-Year Bible before. I wouldn’t mind having one, to see if it is something I would like to use in my devotions.

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