The ESV Study Bible was named the "Christian Book of the Year" on Thursday by the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA), marking the second consecutive year that the top honor went to a Bible.
"The ESV Study Bible, which has sold more than 180,000 units within five months of release, also won its category for best Bible, the first time a Bible has won both its category and the overall Christian Book of the Year award," the ECPA announced.
Last year, the "Christian Book of the Year" award went to The Word of Promise New Testament Audio Bible – the first Bible and also the first audio product to win the top honor in the 30-year history of the award.
The winner of this year's top award and the six category winners were announced during the Christian Book Awards dinner, held Thursday evening at the inaugural Christian Book Expo in Dallas.
Category winners this year included Dictionary of the Old Testament: Wisdom, Poetry & Writings (Bible Reference & Study), For Young Men Only by Jeff Feldhahn and Eric Rice with Shaunti Feldhahn (Children & Youth), Spectacular Sins by John Piper (Christian Life), The Shape of Mercy by Susan Meissner (Fiction), and Holiness Day by Day by Jerry Bridges (Inspiration & Gift).
"These winning titles represent the 'best of' in Christian publishing," Christian Book Expo organizers explained.
Winners from each category were selected among five finalists following a stringent judging process by judging panels specially selected for each category. Each title was evaluated and scored based on category-specific criteria such as content, literary quality, design and impact.
The "Christian Book of the Year," meanwhile, was chosen among the finalists based on its overall impact on the consumer as measured by sales in addition to its category score.
This year's winner, the ESV Study Bible, was created by a team of 95 evangelical Christian scholars and teacher, and presents study notes, maps, illustrations, charts, timelines, articles, and introductions. Altogether the ESV Study Bible comprises 2 million words of Bible text, insightful explanation, teaching, and reference material – equivalent to a 20-volume Bible resource library all contained in one volume.
Earlier this month, the publisher of the ESV Study Bible, Crossway Publishers, announced that it would make the ESV Online Study Bible available free from Mar. 2 to Mar. 31.
"Our goal as a Christian publisher is to distribute the Bible and essential resources for understanding God's Word as broadly as possible around the world," explained Lane Dennis, president of Crossway Books & Bibles. "I am very excited about the ESV Online Study Bible, because it assists the study of God's Word in a way that is particularly relevant to today's tech-savvy generation."
Crossway also published Christian Life category winner Spectacular Sins by John Piper, making them the big winner Thursday night. With one award less was runner-up WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group, which published category winners The Shape of Mercy and For Young Men Only.
Last year's leading publisher was Zondervan, which published three category winners.
On the Web:
The ESV Online Study Bible at www.esvstudybible.org/online