Bible sales increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to LifeWay Christian Resources, one of the world's largest providers of Christian books and educational material.
The company's CEO, Ben Mandrell, added that the increase in Bible sales is no accident, as people often go to the Bible as a source of hope in times of crisis and uncertainty.”
"People draw hope from Scripture because in it they see a God who is with us during our suffering. The Bible, as God's words to us, is a reminder that He doesn't leave us to walk through difficult times alone,” he said.
This includes their Life Application Study Bible sales going up 44% and sales of the Immerse Bible going up 60%, according to Jim Jewell, an executive at Tyndale.
Jewell said he believed concerns over the pandemic “has upended almost everyone’s lives in some way.”
“It's not surprising that people turn to the comfort and clarity of the Bible in times of trouble and uncertainty,” he said, adding that social media engagement for Tyndale was also growing.
“On [our Facebook page for the] New Living Translation, where we post Bible verse memes, engagement was triple what it was last March and up 72% from just last month.”
In April, book sales data provider Nielsen BookScan revealed that biblical and liturgical texts had been rapidly climbing the charts. The group said the increase in purchases was an "unusual pattern in comparison to the same period in recent years."
Nielsen cited the closure of churches as a factor, adding that "perhaps people are turning to scripture for comfort in these abnormal and melancholy times ... or perhaps people are curious as to whether the coronavirus is prophesied in Revelations.”
David Jeremiah, senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, California, and host of the radio program "Turning Point,” told CP that ever since the shutdown began, viewership of his online services has dramatically skyrocketed.
“The church is alive and well and maybe more responsive now that I can ever remember except for the possible exception of 9/11,” he said. “What we've learned from all of this is God doesn't need a building for there to be a church.”
“I'm preaching right now to more people than I have ever preached to my life,” he said, adding that a sermon he delivered in which he addressed whether COVID-19 is mentioned in biblical prophecy received over 1 million views on YouTube.
“We've never had anything on YouTube get that kind of traction,’” he said. “When everything in which we have trusted is taken away and we are left with ourselves, we have to ask the hard questions. ‘If this is it, what happens to me now?’ There’s a renewed interest in the Gospel and a desire to know what the Bible has to say.”
“Is this the beginning of a revival? This may not be a revival in the truest sense of the Great Awakening, but I believe we are seeing an online revival.”
While the pandemic is “frightening” and “frustrating” for many people, Jeremiah stressed that God is clearly in the midst of it all, adding: “He is with us wherever we are. You don't have to be in a crowd to have God. You just need a quiet moment.”