You might have already heard but the finalists for The Evangelical Christian Publishers Association’s (ECPA) 2017 Christian Book Awards have been announced.
Nominees for Bible of the Year
Of course Bible Buying Guide’s primary category of interest is Bibles. The five finalists are:
The Complete Jewish Study Bible – This study Bible seeks to clarify the Jewish nature of both testaments and help both Jews and Christians understand better their common heritage. With a different version (part translation/ part paraphrase) than many of us are familiar with, lots of articles, notes, and word helps it does a very good job. Our full review is Here.
The NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible – Is an updated, easier to carry and read version of The Archeological Study Bible that contains a lot of great information about the people and culture of Bible times. Our full review is Here
The Girls Life Application Study Bible, NLT Tyndale has completely redesigned and updated their Girl’s Life Application Study Bible. We actually reviewed the original version years ago (which my daughter still uses sometimes) but have added information provided by Tyndale in our updated review Here.
Hidden in My Heart Scripture Memory Bible, NLT – The only one of the finalists we hadn’t actually seen. It’s a NLT Bible that includes memorization tips and lists and even key memory verses in more than one translation. We have a copy in hand now and the review should be up late next week.
Inspire Bible NLT: The Bible for Creative Journaling – One of the first “creative journaling” Bibles, this Bible combines the very readable NLT text with hundreds of line drawings to color and lots of margin space for your own words or artwork. Our main review is Here and a various art mediums post featuring the Inspire is Here.
With so many great Bibles produced each year I’m glad I’m not responsible for choosing which one wins.
Changes to the Awards
Bibles are our main focus they are not the only thing we or EPCA care about. They gave out 8 Christian Book Awards last year, this year it will be 12.
They have split the Children’s category into Children’s (0-8) and Young Peoples Literature (9-16) and renamed the Inspiration category Devotion & Gift. The NonFiction category has been expanded to three separate categories: Biography & Memoir, Christian Living, and Faith & Culture. Rather than have just Bible Reference they’ve also expanded that category to Bible Reference Works, Bible Study, and Ministry Resources. The Bible, New Author, and Book of the Year categories remain the same.
If you follow book awards you might notice one category is missing – Fiction. Since EPCA will now be administrating the Christy Award program they’ve decided to merge the Christy and their Fiction award. They will continue to follow the Christy Award schedule that allows nominations in March, announces finalists in September, and gives out awards in November.
Our Reading Lists
Randy’s favorite category (beside Bible, of course) used to be Bible Reference but would now be both Bible Study & Ministry Resources.
One of this year’s nominees in the Bible Study category is also one of Randy’s favorite Bible books this year Saving the Bible From Ourselves by Glenn Paauw. It’s a great book that helps you think about and understand Bible design and will encourage most to own a specific “Reading” Bible. You can see Randy’s review Here.
We are also thrilled to see Kingstone‘s Bible Trilogy nominated. We love this company’s enthusiasm and think their comics are a great way to engage people who might otherwise not pick up a Bible. Hopefully turning some of them to a full study of God’s word.
With the new category system I will probably be paying the most attention to the Devotional & Gift (most likely to have journaling related books or devotionals that are great for journaling inspiration), Christian Living (always a good topic), and Young Adult (I haven’t given up my love for YA books even though my kid’s are now adults and I’m finished homeschooling) categories. This year’s read through of the nomination list has added Zeal Without Burnout by Christopher Ash, No God but One: Allah or Jesus? by Nabeel Qureshi, The Golden Braid by Melanie Dickerson, 31 Verses to Write on Your Heart by Liz Curtis Higgs, and Half Truths by Adam Hamilton to my ever growing TBR (to be read) wish list.
Which one of the 5 finalists would you pick for Bible of the Year? Do you have a favorite Bible released last year that didn’t make the list? Does winning an award (or even being nominated) make you more likely to buy a book? (I don’t buy books just because they made the list but find out about books to buy because of the nominations) What 1 category (besides Bibles) would like to see more reviews for on Bible Buying Guide? Is there more than 1 category you’d like to see us expand into? Any category you think it would be better for us to avoid? Let us know in the comments.