Zondervan Acquires the Thompson Chain Reference

We got some exciting news today from Zondervan about the future of the Thompson Chain Reference Bible.

Zondervan, a division of HarperCollins Christian Publishing, has acquired the Thompson Chain-Reference Bible product assets from the Kirkbride Bible Company.

The Thompson Chain-Reference Bible is a well known and much beloved topical study Bible. It has been in publication for more than 100 years. Dr. Frank Charles Thompson began working on the “chain-links” that are the foundation of this Bible in 1890. The first edition was published in 1908. It has been updated periodically and now contains over 100,000 references and well as maps and other helpful features to help individuals or groups study the Bible.

The Thompson Chain Reference Bible has had availability issues lately. Many Bible readers were afraid it might cease to be published. Michael Gage, president and CEO of Kirkbride, is glad that Zondervan Bibles will honor the legacy of Dr. Thompson and make the Thompson Chain Reference Bible more widely available now and in the future.

Zondervan plans to start shipping Thompson Chain-Reference Bibles with their brand in May of 2021. They plan to have new editions of the Bible using their Comfort Print fonts available by May 2022.


About The Author

Lucinda Brown

Homemaker, Pastor's Wife, and former homeschooler (my kids graduated). I love to read (especially God's Word) but am a reluctant writer. Besides reading I enjoy cooking, gardening, and a large variety of crafts. I don't consider myself an expert at any craft and am always finding new crafts and art mediums I want to try.


  1. Alexander Thomson

    This announcement, while i suspected that Kirkbride’s continued silence and depleted stock portended some sort of takeover, is somewhat peculiar, not least that it is the “product assets” that are being acquired – normally, one acquires either the business (assets and liabilities) or simply the assets. time will tell!

  2. Kelley

    I recently bought a Thompson Chain Bible under the Kirkbride company. So glad that I did because Zondervan may remove some of the features. Thanks for this news!

  3. Dale

    After Harper published “Santa’s Husband” last fall, I will not be purchasing bibles published by Harper/ Zondervan. Kirkbride should have sold to a different company.

  4. MaTt

    Will there be any reviews of the Zondervan published Bibles before the release? I’m curious if anything will change at all outside of the red letters coloring to an actual red. Thanks!

    • Randy A Brown

      Hi Mattt. I’ll definitely be reviewing them (thanks for checking). I’m not sure if I’ll get them before the release, but I probably will.

  5. Elizabeth belcher

    Dear sirs
    Please could you think about a extra large print for the Thompson chain reference bible
    My eye sight is not so good and I really miss reading the Thompson chain. Or if there is already a extra large print available
    Sincerely yours
    Elizabeth Belcher


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