Kenneth N. Taylor

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Dr. Kenneth Taylor
Dr. Kenneth N. Taylor, Wheaton College (ca. 1938).jpg
A headshot of Kenneth Taylor ca. 1938.
Kenneth Nathaniel Taylor

(1917-05-08)May 8, 1917
DiedJune 10, 2005(2005-06-10) (aged 88)[1]
Alma materWheaton College
Occupation(s)Publisher and author
Known forCreating The Living Bible
ChildrenMark D. Taylor

Kenneth Nathaniel Taylor (May 8, 1917 – June 10, 2005) was an American publisher and author, better known as the creator of The Living Bible and the founder of Tyndale House,[2] a Christian publishing company, and Living Bibles International.

Early life and education[edit]

Taylor was born in Portland, Oregon. His parents were George and Charlotte Huff Taylor. His father was a Presbyterian minister. He graduated from high school in 1934 from Beaverton High School in Beaverton, OR and enrolled in Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois. He graduated from Wheaton in 1938. In 1940, Taylor began to work on a Th.D. at Dallas Theological Seminary. During the course of his studies he was offered the position of editor for HIS Magazine, headquartered in Chicago. Taylor moved back to Wheaton, began working at the magazine, and finished his theological degree at Northern Baptist Seminary. He was a long-time member of College Church in Wheaton.[3]

Bible translation[edit]

Taylor worked briefly with Clyde Dennis, founder of Good News Publishers, on translating Gospel tracts and distributing them overseas. In 1947 he moved to Moody Bible Institute, where he served as Director of Moody Press (now called Moody Publishing) until 1963. During that time he assisted with distribution of Christian literature in Mexico.

Taylor developed a series of Bible stories with pictures for his own children to read in 1954.[4] They were eventually published by Moody Press in a book called The Bible in Pictures for Little Eyes in 1962.[4] This book has now sold more than 1.5 million copies.[5] Taylor followed this volume with Stories for the Children's Hour and Devotions for the Children's Hour (both also published by Moody).

After these books were published Taylor began working on an ambitious project—the Bible in a paraphrased and easy-to-read modern language. He published the New Testament epistles under the title Living Letters at his own expense in 1962. His Bible paraphrase was successful enough to allow him to leave Moody Press and work exclusively at Tyndale. Taylor finished the entire Bible in contemporary language and published it as The Living Bible in 1971.

Taylor stepped down as chairman and CEO of Tyndale House in 1973, and was succeeded by his son, Mark D. Taylor, who kept the position until 2020.[4]

A special edition of Taylor's Living Bible was published in 1984 in conjunction with a marketing campaign sponsored by the Christian Broadcasting Network. This edition, titled The Book, was featured in People magazine.[6]


Taylor died on June 10, 2005,[1] from heart failure.

Kenneth N. Taylor Lifetime Achievement Award[edit]

Since 1981, the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA) has presented lifetime achievement awards to those who have significantly impacted the Christian publishing industry.[7] In 1984, Taylor was the second recipient of that award. In 2017, to reflect the impact Taylor had on the Christian publishing industry, the award program was renamed the Kenneth N. Taylor Lifetime Achievement Award.[8]

Books Authored by Kenneth N. Taylor[edit]


  • Is Christianity Credible?, 1948


  • Stories for the Children's Hour, 1953
  • Devotions for the Children's Hour, 1954
  • Lost on the Trail, 1954
  • The Bible in Pictures for Little Eyes, 1956
  • Living Thoughts for the Children's Hour, 1958 (originally, I See)
  • A Living Letter for the Children's Hour, 1968 (originally, Romans for the Children's Hour, 1959)
  • The New Testament in Pictures for Little Eyes, 1989
  • The New Bible in Pictures for Little Eyes, 2002


  • Living Letters, 1962
  • Living Prophecies, 1965
  • Living Gospels, 1966
  • The Living New Testament, 1967
  • Living Psalms and Proverbs, 1967
  • Living Lessons of Life and Love, 1968
  • Almost Twelve, 1968
  • Living Books of Moses, 1969
  • Living History of Israel, 1970
  • Taylor's Bible Story Book, 1970
  • The Living Bible, 1971
  • Creation and Evolution, 1977
  • Living Bible Story Book, 1979
  • Lost on the Trail (revised edition), 1980
  • What High School Students Should Know about Creation, 1983 (originally, Creation and the High School Student, 1969)
  • Big Thoughts for Little People, 1983
  • Giant Steps for Little People, 1985
  • Wise Words for Little People, 1987
  • Next Steps for New Christians, 1989 (originally, How to Grow, Oliver-Nelson Books, 1985)
  • My First Bible in Pictures, 1989
  • The Bible for Children (coeditor), 1990
  • Good News for Little People, 1991
  • My Life: A Guided Tour, 1991 (updated 2002)
  • Stories about Jesus, 1994 (adapted from Good News for Little People)
  • Everything a Child Should Know about God, 1996
  • My First Bible Words (with William Noller), 1998
  • Family Devotions for Children, 1999
  • Right Choices, 1999
  • A Child's First Bible (DK series), 2000
  • Family-Time Bible, 2003 (originally, The Family-Time Bible in Pictures, 1992)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Ken Taylor, Translator of The Living Bible, Dies at 88". Christianity Today. 2005-06-10. Retrieved 2022-08-22.
  2. ^ "Tyndale | Kenneth N. Taylor".
  3. ^ Ken Walker, [1] "Living Bible Creator Dies But Ken Taylor's legacy is even larger", 7/13/2005, Christianity Today.
  4. ^ a b c Libby Giesbrecht (2020-09-20). "CEO of largest independent Christian publishing company retiring after 47 years". CHVN Radio. Retrieved 2022-08-22.
  5. ^ "The New Bible in Pictures for Little Eyes | Christian Books".
  6. ^ In The Book, Rev. Kenneth Taylor Converts King James from Holy Writ to Simple Prose; People magazine; Dec. 17, 1984; pp. 107-108.
  7. ^ "Kenneth N. Taylor Lifetime Achievement Award - ECPA". Archived from the original on 2019-05-07.
  8. ^ "Kenneth N. Taylor Lifetime Achievement Award - ECPA". Archived from the original on 2016-05-05.

External links[edit]