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Parent companyHarperCollins
FounderPeter Zondervan
Bernard Zondervan
Country of originUnited States
Headquarters locationGrand Rapids, Michigan
Publication typesBooks
ImprintsZondervan Academic, Zonderkidz
Owner(s)News Corp
Official websitezondervan.com

Zondervan is an international Christian media and publishing company located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Zondervan is a founding member of the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA). They are a part of HarperCollins Christian Publishing, Inc. and has multiple imprints including Zondervan Academic, Zonderkidz, Blink, and Editorial Vida.[1] Zondervan is the commercial rights holder for the New International Version (NIV) Bible in North America. Their theology is generally dispensational as opposed to covenant theology. Their logo is often the three-fold flame instead of the classic 'Z'. They are owned by one of the largest conglomerates in the mainstream media, and according to the Zondervan website, they are the largest Christian publisher.


Zondervan was founded in 1931 in Grandville, MI, a suburb of Grand Rapids, by brothers Peter ("P.J.", "Pat") and Bernard (Bernie) Zondervan, who were the nephews of publisher William B. Eerdmans.[2][3] The company began in the Zondervans' farmhouse and originally dealt with selling remainders and publishing public domain works.

The first book it published was Women of the Old Testament by Abraham Kuyper, in 1933.[4] Within a few years it developed a list of its own, and began publishing Bible editions. The Berkeley Version appeared in 1959, and the Amplified Bible in 1965. The New International Version New Testament was published in partnership with the International Bible Society in 1973, and the complete NIV Bible appeared in 1978.[5] The company was bought by HarperCollins, a division of News Corp, in 1988, and is the company's principal Christian book publishing division.[6] Scott Macdonald was appointed President and CEO in May 2011.[7]

Zondervan also publishes many other books by Christian authors focusing on topics of interest to Christians. In the 1970s it published The Late, Great Planet Earth by Hal Lindsey, which has sold more than 30 million copies. They are also known for the Bible storytelling books of Ethel Barrett, Joni by quadriplegic Joni Eareckson Tada, Baptist minister and author Rick Warren's The Purpose Driven Life, which has sold more than 35 million copies, and Sacred Marriage, by Gary Thomas. In 2004, Zondervan expanded to include Renee Altson, Shane Claiborne, Sarah Raymond Cunningham and Margaret Feinberg, authors writing for young readers.[8]

The children's arm of the company Zonderkidz published The Jesus Storybook Bible in 2007, written by Sally Lloyd-Jones and illustrated by Jago it has sold in excess of 2 million copies in 19 languages.[9][10]

The NIV Zondervan Study Bible was released in 2015 during the 50th anniversary of the New International Version (NIV) translation.[11] The study Bible, edited by Dr. D. A. Carson, features over 60 evangelical contributors from multiple denominations.

Recording business[edit]

Zondervan was in the Christian record business for many years with the Singspiration and Zondervan Victory labels in the 1960s, Singcord in the 1970s, and the Milk & Honey Records label, starting in the late 1970s.[12]

In 1980, Zondervan and Paragon Associates bought Christian record label Benson Records in a partnership to own and operate for $3 million.[13] The resulting company was (measured by sales) one and a half times the size of its closest competitor, Word.[13] Zondervan bought out Paragon in 1983, and eventually sold Benson to Zomba Label Group in 1993, now a part of Sony BMG Music Entertainment.[14]


Pradis was the trademarked name for Zondervan's native format for biblical software. On September 22, 2009, Logos Research Systems, Inc,[15] and Zondervan announced a new partnership, and the retirement of Pradis.[16] Thirty-one titles were slated for availability in "early 2010" in the LOGOS Bible Software format.[17]


  1. ^ "Zondervan | HarperCollins Christian Publishing". www.harpercollinschristian.com. Retrieved October 30, 2016.
  2. ^ Charles L. Cohen, Paul S. Boyer, Religion and the Culture of Print in Modern America, University of Wisconsin Press, USA, 2008, p. 32
  3. ^ Elmer J. O'Brien, The Wilderness, the Nation, and the Electronic Era: American Christianity and Religious Communication, 1620-2000: An Annotated Bibliography, Scarecrow Press, USA, 2009, p. 593
  4. ^ "Zondervan History". Zondervan.com. Archived from the original on February 25, 2012. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
  5. ^ James Ruark and Ted Engstrom, The House of Zondervan, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1981.
  6. ^ Jim Ruark, The House of Zondervan: Celebrating 75 Years, Zondervan, USA, 2011, p. 200
  7. ^ "Christian publishing house Zondervan announces new CEO and president | MLive.com". mlive.com. 2012. Retrieved April 26, 2012.
  8. ^ "Zondervan Press Release". Zondervan.com. Archived from the original on February 17, 2012. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
  9. ^ Burns, Jeremy (2013). "'The Jesus Storybook Bible' Tops 1 Million Units Sold - BCNN1". blackchristiannews.com. Archived from the original on October 2, 2013. Retrieved August 20, 2013.
  10. ^ "'Jesus Storybook Bible' Sells Two Million Copies".
  11. ^ "50th Anniversary".
  12. ^ "Zondervan, Singspiration, Singcord, Milk & Honey". Archived from the original on September 15, 2015. Retrieved June 8, 2015.
  13. ^ a b "Zondervan-Paragon Pact Carved Out New Benson Co". CCM Magazine. 3 (4): 32. October 1980.
  14. ^ "Benson Music". Archived from the original on July 26, 2015. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
  15. ^ Burns, Ryan (2013). "Logos Bible Software Announces Zondervan Partnership - Logos Bible Software". logos.com. Archived from the original on April 6, 2013. Retrieved September 28, 2013.
  16. ^ [1][dead link]
  17. ^ "Zondervan.com". Zondervan.com. Archived from the original on February 17, 2012. Retrieved July 12, 2014.

External links[edit]