Now, with the breaking news that News Corp’s British unit has been found to have broken numerous laws and with the prospect that it may have happened in the States, I think it is time to re-examine the issue of Zondervan and Christian support of that publishing unit.
Most people know now that Rupert Murdoch presides over the News Corp media empire, and that he is fighting for his reputation after being forced to sink his scandal-laiden British newspaper News of the World, the most widely read English tabloid in the world. But few people know that Murdoch also owns Zondervan, the world’s largest publisher of Bibles. For 23 years, the News Corp family has included the leading seller of the best-selling book in history.
I know many Christians see the Bible’s publishing stature as validation of their chosen faith, but a savvy entrepreneur could simply see it as a business opportunity. Or perhaps the 80-year-old Murdoch, like any shrewd businessman, wanted diverse investments – a diversity that in his case ranged from a cleavage-saturated tabloid that ran headlines like, “F1 Boss Has Sick Nazi Orgy With 5 Hookers” to a publisher that offers Little Lamb’s Storybook Bible.
I’m not sure today how I feel about this today. I think about HarperOne which is not expressly religious but has published Rob Bell and N.T. Wright and I am not so much up in arms about that as I am about Zondervan which publishes the NIV and the NASB.
- Martin Bashir To Chris Matthews: Rupert Murdoch’s Empire Is Now ‘Like The Berlin Wall’ Falling Down (mediaite.com)
- Is Rick Warren still Rupert Murdoch’s pastor? (gentlewisdom.org.uk)
- Now the FBI Is Investigating Murdoch’s News Corp. (slog.thestranger.com)
- Some Notes on Rupert Murdoch and Religion (barthsnotes.wordpress.com)