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Zondervan: Wikis


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Type Corporation
Founded Grand Rapids, Michigan (1931)
Headquarters Grand Rapids

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).



Zondervan was founded in 1931 in the suburb of Grand Rapids, Michigan by brothers P.J. (Pat) and Bernie Zondervan, who were the nephews of publisher William Eerdmans. The company began in the Zondervans' farmhouse, and originally dealt with selling remainders and reprinting public domain works. Within a couple of 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 NIV New Testament was published in partnership with the International Bible Society in 1973, and the complete NIV Bible appeared in 1978.[1] According to Zondervan's website, the company was bought out by HarperRowCollins Publishing, a division of NewsCorp, in 1988 and has continued to be its parent company's Christian bookselling outlet. Doug Lockhart was president and CEO until May 2007. Former President and CEO Bruce Ryskamp acted as interim Head until Maureen "Moe" Girkins became CEO on January 2, 2008.[2]

Zondervan also publishes many other books by Christian authors and focusing on topics of interest to Christians, and in the 1970s it produced The Late Great Planet Earth by Hal Lindsey. It was one of several dispensationalist and anti-Communist works that the company brought out, and Pat Zondervan was one of several evangelical figures who received briefings from Henry Kissinger on instruction from Richard Nixon.[3] The publishing house is also known for inspirational titles: Joni by quadriplegic Joni Eareckson Tada, Baptist minister and author Rick Warren's The Purpose Driven Life and with Rob Bell, author of Velvet Elvis and presenter of NOOMA. NOOMA is a series of short spiritual films. In 2004, Zondervan expanded to include Renee Altson, Shane Claiborne, Sarah Raymond Cunningham and Margaret Feinberg, to attempt to engage younger readers.[4]

Recording Business

Zondervan was in the Christian record business for several years with the Zondervan and Zondervan Victory labels in the 1960s, Singcord in the 70s, and the Milk & Honey Records label in the 1980s.[5]

In 1980, Zondervan and Paragon Associates bought Christian record label Benson Records in a partnership to own and operate for $3 Million.[6] The resulting company was (measured by sales) one and a half times the size of its closest competitor, Word.[6] Zondervan bought out Paragon in 1983, and eventually sold Benson to Zomba Label Group in 1997, now a part of Sony BMG Music Entertainment.[7]


Zondervan's native format for biblical software was for many years trademarked Pradis. On 22 September 2009, Logos Research Systems, Inc,[8] and Zondervan announced a new parnership, and the retirement of Pradis[1]. Thirty-one titles are slated for availability in "early 2010" in the LOGOS Bible Software format.[9] One key Pradis feature was customizable panes to efficiently divide the workspace into major areas, with a system of tabs within the panes to access many open books simultaneously without losing open books behind other windows, as is common with other systems. Pradis offered ability to link works together by biblical references, but without providing topical linking between works. Advanced tools for original languages were available, as were additional commentaries and dictionaries, though the list of available offerings dwindled significantly before the termination of the line was announced.


Symtio is a system in which "credit-card-sized book tokens that can be purchased in Christian retail stores which will allow consumers to download audio versions of the titles at home".[10]


  1. ^ James Ruark and Ted Engstrom, The House of Zondervan, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1981.
  2. ^ Zondervan - Maureen Girkins Appointed President and CEO of Zondervan
  3. ^ Gerard Colby and Charlotte Dennett, Thy Will Be Done, New York: HarperCollins, 1995, p.690.
  4. ^ Zondervan Press Release
  5. ^ Zondervan, Singspiration, Singcord, Milk & Honey
  6. ^ a b "Zondervan-Paragon Pact Carved Out New Benson Co.". CCM Magazine 3 (4): 32. October 1980. ISSN 1524-7848.  
  7. ^ Benson Music
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^

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