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Interest Among Christian Lay People ... 3T deliverable by Christmas

December 6, 2012
Tracking indicates that Jewish sales of Three Testaments are largely academic so far, representing about 10 % of total sales. Muslim sales (about 30% of total sales) are mixed in this regard, and Christian sales (at 60% of the total) appear lay driven. Christian academics are presenting 3T as a scholarly text, which it is, but Christian laypeople appear to have adopted the view that 3T is also readable at a “National Geographic” level.

In the Niagara region we tested that instinct when I was away at the meetings of the American Academy of Religion / Society of Biblical Literature in Chicago in November. Eight members of my own congregation presented two back-to back panel discussions (one on the texts and the other on “the Z factor”) at the public library in St. Catharines, Ontario.

The panelists included a banker, a police officer, a former newspaper reporter, an insurance agent, a retired hospital foundation manager, a school teacher, a community college teacher, and an author of children’s stories. A previous publisher once opined that I typically write at the level of “retired school teachers in the book club of a Presbyterian Church in the mid-west.” Three Testaments is also aimed at undergraduate university students and first year seminarians, but the previous publisher’s analysis seems borne out by the lay people of my church.

Through advertising they engaged almost 100 members of the community, largely well read Christians interested in the topic (some interested in seeing how a congregation can relate to today's interfaith environment), with a sprinkling of Jews and Muslims, mostly rabbis, imams and, again, school teachers.

The presentation became the talk of the town and our congregation has attracted some interesting visitors since the event. Admittedly, these lay presenters had been part of a study group for the previous year with Jews and Muslims together, under the leadership of minister, rabbi and imam, but it is clear that this material can be not only understood and appreciated by intelligent laypeople, but mastered and presented.

Academic sales are expected to move forward in the next semester and in September, once professors have integrated 3T into their scriptural and interfaith programs, but it is clear that sales in the first six months are largely driven by the interest among intelligent lay people, responding to ads and reviews in various media.

For those planning to give Three Testaments as Christmas gifts or on other occasions, there are different purchasing options available. They’ll deliver for you, of course, and the 19% discount at is about average for that source, but there is a 40% discount at, and prices for digital versions like Kindle, Nook and others also vary.

Posted by: Brian Arthur Brown