Chicago Publishers: Spotlight on… Tyndale House Publishers

Like suburban neighbor Sourcebooks, Tyndale House was originally based in the founder’s home. Now one of the largest Christian publishers, Tyndale actually has its roots in self-publishing. In the 1950s, Dr. Kenneth Taylor began paraphrasing the King James version of the Bible in order to help his children comprehend the family’s nightly Bible readings. When he finished, Taylor and his wife were so pleased with the result that they spent their own money to produce 2,000 copies of what they called “Living Letters,” what would eventually become the “The Living Bible” and would spend three years as the best selling book in America.

In addition to founding Tyndale House Publishers – named after William Tyndale, who was burned at the stake in the 16th century for translating the Bible into English – Taylor and his wife also established the Tyndale House Foundation in order to make grants to support Christian work around the world. The Foundation was initially funded by the royalties from the various iterations of “Living Letters,” and is now the owner of Tyndale House Publishers, thus funding it additionally with the profit from the publishing house. Tyndale House’s website has this to say about the Foundation:

Over the years, the Foundation has made thousands of grants to support Christian work across a wide variety of categories. Traditionally, the Foundation’s primary focus has been Christian literature work, including new translations of the Bible in languages around the world. But the Foundation also makes grants in areas as diverse as Christian higher education, evangelism, disaster relief, and Christian social services. From 1963 to 2008, the Foundation’s grants totaled $59 million. But after adjusting for inflation, this equates to $139 million in today’s dollars.

Continuing from the great success of “The Living Bible” in the 1970s, Tyndale House is home to some very well-regarded Christian writers like Beth Moore and Dinesh D’Souza. In addition, Tyndale House Publishers had 10 books on the New York Times Bestsellers list in 2010.

Check out Tyndale House online:



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