Why Britain loves the Good News Bible

Posted by Anna Bunn  ·  Be the first to comment

The Good News Bible (officially "The Good News Bible - The Bible in Today’s English Version") was published in 1976. It had originally been published in 1966 as 'The Good News for the Modern Man a New Testament translation' as an easy-to-read translation, ideal for younger readers or people who are discovering the Bible for the first time. Over 150 million copies have now been sold - that's almost 3 times the population of the UK, and is famous for its line drawings. Yes, you know the ones I mean – those unmistakable palm trees!

Not only was it easy to read, the translation was taken from the original Hebrew and Greek giving it accuracy as well as readability. But what is it about the Good News Bible that has captured the hearts of so many?

Illustrations by Annie Vallotton
Annie Vallotton Illustrations

Illustrations by Annie Vallotton

Unique Illustrations

The most iconic feature of the Good New Bible is its simple but effective illustrations drawn by Swiss artist, Annie Vallotton. You may recall these recognisable line drawings, not just from the Good News but also from their appearance in the Songs of Fellowship and Mission Praise songbooks.  When describing her unique style of drawing Annie said her purpose is "to give maximum expression with a minimum of lines.” 

The true skill behind the illustrations is her ability to translate scripture into a powerful image. Without overcomplicating and often without drawing faces she conveys the stories delightfully, leaving room to let your imagination fill in the details.

In 2009 HarperCollins brought out new editions of the Good News Bible but still retained their colourful heritage. Annie’s illustrations are still featured in these updated editions, proving their popularity and wealth.

Annie now lives in Paris and continues to minister to children through her illustrations at her local church.

Easy to read

The Good News Bible is perfect for young readers.  It makes a helpful, easy-to-read companion for anyone wanting to discover the Bible without facing difficult or confusing language.  The Rainbow Bible is the most popular edition of the Good News, and is also the UK's bestselling Bible edition.


God puts people right through their faith in Jesus Christ. God does this to all who believe in Christ, because there is no difference at all: everyone has sinned and is far away from God’s saving presence. – Romans 3:22-23

Page from the New Life Ed Good News Bible

Peek inside the New Life Edition Good News Bible

Colourful maps and help guides

Each edition of the Good News Bible contains colourful maps and a really easy to follow index. Relevant Bible passages offer guidance for different life situations such as loneliness, stress and guidance. 


The New Life Edition includes 64 pages of extras featuring: short and informative studies on the main characters from the Bible, historical timeline and prayers from the Bible.

4 Things you didn’t know about the Good News Bible

•    A library has been opened in Paris in honour of Annie Vallotton and her iconic illustrations.
•    Annie Vallotton has been described as the world’s best-selling artist of all time.
•    Her 500 illustrations in the GNB have sold over 150 million copies, equalling 70 billion drawings.
•    The Good News Bible is now available as an iPad App.

Engaging Front Covers

No one can deny that the front covers of the Good News Bibles are some of the brightest and most cheerful bible covers available. For many generations the Good News Bible will be the first full Bible made accessible to them be it at school or later in life.

Now iconic in it's stature amongst Bible translations The Good News Bible looks certain to retain its position in the hearts of Christians in the UK and on bookshelves of bookshops around the world.

25th January

January 25th, 2013 - Posted & Written by Anna Bunn

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