Ron Beers ’79 led that first meeting in the fall of 1984. Dave Veerman ’65 remembers it was an exploratory discussion about publishing prospects; Ron mentioned the idea of a new study Bible. As concepts flew, Bruce Barton ’65 pointed out that application was the missing link in people’s lives. “We still see the application void today,” says Bruce. “Many sermons only have a sentence or two suggesting how to put biblical concepts into practice.”
Not long after that meeting, Ron, Dave, Bruce, and Jim Galvin ’76 began work on a five-year project. Ron led the editorial process. Dave wrote book introductions and charts, and Bruce wrote “megathemes” for each book. All four contributed to the notes.
“We had no idea what we were getting into,” says Dave.
Their work, the Life Application Study Bible, became the best-selling study Bible in the world. To date, it has sold more than 10 million copies in seven English translations and has been translated into 44 languages.
In 1988, Bruce, Dave, and Jim formed Livingstone Corporation to help roll out the new Bibles and to develop a family of supportive products with Tyndale House Publishers. Over the next 24 years, Livingstone produced more than 190 editions of the Bible in 14 different translations for almost every major Bible publisher. Livingstone’s team works on 12 to 14 Bibles per year.
One of Bruce’s and Dave’s favorite projects includes the Praise and Worship Bible, edited by the late Dr. Robert Webber hon, professor of theology emeritus. The Student’s Life Application Study Bible holds a special place for Dave, as he, Bruce, and Jim all served in executive positions with Youth for Christ and are passionate about youth ministry.
Livingstone also provides consulting, design, editorial, and production services for many notable Christian publishers, including B&H, NavPress, Thomas Nelson, Tyndale, and Zondervan.
“Our mission is to serve Christian publishers, so we work behind the scenes,” says Dave. Livingstone has a hand in many of the products that Christians use at home and in church— from Bibles and devotional books to Family1 Entertainment movie discussion guides and the latest Lauraine Snelling novel.
by Ruby Thomas