Good News Bible (GNB) in Britain

by Inge Anderson

The Good News Bible is possibly the world’s first truly easy-to-read English Bible translation. In its first edition published under the title Good News for Modern Man (and Today’s English Version) it was a bestseller. Since it features only the more commonly used English vocabulary, it is ideal for children. Originally published by the American Bible Society as a full bible in 1966, it underwent a significant revision in 1992 with gender-neutral language in places where older versions used “man” to refer to mankind/humanity. In Britain it is published by Collins in partnership with the Bible Society and  is regularly updated to make sure it reflects contemporary English usage. vallotton-luke-9-lunch-1024x805

An added attraction to many editions are the Annie Vallotton stick-figure illustrations which I find quite delightful as well as reverent. See Stick Figure Theology: Annie Vallotton. In fact, this is probably the chief attraction for me, since the NLT version also uses contemporary English which is accessible to persons new to the Bible. Fashions come and fashions go – even in Bible versions – and I believe that this Bible is not nearly as popular as it deserves to be.

This 2014 Sunrise Edition of the Good News Bible is published in Britain and thus features British spelling. Includes the much-loved Annie Vallotton illustrations. Specially written introductions to each book from Nick Page, bestselling author of The Bible Book.

20 must-read passages, The life of Jesus, A guide to the Christian year, How did we get the Bible? Easy access contents lists inside the front and back covers. Side-bar navigation. Ultra-clear text and Bible maps. Hardcover, Paperback & Kindle editions. Published by Collins (March 13, 2014) ISBN-10: 0007480121. Size: 5 x 1.4 x 7.5 inches.

1994 Sunrise edition

This 1994 Sunrise Edition of the Good News Bible is now out of print, but a good used copy provides a way to get acquainted with the delightful Anni Vallotton illustrations along with the easily understood text. Available in Hardcover and Paperback.

French-English Parallel Bible. Dark Green vinyl cover, Gold print and gilded pages. French and English side-by-side on each page. 2062 pages. Published by Bible Society (2011). Size: 8.8 x 6.2 x 2 inches

This 2004 Sunrise Edition of the Good News Bible includes the Annie Vallotton drawings, and probably has most of the features of the later edition. It is available in good used editions, in both hardcover and paperback, but if you want a new copy, you’ll find it expensive. Collectors?

British spelling. Hardcover: 1344 pages. Publisher: Collins. ISBN-10: 0007166567. Dimensions: 7.3 x 4.8 x 1.4″

Rainbow Bible, Collins 2014

The 2014 Rainbow Good News Bible is aimed at primary-age children, but it’s not clear whether or not there are special helps for that age group. Comes in Hardcover & Kindle format. Published by Collins (March 13, 2014) ISBN-10: 0007480113. Size: 5 x 1.4 x 7.5″

This 2001 Edition of the Good News Bible is available in hardcover and softcover with substantial paper and a readable font as well as the following:

  • Nearly 600 simple line-drawings by illustrator Annie Vallatton highlight important passages ·
  • How to Seek God suggests first steps toward a relationship with God ·
  • Summary of the Bible tells briefly the broad story of the Bible in its own words ·
  • Devotional reading plan ·
  • Study helps, including glossary, maps and map index, subject index and more

Publisher: Zondervan; 2nd edition (September 1, 2001)  ISBN-10: 0310922542. Size:  6 x 1.6 x 9″

This New Life Good News Bible designed for young adults comes in hardback and Kindle format. It will please teens and all the young of heart. Includes a 64-page beginning section in thick, glossy paper of colourfully illustrated and down-to-earth articles offering summaries of Biblical teaching on contemporary issues such as the Internet, food, abortion, sexuality, poverty, the media, etc. Line drawings by Annie Vallotton – including many published for the first time in this edition. New introductions to each book of the Bible by Nick Page. New navigational features in the headers and margins. Extra helps: 20 must-read passages, The life of Jesus, Guide to the Christian year, How did we get the Bible? Easy access contents lists inside the front and back covers and Bible maps, British English. The paper for the Bible text portion is quite thin, but the see-through quality is offset by line-matching and Ultra-clear text. Published by Collins (March 13, 2014) ISBN-10: 000748013X. Dimensions: 5 x 1.5 x 7.5 inches

This 3rd (1975) edition of the original Good News Bible/ Today’s English version was published by the American Bible Society with American spelling. Now out of print, available only in hardback. This seems to include the Annie Vallonton illustrations, judging by customer comments on Amazon. Choose “See all buying options” on Amazon, and read descriptions of conditions carefully.



This 2006 Hardcover Good News Bible comes with the famous Anni Vallotton drawings at a very reasonable price. Hardcover: 1563 pages. Publisher: American Bible Society (July 1, 2006).  ISBN-10: 1585161543.  Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.3 x 1.6 inches 



Calling the insubstantial plasticized cover on this  2001 Large-print Good News Bible “imitation leather” is a bit optimistic. Comes in larger-than-usual font without Annie Vallotton drawings. Published by American Bible Society. ISBN-10: 1585161594. Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.6 x 1.6 inches

This Sunrise Edition of the Good News Bible includes British spelling 



Bibles.comCheck out for their selection of GNT Bibles. 

Also check out the selection of Good News Bibles in American English at the original publisher site, American Bible Society,



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