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Surprise Bestseller Tops '50 Shades of Grey' in Norway: The Bible

(UPDATED) First new translation in 30 years outpaces sales expectations.

Update (June 6): The Associated Press also reports on the popularity of the new translation.


The book that recently spent the most time on Norway's bestseller lists–54 of 56 weeks–is not E. L. James's 50 Shades of Grey. It's a new translation of the Bible.

The Guardian reports that the new translation, released in October 2011, skyrocketed to popularity and has remained popular throughout 2012.

This is the first new Norwegian translation of the Bible in 30 years. In the past 14 months, the translation has sold 157,000 copies.

Anne Veiteberg, director of published for the Norwegian Bible Society, which published the translation, told The Guardian that the Bible's popularity comes down to the strength of its translation.

"It has been said that the new translation is closer to modern Norwegian language and therefore easier to read," Veiteberg said, "and at the same time it is closer to the original texts in Greek and Hebrew than older translations when it comes to style and poetry, images and metaphors."

CT has regularly reported on Norway, including when born-again Christians became a majority of the nation's parliament, as well as when a Norwegian church set the Guinness world record for longest church service.

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