Perlego amasses the world’s largest online subscription for theology resources

Perlego, the largest online subscription service for educational books, has become the biggest online resource for academic theological textbooks following new partnerships with a number of major theology publishers. 

As the new academic year starts, Perlego has announced partnerships with 1517 Media, SCM, Zondervan and SPCK, taking its collection of online theology resources to over 24,365 titles. 

Textbooks related to the study of theology have become increasingly popular on Perlego. While the platform offers access to more than 400,000 textbooks across hundreds of subject areas, theology texts consistently appear amongst the most read – with 12 titles in the top 50. 

Michael Bird’s ‘Evangelical Theology’, Justo Gonzalez’ ‘The Story of Christianity: Volume 1’ and Andrew Hill and John Walton’s ‘A Survey of the Old Testament’ all appear in the top ten. 

Perlego founder and CEO Gauthier Van Malderen said:

Theology has become an increasingly popular subject on our platform, particularly amongst students. With so many heading back to university in uncertain circumstances, access to libraries and physical resources could be restricted. It is now more important than ever to ensure they can access the books they need, wherever they are, so we’re delighted to be adding new publishers to our platform to help minimise the impact on students’ studies as much as possible.” 

Will Bergkamp, VP of Business Development at 1517 Media said

“Perlego sits in an interesting and promising new space for student textbook access. Fortress Press is pleased to join them and to make our titles available via a subscription model that is fair to both students and to content creators.”

Alexandra McDonald, Commercial Director, SPCK & IVP 

It’s incredibly promising to see the rise in popularity of theological education in the UK, but the new semester is likely to throw up challenges for many of them, meaning an increased demand for online subscription models that facilitate more flexible ways to study. Our partnership with Perlego couldn’t come at a more important time, ensuring our content is even more accessible to those that need it.”

Since March, Perlego has seen a dramatic increase in users, and subscribers have spent more than 152,000 hours (17.2 years) reading on the platform. As students start a new academic year, Perlego has also partnered with some of the top theology courses across the UK to assist remote learning and digital access. 

The top 10 theology books being read by students are:

1. Evangelical Theology

Author: Michael F. Bird

Published: 2013 by Zondervan

Bird contends that the centre, unity, and boundary of the evangelical faith is the evangel (= gospel), as opposed to things like justification by faith or inerrancy. The evangel is the unifying thread in evangelical theology and the theological hermeneutic through which the various loci of theology need to be understood.

2. The Story of Christianity: Volume 1

Author: Justo L. Gonzalez

Published: 2013 by Zondervan

Gonzalez tells the story of Christianity from its fragile infancy to its pervasive dominance at the dawn of the Protestant Reformation. The Story of Christianity: Volume 1 relates the dramatic events, the colourful characters, and the revolutionary ideas that shaped the first fifteen centuries of the church’s life and thought.

3. A Survey of the Old Testament

Authors: Andrew E. Hill, John H. Walton

Published: 2010 by Zondervan

This innovative textbook attempts to balance the literary, historical, and theological issues pertaining to each individual book and to the Old Testament as a whole. The main portion of the survey treats each book of the Old Testament in the order of the English canon. This information does not simply rehash the biblical material, but assumes that the Scriptures are being read alongside the survey.

4. 1 Corinthians

Authors: Paul D. Gardner, Clinton E. Arnold

Published: 2018 by Zondervan

This series is designed for those who know biblical languages. It is written primarily for the pastor and Bible teacher, not for the scholar. That is, the aim is not to review and offer a critique of every possible interpretation that has ever been given to a passage, but to exegete each passage of Scripture succinctly in its grammatical and historical context.

5. The Christian Faith

Author: Michael Horton

Published: 2011 by Zondervan

A prolific, award-winning author and theologian, Professor Horton views this volume as “doctrine that can be preached, experienced, and lived, as well as understood, clarified, and articulated.” It is written for a growing cast of pilgrims making their way together and will be especially welcomed by professors, pastors, students, and armchair theologians.

6. New Testament Foundations

Authors: Ralph P. Martin, Carl N. Toney

Published: 2018 by Wipf and Stock Publishers

Drawing upon over fifty years of scholarly experience of one of the most industrious contemporary scholars, this work, which was first published in 1975, has been revised, updated, and expanded to offer a fresh, in-depth introduction to the New Testament for today’s students. Students will be immersed into the world of the first century, learning about both Greco-Roman and Jewish backgrounds.

7. Church History, Volume Two

Authors: John D. Woodbridge, Frank A. James III

Published: 2013 by Zondervan

Church History is the story of the greatest community the world has known and the greatest movement in world history. Yet, just as the biblical record of the people of God is the story of a mixed people with great acts of faith and great failures in sin and unfaithfulness, so is the history of the people who have made up the church down through the ages. Church History, Volume Two is an account of the ups and downs, the triumphs and struggles, of the Christian movement.

8. African Hermeneutics

Author: Elizabeth Mburu

Published: 2018 by Langham Creative Projects

Interpretation of Scripture occurs within one’s worldview and culture, which enhances our understanding and ability to apply Scripture in the world. However, few books address Bible interpretation from an African perspective and no other textbook uses the intercultural approach found here. This book brings both an awareness of how one’s African context gives a lens to hermeneutics, but also how to interpret texts with integrity despite our cultural influences.

9. Zondervan Illustrated Bible Dictionary

Authors: J. D. Douglas, Merrill C. Tenney, Moisés Silva

Published: 2011 by Zondervan

The Zondervan Illustrated Bible Dictionary provides a visually stimulating journey for anyone interested in learning more about the world of the Bible. Through the articles, sidebars, charts, maps, and full-colour images included in this volume, the text of the Old and New Testaments will come alive for you as never before. As a condensation of the Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopaedia of the Bible, the information contained within this reference work is solid and biblically sound.

10. Old Testament Introduction

Author: Robin Routledge

Published: 2016 by IVYP

The Old Testament is part of the canon of Christian Scripture and, as such, has continuing significance for the church. However, the writings are set within a different historical era, a different culture and a different religious context. To understand the Old Testament in a meaningful way, it must be read against its historical, cultural and theological background. Here, Robin Routledge enables readers to engage with the text.

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