I founded SENT Press in 2007 so that I could make inexpensive copies of the New Testament available in ordinary spoken English. I printed 2200 copies of the Preliminary Edition of SENT, the Spoken English New Testament, about half of which were sold for less than half of market price, and the other half have been distributed through churches and other institutions without cost. All but a few dozen are now out there in the world.
Before the preparation of the First Edition of the Spoken English New Testament, SENT Press, as a business, was retired. The First Edition has been released under a Creative Commons license. The sentpress.com website has been rebranded the as SENT Press Library to signal that this is not a place to purchase a book but rather a place to enjoy it and to share it for free.
A few words on why SENT has always been self-published
I have deeply enjoyed the work of translating the New Testament, yet I have never felt comfortable with treating Bible as a commercial product. Thanks to my background in academic publishing, I was able to make the Spoken English New Testament available to the public at a far more affordable price than a typical publisher would consider selling it. I was also able to include features that I knew many of my readers would find valuable, but which a commercial publisher would probably refuse to accept, because they would “hurt the bottom line.” I’m talking particularly about translator’s footnotes, which take up a quarter to a third of every page. I’m also referring to other special features such as the printing in dark gray of words supplied for sense or English style. Preserving this feature in the printed edition has required significantly more editing and typesetting, and might well have been vetoed by a commercial publisher. By creating my own publishing company, I preserved the freedom to publish the Spoken English New Testament with all its important features intact. I also preserved the freedom to license its distribution for low or no cost to the incarcerated, to people in homeless shelters, and so on. The scriptures are a great gift from God to the world, and SENT Press was created so that I can participate in that giving in a way that has integrity for me.
Webb Mealy, PhD