Nelson said the added tax will have a greater effect on the price of more expensive Bibles, but he doesn't think it will deter buyers.
"I'm more concerned about the message," he said. "I think we're going in the wrong direction."
Bibles can cost anywhere from $6.95 for lower-quality paperback and children's editions, to $90 for hardback study Bibles and those covered in genuine leather.
The sales tax would add nearly $6 to the price of the more expensive Bibles.
"It is entirely appropriate for the state to encourage religion in our communities by exempting religious publications from the sales tax," Ridge said in a press release. "We hope the Supreme Court will agree with this common sense proposition."
Stores have been told to continue exempting the Bible, the Koran, the Book of Mormon and other religious publications from sales tax until the state Supreme Court decides the matter.
Some believe all literature, including religious material, should be treated equally.
"I would think any literature of any variety should be taxed the same. Why should a religious book be tax-exempt?" said L. Granville Laird, co-founder of Free Thinkers of Waynesboro, adding that atheist literature is taxed.
As broad as the religious publications category is, Laird said, it's hard to determine what's eligible for tax exemption.
The court decision is in response to a lawsuit filed in 1993 by Felice Newman, owner of Cleis Press, a Pittsburgh publishing company, and Henry Haller, one of the company's customers, according to court documents. Haller was later dismissed as a party in the lawsuit.
The American Civil Liberties Union supported the plaintiffs in the case, court documents state.
Commonwealth Court ruled that the exemption violates the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The U.S. and Pennsylvania constitutions ban government from officially supporting religion under separation of church and state.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.