Bible Engagement Blog: JumpIntoTheWord

Read, Reflect, Respond


Leave a comment

Twenty Quotes From the Bible Engagement Blog

Anything I’ve written that may be deemed insightful or informative is solely due to the insight and understanding that comes from God. In fact when my writing seems to be flowing well, those are the times when I’m most conscious of being empowered by God. Conversely, when being a word-smith is a strain, that’s when I’m usually striving in the flesh.

So with thanks to God for the gift of writing, here are my favourite twenty quotes from the Bible Engagement Blog:

Bible engagement is first and foremost about letting the Bible have its way with us.

To know God and be godly, we must know God’s Word intimately. To know God’s Word intimately, we must grow in intimacy with God’s Word.

The Scriptures are best digested if we “eat them” slowly. Take your time. Masticate on each word. Listen for what God is saying. Enjoy the moment. Open your heart. Pause to pray.

We should read the Word with thought given to prayer and pray with thought given to the Word.

God wants us to be doers of the Word. The ultimate goal of Bible reading and reflection isn’t to learn the history of the Bible, to understand doctrine, to enjoy the stories, get our theology straight, or know everything there is to know. Bible engagement must include application. God gave us His Word to give us life and to change lives!

Always remember that God’s Word is far more important than anything we can ever say about it. The primary aim of all preaching and teaching should be to equip others to actively indwell, engage and get caught up in receiving and reenacting the Word.

The message should master the messenger. Christians should be living epistles!

To embrace a relationship with Christ that matters deeply requires a deep commitment to the Scriptures.

Belief matters! When people love Christ, they will love His Word.

The Bible desires to be known, dares us to chase after it, invites us to connect with it, and challenges us to be immersed in it.

We don’t need a Bible reading revival, we need a Jesus revival! For when people start falling in love with Christ, they can’t help themselves from falling in love with His Word.

If we read the Bible to know the Word of God, yet don’t read it to know the God of the Word, we miss the mark!

What’s ultimately important isn’t the Bible study method; it’s whether or not we’re engaging, internalising and incarnating the Word of God.

When the Bible is reduced to a handbook for church dogma, a moral rule book, a depository of propositional truth, or a collection of wise sayings to guide people through life; it is easy to take it or leave it. But when the Bible is shared, in the power of the Spirit, as the Story which runs deeper than the world’s stories, it invites us to enter into a different world and see ourselves in a different light, that is, to share God’s view of the world.

So what is the best English version of the Bible? The one that gets read!

In what Leonard Sweet describes as “the Age of Participation” it is unlikely that non-Bible readers will read the Bible if we do not cultivate ways for them to interact with it. People need to be helped to connect with the Story in relationally interdependent frameworks where there is a participatory flow of imaginative reason and metaphor.

Let the Bible read you. The Bible is more than a book – it’s alive and active (cf. Hebrews 4:12). Given permission, the Bible will weigh and measure you, and then, finding you wanting, will proceed to fill your heart with faith, hope and love.

As Bible engagement goes, so goes the nation. When our Bibles start falling apart, society will stop falling apart! If we want to see renewal and revival we must read the Word for all it’s worth and live it out for all to see.

God’s Word must lodge inside us and burst out through us! It should whisper in our spirit and trumpet through everything we say and do. It should be in our hearts, but also in our hands. In our minds, but also on our lips. In the privacy of our homes, but also in the public square.

So read the Bible, but not as an end in itself. Read it as a means to an end. Read it to find life and fullness of life in Christ (cf. John 10:10). Read it to see and know the Person behind the text. And read it to be like-minded, have the same love, to be one in spirit and of one mind with Christ (cf. Philippians 2:1-4).

© Scripture Union Canada 2015

2 Corinthians 4:5


Leave a comment

Leonard Ravenhill on Bible Engagement

In the classic, Why Revival Tarries, by Leonard Ravenhill (1907-1994), the main thesis is prayer, but there are some Bible engagement nuggets worth sharing. Thus this post.

Ravenhill was a 20th Century revivalist who rebuked, reproved and exhorted Christians to live righteously. His single-minded warnings and appeals sometimes shocked and alienated people. Folk either loved or hated him. Regardless of what people thought about him, the bigger issue is whether or not he spoke the truth. You decide. Here are some of the things he had to say about Bible engagement:

One of these days some simple soul will pick up the Book of God, read it, and believe it. Then the rest of us will be embarrassed.

With a stack of books beside us and marginal notes in Bibles for props, we have almost immunized ourselves from the scorching truth of the changeless Word of God.

There are only three classes of People in the world today: those who are afraid, those who do not know enough to be afraid, and those who know their Bibles.

We have millions of Bibles, scores of thousands of churches, endless preachers – and yet what sin!

We have adopted the convenient theory that the Bible is a Book to be explained, whereas first and foremost it is a Book to be believed (and after that to be obeyed).

The Holy Book of the living God suffers more from its exponents today than from its opponents! We are loose in the use of scriptural phrases, lopsided in interpreting them, and lazy to the point of impotence in appropriating their measureless wealth.

Let any man shut himself up for a week … with no books except the Bible, with no visitor except the Holy Ghost, and I guarantee … that that man will either break up or break through and out.

Most preachers are only echoes, for if you listen hard, you will be able to tell what latest book they have read and how little of the Book they quote.

There is a world of difference between knowing the Word of God and knowing the God of the Word.

Leonard Ravenhill, Why Revival Tarries, 1991.

© Scripture Union Canada 2015

2 Corinthians 4:5


Leave a comment

Ten Bible Engagement One-Liners

Many years ago I was handing out Scripture leaflets at a downtown side-walk sale where our church had a face-painting booth. Most people politely took the leaflets. Many said, “Thanks.” Some stopped to chat. But one man, much to my surprise, leapt away from me. You’d have thought I’d pulled a gun. Surprised by his reaction I said, “It’s a leaflet with Scriptures from the Bible …” Before I could say anything else he beetled off. Over his shoulder he said, “I know what it is!” For reasons unknown to me, I felt compelled to go after him. Drawing alongside, I said, “It’s about how you can have fullness of life in Christ.” He started running! I did too. “This could change your life for the better” I said, as I offered it to him for the second time. And breaking into a sprint he cried, “I don’t want that ☠@✴# thing!”

Maybe I did the wrong thing, or maybe there was a deeper spiritual dynamic at work. I don’t know. It was the first and only time I’ve chased after someone in order to try and share the Scriptures with them.

Advocating for Bible engagement isn’t always easy. And I’m not just talking about inviting non-Christians to read the Scriptures. It can be tough going with so called Christians too! Maybe it’s because we’ve done a poor PR job. In a consumer driven society people need to hear about the benefits before they’ll buy something, use it, or tell others about it. It’s no different with the Bible. People generally won’t engage with it unless they know what’s in it for them. Simply telling someone they should read, memorize, study or live by the Bible, is not enough.

So with Bible advocacy in mind here are ten Bible engagement one-liners that can be shared on Facebook, used to spice up sermons, be included in church bulletins, added to Sunday PowerPoint announcements, or woven into everyday discussions:

  • Do you want to hear from God? Open your Bible!
  • Spiritually hungry? Feed on the Word.
  • Only one book helps you succeed in life and triumph over death – the Bible!
  • Read the Bible and it will read you!
  • Life’s GPS – the Bible!
  • Looking for fullness of life? Get into God’s Word.
  • Right thinking leads to right action – read the Bible.
  • You’ll get your act together when your Bible’s falling apart!
  • Breathe God’s Word to feel His love.
  • Prime your prayers with Scripture.

Inviting Bible Engagement. Hopefully you’re not going to run away! Feel free to use these one-liners to promote connections with the Bible.

© Scripture Union Canada 2015

2 Corinthians 4:5


Leave a comment

Twenty Texts From The Bible About The Bible

What we may say about the Bible may have some value, but what the Bible says about itself is inestimably valuable.

So here are twenty texts from the Bible about the Bible:

It is God-breathed

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness. 2 Timothy 3:16

It is eternal

All your words are true; all your righteous laws are eternal. Psalm 119:160

It stands firm

Your word, Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens. Psalm 119:89

It is flawless

Every word of God is flawless Proverbs 30:5

It is truth

… your word is truth. John 17:17

It is alive

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Hebrews 4:12

It is a light

Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. Psalm 119:105

It is like fire

“Is not my word like fire,” declares the Lord, “and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?” Jeremiah 23:29

It is more precious than gold

The decrees of the Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous. They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb. Psalm 19:9-10

It is wonderful

Your statutes are wonderful Psalm 119:129

It gives understanding

The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple. Psalm 119:130

It gives joy

The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. Psalm 19:8

It combats sin

I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Psalm 119:11

It is refreshing

The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. Psalm 19:7

It is for your hearts and minds

Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Deuteronomy 11:18

It should be on your lips

Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Joshua 1:8

It should be obeyed

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. James 1:22

It leads to blessing

But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it – not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it – they will be blessed in what they do. James 1:25

It should have nothing added or taken away from it

See that you do all I command you; do not add to it or take away from it. Deuteronomy 12:32

It endures forever

The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever. Isaiah 40:8

It will never pass away

Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. Matthew 24:35

Scripture Quotations: New International Version, 2011, Biblica

© Scripture Union Canada 2015

2 Corinthians 4:5


Leave a comment

Twenty Thought-Provoking Comments On Bible Engagement

In no particular order, here are twenty thought-provoking comments on Bible engagement:

– “For most Christians in the First World the Bible remains a closed book, a Pandora’s Box of isolated and unrelated proof texts, or what is worse – an individualistic invitation to hang out with a cool dude called Jesus. There have to be better reasons for reading, performing and reciting the Scriptures than these.” Colin Greene & Martin Robinson, Metavista: Bible, Church and Mission in an Age of Imagination

– “The Bible is very easy to understand. But we Christians are a bunch of scheming swindlers. We pretend to be unable to understand it because we know very well that the minute we understand, we are obliged to act accordingly.” Søren Kierkegaard, Provocations: Spiritual Writings of Kierkegaard

– “We read Scripture in order to be refreshed in our memory and understanding of the story within which we ourselves are actors, to be reminded where it has come from and where it is going to, and hence what our own part within it ought to be.” N.T. Wright, Scripture and the Authority of God: How to Read the Bible Today

– “One cannot simply read the Bible, like other books. One must be prepared really to enquire of it. Only thus will it reveal itself. Only if we expect from it the ultimate answer, shall we receive it. That is because in the Bible God speaks to us. And one cannot simply think about God in one’s own strength, one has to inquire of him. Only if we seek him, will he answer us.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Reading the Bible

– “We should be better Christians if we were more alone, waiting upon God, and gathering through meditation on His Word spiritual strength for labour in his service.” Charles H. Spurgeon, Morning and Evening

– “God did not give the Bible so we could master him or it; God gave the Bible so we could live it, so we could be mastered by it. The moment we think we’ve mastered it, we have failed to be readers of the Bible.” Scot McKnight, The Blue Parakeet: Rethinking How You Read the Bible

– “The Bible was composed in such a way that as beginners mature, its meaning grows with them.” Augustine of Hippo, Confessions

– “The Bible is the greatest of all books; to study it is the noblest of all pursuits; to understand it, the highest of all goals.” Charles C. Ryrie, Ryrie Study Bible

– “I think the greatest weakness in the church today is that almost no one believes that God invests His power in the Bible. Everyone is looking for power in a program, in a methodology, in a technique, in anything and everything but that in which God has placed it – His Word.” R.C. Sproul, The Prayer of the Lord

– “The soul can do without everything except the word of God, without which none at all of its wants are provided for.” Martin Luther, On Christian Liberty

– “When we submit our lives to what we read in Scripture, we find that we are not being led to see God in our stories but our stories in God’s. God is the larger context and plot in which our stories find themselves.” Eugene H. Peterson, Eat This Book: A Conversation in the Art of Spiritual Reading

– “Happy is that man who possesses a Bible! Happier still is he who reads it! Happiest of all is he who not only reads it, but obeys it, and makes it the rule of his faith and practice!” J.C. Ryle, Bible Reading

– “Too many of God’s people don’t know God’s Word, don’t really believe God’s Word or don’t do God’s Word.” Rick Warren, 40 Days in the Word

– “And so the test of whether or not we have really gotten the point of the Bible would then be the quality of love that we show.” Richard J. Foster, Life with God: Reading the Bible for Spiritual Transformation

– “To our shame, we have hungered to be masters of the Word much more than we have hungered to be mastered by it.” D.A. Carson, Collected Writings on Scripture

– “Reading God’s Word and meditating on its truth will have a purifying effect upon your mind and heart, and will be demonstrated in your life. Let nothing take the place of this daily privilege.” Billy Graham, The Heaven Answer Book

– “It is Christ Himself, not the Bible, who is the true Word of God. The Bible, read in the right spirit and with the guidance of good teachers, will bring us to Him.” C.S. Lewis, Letters of C.S. Lewis

– “The Bible is the Word of God because in it Jesus, the Word incarnate, comes to us. Any who read the Bible and somehow do not find Jesus in it, have not encountered the Word of God.” Justo L. Gonzalez, The Story of Christianity

– “It would be a pity if, in a desire (rightly) to treat the Bible as more than a book, we ended up treating it as less than a book by not permitting it the range and use of language, order, and figures of speech that are (or ought to be) familiar to us from our ordinary experience of conversation and reading.” John C. Lennox, Seven Days That Divide the World: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science 

– “The truly wise man is he who believes the Bible against the opinion of any man. If the Bible says one thing, and any body of men says another, the wise man will decide, ‘This book is the Word of Him who cannot lie’.” R.A. Torrey, Ten Reasons I Believe the Bible is the Word of God

© Scripture Union Canada 2015

2 Corinthians 4:5


Leave a comment

Bible Engagement in the Public Square

The Bible has been enormously prominent in Western culture – a significant source of literary, ideological, artistic, educational, and (of course) religious inspiration. Yet despite the role the Bible has played in the formation of Western culture in the past, it’s influence in the 21st Century seems to be flagging. This may be due, in part, to Christians departing from the public square. For a range of reasons, Christians are retreating to their sanctuaries and privatising their faith.

A privatised faith. In her first book, Distortion, Chelsen Vicari speaks about the emergence of “couch-potato” and “cafeteria-style” Christians. Couch-potato Christians adapt to the culture by staying silent on tough issues or downplaying biblical truth. Cafeteria-style Christians pick and choose the Scriptures that seem to jive with the culture while minimizing or ignoring Scriptures they deem offensive or confrontational.

Why is this happening? How did we get to the place where only the “nice” Scriptures are acceptable? And why the dichotomy between private and public faith? Maybe it’s because we have a deep desire to be liked. Being labelled homophobic, intolerant, legalistic, fundamentalist, or bigoted is something most of us try to avoid at all costs. So some take the course of least resistance – aiming to fit in with society by distancing themselves from the Bible and/or divorcing themselves from the public witness of the church.

But private faith isn’t orthodox faith. Being a Christian, biblically speaking, involves being light in the darkness (cf. Matthew 5:16, John 3:19-21) and proclaiming the whole truth (cf. Acts 20:27), and nothing but the truth, even when it’s an offense (cf. 1 Peter 2:8).

Bible engagement in the public square. As Liberals push for the acceptance of same sex marriages or promote doctor assisted euthanasia as an act of compassion, do the Scriptures still have a voice? As a rising generation of accommodating Christians proliferate a feel-good doctrine and tout tolerance over truth, do we still have something to say? Unequivocally and most definitely, yes! The Bible stands firm (cf. 1 Peter 1:25).

So “let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” Galatians 6:9 (NIV).

Here’s the good news: In addition to couch-potato and cafeteria-style Christians, Chelsen Vicari identifies a third group whom she calls “convictional Christians”. They’re the ones who refuse to be silent in the face of anti-Christian sentiment. They’re not ashamed of the Gospel. They speak up. They declare and defend firmly held beliefs with grace and humility – even against determined attempts to marginalise them from the public square.

That to say:

I simply argue that the Scriptures be raised again

in the halls of government,

the marketplace, academy,

and every pulpit in every church across the land.

I am recovering the claim that God’s Word

was not meant to be hidden in a sanctuary

or whispered in the privacy of our homes.

But be proclaimed in the town hall,

on YouTube, tweeted,

Liked on Facebook, shared on LinkedIn;

at the crossroads of public opinion

where cynics laugh and scoffers sneer …

And in every place where people sweat and curse.

Because the Scriptures should intersect with life

proclaiming justice, loving mercy, bringing hope.

And that is what the Word ought to do,

and what Christians must be about.

 

Have your say – share a comment.

© Scripture Union Canada 2015

2 Corinthians 4:5


Leave a comment

J.I. Packer on Bible Engagement

J.I. Packer, the British-born Canadian theologian, is considered one of the most influential Evangelicals in North America. His most popular book, Knowing God, has been read by more than a million people and was listed 5th by Christianity Today on their list of “The Top Fifty Books That Have Shaped Evangelicals.” Here are ten Bible engagement statements from Knowing God:

God has spoken to man, and the Bible is His Word, given to us to make us wise unto salvation.

We must seek, in studying God, to be led by God. It was for this purpose that revelation was given, and it is to this use that we must put it.

Knowing God involves, first, listening to God’s Word and receiving it as the Holy Spirit interprets it, in application to oneself.

Do we apply the authority of the Bible, and live by the Bible, whatever men may say against it, recognising that God’s Word cannot but be true, and that what God has said He certainly means, and will stand to? If not, we dishonour the Holy Spirit, who gave us the Bible.

The word which God addresses directly to us is an instrument, not only of government, but also of fellowship.

God sends His word to us in the character of both information and invitation. It comes to woo us as well as to instruct us; it not merely puts us in the picture of what God has done and is doing, but also calls us into personal communion with the loving Lord Himself.

The claim of the word of God upon us is absolute: the word is to be received, trusted, and obeyed, because it is the word of God the king … We are to believe and obey it, not only because He tells us to, but also, and primarily, because it is a true word.

What is a Christian? … He is a man who acknowledges and lives under the word of God … believing the teaching, trusting the promises, following the commands. His eyes are to the God of the Bible as his Father, and the Christ of the Bible as his Saviour. He will tell you … that the word of God has both convinced him of sin and assured him of forgiveness. His conscience … is captive to the word of God, and he aspires … to have his whole life brought into line with it.

The wise man reads the Bible as a book of life … as the book of the church … and as God’s personal letter to each of his spiritual children.

J.I. Packer, Knowing God, 1973.

© Scripture Union Canada 2015

2 Corinthians 4:5


Leave a comment

Praise, Worship, Singing and Bible Engagement

I can’t imagine not being able to sing to God – it would be like losing a leg, or worse, having a stroke with no promise of recovery! But that isn’t surprising, for praise and worship is woven into the fabric of our Christian faith (cf. Ephesia5:19-20).

Interestingly, while much is written on the subject of praise/worship/singing, and likewise on the subject of Bible engagement, very little seems to be said about the relationship between Bible engagement and praise/worship/singing.

So what is the relationship between praise, worship, singing and Bible engagement? Here are five suggestions:

  • Scripture should inform, equip, and undergird all praise/worship/singing. This is foundational and absolutely necessary. Failure to connect praise/worship/singing with the Word distances us from the One whom the Word proclaims – Jesus Christ
  • If worship requires opening our hearts to the love of Christ, submitting our wills to the purpose of Christ, and offering our lives in adoration of Christ; then we need to be filling our minds with the Word of Christ and obeying the precepts of Christ
  • To wholeheartedly praise and worship Christ we must experience (taste, see, hear, touch, smell), indwell, engage, receive, get caught up in, and re-enact the Word
  • Praise and worship music should serve the lyrics, and the lyrics should feed people, and the food should be the Word of God. If we don’t major on God’s Word our songs will drift into emotionalism and self-absorption. But when we feed on the Word – we move beyond ourselves – we enter into the presence of God
  • Lyrics matter more than music. Tunes should always play second fiddle to truth. We should sing songs that say something – songs that transform the mind and refresh the spirit. And the best way to do this, is to sing God’s Word

While the pickings are slim, there are worship leaders, singers, theologians and others who speak about the correlation between praise/worship/singing and Bible engagement. Consider these five thought provoking comments:

  • “Worship songs can’t just be rooted in culture – they won’t be deep enough. They have to be rooted in scripture.” – Matt Redman
  • “Scriptures direct worship, enhance the depth of worship, and … are the ancient and living Word that the emerging church grapples with and wrestles with and turns to for guidance and light.” – Dan Kimball
  • “It may seem unnecessary to advocate … for the centrality of the Bible … after all, Protestants are supposed to believe in sola scriptura, scripture alone. In fact, there has long been erosion of the use of scripture in Protestant worship.” – Rob Redman
  • “God must speak to us before we have any liberty to speak to him. He must disclose to us who he is before we can offer him what we are in acceptable worship. The worship of God is always a response to the Word of God. Scripture wonderfully directs and enriches our worship.” – John Stott
  • “A faithful worship leader combines the Word of God with music to magnify the greatness of God in Jesus Christ.” – Bob Kauflin

And the lyrics from the chorus of Ancient Words:

“Ancient words ever true. Changing me changing you. We have come with open hearts. Oh, let the ancient words impart.”

Have your say. Add your comments …

Recommended Resource: David Peterson, Engaging with God: A Biblical Theology of Worship, IVP, 2002.

© Scripture Union Canada 2015

2 Corinthians 4:5


Leave a comment

Twenty Interesting Facts About The Bible

The Bible isn’t called the Book of books without just cause. Here are twenty interesting facts about the Bible:

  • The Bible is the world’s best-selling book of all time and the best-selling book of the year, every year! Fifty Bibles are sold every minute. It’s never shown on the best seller lists because it dwarfs the sales of all other books.
  • The Bible was written over the course of 1,500 years (beginning in about 1,400 B.C.) by more than 40 individuals, from many backgrounds (prophets, fishermen, kings, philosophers, scholars, poets), who lived in 10 different countries on three continents (Asia, Africa, Europe), writing in one of three languages (Hebrew, Aramaic, or Greek) about God and His interaction with 2,930 different characters from more than 1,550 different places.
  • Worldwide, there are 80,000+ versions of the Bible with full Bibles in 530+ languages and portions of the Bible in about 2,900 languages. A full Bible translation in a person’s native/heart language is available for 70% of the world’s population. In whole or in part, the Bible is accessible to 98% of the world’s population in a language in which they are fluent. Bible translation continues to be a major undertaking by the United Bible SocietiesWycliffe and many other agencies.
  • After three years of constant printing, the 1454 Gutenberg Bible (Latin) was the first book to be printed on a movable metal type printing press (China invented woodblock printed books during the Tang Dynasty). Johannes Gutenberg, after whom the Bible is named, printed about 180 copies without any printing errors (major parts of 48 copies exist today).
  • There are about 900 printed English versions of the Bible (complete and incomplete translations and paraphrases). The first hand-written English manuscripts were written by John Wycliffe, translated from the Vulgate (Latin) in the 1380’s A.D. In 1525-1526 the Tyndale New Testament became the first printed English edition of the Scriptures (2 known copies exist today). The first English translation of the entire Bible was published by Miles Coverdale in 1535.
  • The King James Version (KJV) is the most popular English Bible (first edition published in 1611). The New International Version (NIV) is the second most popular English Bible (New Testament first published in 1973 and the full Bible in 1978). Worldwide, the NIV outranks the KJV as the best-selling Bible translation.
  • The least popular Bible is the Coptic translation of the New Testament by David Wilkins. Since 1791 when it was first published, it has never sold more than 2 copies a year.
  • The 1631 edition of the KJV was named the Wicked Bible because the word “not” was omitted from Exodus 20:14. This changed the 7th Commandment to, “Thou shalt commit adultery.” When the error was discovered the copies were recalled and destroyed (11 copies exist today). The 1716 edition of the KJV was named the Sin On Bible because the printer accidentally inverted the ‘n’ and the ‘o’ in ‘on’ of John 8:11, so it read, “Go and sin on more”.
  • Between 1815 and 1975 an estimated 2.5 billion Bibles were distributed with more than 100 million new Bibles printed every year since, making a staggering total of 7.5 billion in print (one copy for every person!).
  • The Gideons, founded in 1899, distribute about one million Bibles, free of charge, every week (about two copies every second). By 2015 the Gideons will have placed 2 billion Bibles and New Testaments in schools, hotels, prisons, hospitals and among the military.
  • Sadly, for merchants, in some cities in the USA, the most shoplifted book is the Bible! Happily, for the Gideons, thousands of their Bibles are stolen from hotels!
  • The usage of online Bibles continues to increase. In 2014 Bible Gateway had 1.5 billion page views by more than 150 million unique visitors. The YouVersion Bible App offers more than 1,000 translations of the Bible and has been downloaded more than 150 million times. The Bible.is App offers the Bible in full or in part in more than 1600 languages.
  • Surprisingly, the largest Bible factory in the world is a Communist government sanctioned NGO – the Amity Bible Printing Company in Nanjing, China. An atheist, Trevor McKendrick, makes $100K a year selling a Spanish Bible App!
  • It takes 70 hours to read the whole Bible aloud (at “pulpit rate”). Reading the Bible silently with an average reading speed of 250-300 words a minute takes 54 hours. People who can read 800 words a minute can read the Bible in a day. If you’re short on time, read Philemon, it only takes a minute!
  • There are hundreds of Bibles purposed for hundreds of niche markets. The Way features psychedelic lettering, Revolve looks like a girls glossy magazine, and Divine Health has comments from Don Colbert, the author of What Would Jesus Eat. The Outdoor Bible is printed on plastic sheets that fold up like maps, Psalty’s Kids Bible features Psalty the Singing Songbook, and the Soul Surfer Bible has notes by Bethany Hamilton, the surfer who lost her arm to a shark.
  • The 2011 St. John’s Bible produced by British calligrapher Donald Jackson and a team of calligraphers is the first hand-written hand-illuminated Bible since the invention of the printing press. It cost $8 million and took 12 years to complete.
  • The smallest Bible in the world is the New Testament Jerusalem Nano Bible, a chip measuring 4.76 mm. It can only be read with a microscope because each letter is 18 millionths of a metre wide!
  • The Devils Bible (Codex Gigas – English for Giant Book), so named because of a large illustration of the devil, is the largest extant medieval manuscript in the world. It weighs 78.4 kg (165 lb), is 92 cm (36 in) tall and is allegedly made from the skins of 160 donkeys.
  • The largest Bible in the world is the 1930 Waynai Bible (pictured). It weighs 496 kg (1094 lb), is 110.49 cm (43.5 in) tall, and 248.92 cm (98 in) wide. For moving purposes it can be disassembled into 31 sections.
  • There are many fascinating details in the Bible – like the man who walked around naked for three years (cf. Isaiah 20:2-3), a bed that was 4.1 m (13.5 ft) long and 1.8 m (6 ft) wide (cf. Deuteronomy 3:11), a man’s hair that weighed 2.83 kg (6.25 lb) when it was cut every year (cf. 2 Samuel 14:26), and, there’s no mention of the domestic cat (sheep are the most frequently mentioned animals).

And a bonus short animation from the Digital Bible Society that charts the history of the spoken and written Word of God from tablets to digital:

.

Please share additional interesting facts about the Bible …

© Scripture Union Canada 2015

2 Corinthians 4:5


Leave a comment

World Bloggers’ Day

HAPPY WORLD BLOGGERS’ DAY!

Here are seven scriptures to inform and inspire writers of posts/blogs:

Oh that my words were written! Oh that they were inscribed in a book! Job 19:23 (ESV)

“Dear friend, do what I tell you; treasure my careful instructions. Do what I say and you’ll live well. My teaching is as precious as your eyesight—guard it! Write it out on the back of your hands; etch it on the chambers of your heart. Talk to Wisdom as to a sister. Treat Insight as your companion” Proverbs 7:2-4 (Msg)

“You yourselves are our letter. You are written on our hearts. Everyone knows you and reads you” 2 Corinthians 3:2 (NIrV)

“Your heart should be holy and set apart for the Lord God. Always be ready to tell everyone who asks you why you believe as you do. Be gentle as you speak and show respect” 1 Peter 3:15 (NLV)

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates” Deuteronomy 6:5-9 (NIV)

“Never let loyalty and kindness leave you! Tie them around your neck as a reminder. Write them deep within your heart” Proverbs 3:3 (NLT)

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things” Philippians 4:8 (NIV)

© Scripture Union Canada 2015

2 Corinthians 4:5