walk in the word
Category: God’s Word
Do you like to read a good book? I do, but finding one can be a challenge. Solomon said in his day, “The writing of many books is endless” (Ecclesiastes 12:12). Imagine what he’d say about our bookstores and libraries! You walk in and there are so many titles to choose from. Where do you start? How do you find a good one?
Many readers rely on the recommendations of others. They ask friends or find out what’s on the New York Times Bestseller List. If a book comes highly recommended, it’s more likely to be a good book.
What if I told you about a book that’s been recommended by not one or two people, but by millions? What if this book has sold enough copies to be first on the List every week for the past several centuries? There is one book like that. Do you know what it is? It’s the Bible.
The Bible has been read by more people in more languages than any other book in human history. The entire Bible has been translated into 400 different languages, and portions of it into nearly 2500 languages. Many of these tongues would not even have a written language if Bible translators had not gone in to learn them.
The British Foreign Bible Society once reported that it had to publish 32,876 copies of the Bible every day in order to meet the demand. That’s more than one copy every three seconds, day and night. Every year Gideon’s International places and distributes more than 56 million copies of Scripture worldwide. That’s more than one million copies of God’s Word every week. With a total circulation well into the billions, the Bible is by far the preeminent book in the world.
That’s not all. The Bible’s influence on other books has been incalculable. More books have been written about the Bible than any other subject, and more authors quote the Bible than any other source. Bernard Ramm says, “From the Apostolic Fathers dating from a.d. 95 to modern times there is one great literary river inspired by the Bible—Bible dictionaries, Bible encyclopedias, Bible lexicons, Bible atlases, and Bible geographies. These may be taken as a starter. Then at random we may mention the vast bibliographies around theology, religious education, hymnology, missions, the biblical languages, church history, religious biography, devotional works, commentaries, philosophy of religion, evidences, apologetics, and on and on.” There is an endless river of books streaming from the greatest book ever written.
You say, “Hang on a for a minute. The Bible may be a great religious book, but what about the Koran? What about the book of Mormon? What about books on Eastern religions?” Professor M. Montiero Williams (not to be confused with Montel Williams!) spent forty-two years studying Eastern religious books. Comparing them with the Bible, he said, “Pile them, if you will, on the left side of your study table; but place your own Holy Bible on the right side—all by itself, all alone—and with a wide gap between them. For there is a gulf between it and the so-called sacred books of the East, which severs the one from the other utterly, hopelessly, and forever . . . a veritable gulf which cannot be bridged over by any science or religious thought.”
The Bible is preeminent among all the books ever published in the history of the world, religious or otherwise. There is nothing that even comes close. So the next time you walk into your local bookstore or library, and you’re looking for a great book to sink your teeth into, remember that the greatest book is already waiting for you—maybe back home. You’ll never find one better, or one more deserving of a careful reading, than the Bible.
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