I was shocked to see that Barnes & Nobel listed HARRY POTTER and the DEATHLY HALLOWS as a best seller on the web. I discovered that the New York Times list is considered the preeminent list of best-selling books in the United States. This week it listed THE PEOPLE VS. ALEX CROSS and LET TRUMP BE TRUMP as the best sellers of hardcover fiction and non-fiction books respectively.
Why is the Bible not on that Best Sellers list? Wasn’t the Bible an all time best seller? The answer is that Bibles so far outsell any other books that there is no point in putting it on the list. If they did, the second most sold book would be so far down the list that it would be a dwarf best seller. It’s like comparing our lawnmower shed to the Empire State Building. No comparison!!
According to Guinness World Records the Bible is the world’s best-selling book of all time. While statistics are hard to calculate, the Bible far outsells the Koran and any other book. This year over 100+ million copies were sold or given away in 2,476 languages. The Gideons alone give away one a second. At our Living Nativity they gave away over 1,400 Bibles and ran out an hour before finishing time both nights. The Bible is still the best seller.
But some still question the integrity of Scripture. “How can we know the text of our Bible is true to what was in the original manuscripts?” “Couldn’t error have crept in and the original meaning been lost with all the copying that has to take place?” Consider this. The Bible was written by forty different authors from kings, to poor people, to fishermen, prophets and tentmakers over a period of 1,600 years. Yet it all ties together in a common theme that applies to all cultures and peoples.
It was written in three languages (Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek) on three continents (Asia, Africa and Europe) and is supported by a vast amount of textual evidence. For example, if you took all the ancient manuscripts that support the writings of Caesar, Plato, Thucydides, Tactius, Suetonius and Homer you would have a total of 696 manuscripts supporting all six authors. But if you take just the New Testament, you have around 24,000 manuscripts. If we throw the Bible out due to a supposed lack of support then we might as well discard the writings of the classical authors too. Not going to happen!
We live in a country where you can easily get the Bible in book form and also electronically. In my phone I can easily have more Bibles than in my entire collection of paper books. At the same time there are still places in the world where it is hard to get a copy of the Scriptures.
We who have been given much, much will be required of us (Lu. 12:48). We have much access to God’s truth. Therefore, we have a responsibility to read it, learn it, practice it, teach it, and share it with others starting with our families and then to the world starting in Gig Harbor. How are you doing getting the Gospel out? It starts with a growing understanding of God’s Word.
January is a good time to start a disciplined Bible reading program. You can read at your own rate of a year or two or three. But do it.
Jerry Cudney says, “Why not read through the Bible with other DBC'ers in 2018.” Register by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org (or letting him know on a Care Card) and tell Jerry to count you in. Then each morning he will send you the references plus some optional devotional thoughts. Reading takes about 20-30 minutes. No tests involved.
If you prefer to listen to the Bible, then go to www.dailyaudiobible.com and listen to Brian Hardin read the exact same texts and give a little commentary with music too; it takes about 20 minutes.
Don't forget there is only a 10:30 worship this Sunday due to the holidays. This is the last Sunday to give to any fund for the 2017 calendar year tax purposes. You can also give online before the end of the year at www.discoverybaptist.org.