The Bible-None Like It!

1:57 pm Bible, Bible versions

How many books are there in the world?  A few years ago, Google Books Library Project came up with a number.  According to Leonid Taycher, a Google software engineer, who at the time, worked on the project, there are 129,864,880 books in the world.  And we’re talking about number of titles, not number of copies of all titles (Josh McDowell, God Breathed, p. 113).  Out of these almost 130 million books, there is one that is truly unique.  It is the Bible.  Consider the following:
1.  The Bible is the world’s best-selling book of all time and best-selling book of the year (every year!)  Fifty Bibles are sold every minute.
2.  The Bible was written over a period of 1,500 years by more than 40 individuals from many backgrounds (prophets, fishermen, kings, philosophers, scholars, poets, shepherds, herdsmen, etc.) who lived in 10 different countries on 3 different continents (Asia, Europe, Africa) writing in three different languages (Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek).  They wrote about God’s interaction with 2,930 characters, from more than 1,550 different places.  Yet, every book in the Bible focuses on one theme: the Scheme of Redemption.
3.  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.  The Bible is the most translated book in the history of the world!
4.  After three years of constant printing, the 1454 Gutenberg Bible (Latin language) 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 was named, printed about 180 copies without any printing errors (major parts of 48 copies exist today).
5.  There are about 900 printed English versions of the Bible (complete or incomplete translations and paraphrases).  The first hand-written English manuscripts were written by John Wycliffe who translated from the Latin Vulgate in 1384 A.D.  In 1525-1526, William Tyndale’s New Testament became the first printed English edition of the Scriptures translated from the Greek.
6.  The King James Version (1611 A.D.) is the most popular English translation in the world.
7.  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.
8.  The most shoplifted book is the Bible!  Thousands of Bibles are stolen from hotels every year.  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.
9.  The use 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 App offers the Bible in full or in part in more than 1600 languages.
10.  The largest Bible factory is located in China.  The Amity Bible Printing Company in Nanjing, China has produced millions of Bibles while the Bible is not allowed to be freely distributed in China.
11.  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 read 800 words per minute can read the Bible in a day.  If you’re short on time, read Philemon, it only takes a minute!
(All of the facts above were taken from:  Twenty Interesting Facts About the Bible, Dr. Lawson Murray, May 5, 2015).

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