The Living Word of God
Question? Which book has been produced and copied the most times in history?
2 Tim 3:16-17
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (NIV)
You probably all know it is the Christian Bible. No other produced work of literature comes close. From the Guinness Book of Records: “Things began to change with the development of printing technology in the mid-1400s. In the 50 years that followed the Gutenberg Bible in 1454, it has been estimated that European printers produced 15 million books, the majority of which were Bibles. As technology improved and literacy rates increased, so too did the rate of Bible production. By 1815, the total number of Bibles printed numbered around 1.3 billion.” The estimate is that between 5-7 billion have been produced in total as of 2023. A mathematical exercise for you. Work out how long that would take to count at a rate of 100 per minute. (95 years for 5 billion)
Why is a religious writing, compiled over about 1,600 years, with the last part written nearly 2,000 years ago, such a popular book? Why is the Bible still changing lives? It has been estimated that about 2.6 billion people in the world call themselves Christian. Christians from every point in history and in every ethnic group hear God speaking through the Bible. Do you understand how amazing that is? Lots of books work in one culture or at one point in time. Very few cut across time and ethnicity.
It is truly an amazing book. Never take it lightly. The success of the Bible only makes sense if the creator of the universe speaks through it. While it is very true that the pinnacle of God’s revelation to humans is Jesus, God incarnate. It is also true that God continues to speak through the written word. Continue to be in awe that God speaks to us. Read his word often.