It is no surprise that the Holy Bible is the most printed, published, and translated book in the world. Over a 100 million copies of the Bible are sold or given away every year, making the Holy Bible not only the most widely distributed, but also the best-selling book ever. These statistics bring an exuberant joy for those who consider themselves to be Christians, but there is a fact that quickly replaces that joy for melancholy. Apart from the fact the Bible is the most famous book in the known world, it is also the least read.
According to a Huffington Post poll in 2014, 88% of Americans claim to own at least one copy of a Bible, but only 48% of that number read it once a month, and only 9% read it daily. So, the numbers add up to 7 million people reading Scripture every day when there are over 280 million people who own Bibles in the United States. This means that there is a vast majority of people, specifically over 273 million people, who don’t realize what kind of powerful book is left untouched in homes across the country. They leave the book to collect dust, not knowing the persecution reformers faced to get this book distributed to every individual and the story that lies within every text of Scripture.
Martin Luther, the father of the reformation, translated the Latin texts into common German, which was considered a threat against the Catholic church. The Catholic was against translating Bibles for the common man to the point where they were willing to murder who had done such a thing; they threatened the life of Luther and His family all because he wanted the New Testament to be translated into the everyday language.
William Tyndale is the most famous bible translator in the english speaking world for his faithful dedication to accurately translate the original texts into the english tongue. But sadly, he is more well known for being martyred by the Catholic church, all for translating the Latin texts into the common english, so that even the average man could read the word of God.
John Knox, during his flee away from England to escape the reign and persecution of Bloody Mary, and her hatred for anyone who disagreed with Catholic doctrine, published the first modern study bible with John Calvin. It was complete with commentaries and references to help the reader in his or her study of the text. Knox and Calvin were hunted by the Catholic church for their teachings and their dedication to making the word of God known in the heart of every man. A student in England once asked Knox of how often a Bible should be read, for it was dangerous to be caught with a translated Bible in the country. Knox replied, “Let no day slip by without the comfort received by the word of God.”
Stories of valiant courage that reformers had to make sure a Bible could be in the hands of every believer, makes us saddened to hear of the Bibles in so many homes in America that are left without any purpose, but to collect dust and to leave it as a decoration (to give a vintage vibe). Reformers like Luther, Tyndale, and Knox could only dream of the Bible being as accessible as it is. The problem with the lack of readership is not because of a lack of accessibility, but unwillingness to study the inerrant message of God. The Bible is not only found in bookstores for less than $10, but there are free apps in app stores where you can download the word of God into a smartphone, making it even more convenient to access the greatest book ever issued. There is no excuse in the United States for not being able to read the scriptures and to search the knowledge of who God is. It takes work and effort, but the payoff is great, for the word contains everything that the Holy Spirit wants to illuminate.
The bible is the true source for discernment against all temptations, heresy, and false teaching. Knowing the word also allows us to train in righteousness and godly behavior. How do I know this? Because the bible says so. In 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (ESV), it says, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” Without the Bible we are incomplete and lacking in strength. Mankind cannot survive without food. In the same way, we cannot withstand hardships and survive without the scriptures being in our minds. The Bible is not be left to bite the dust, for God entrusted His message to us with great care; we can’t simply lay it aside in favor of meaningless pursuits.
The Scriptures are beautiful and full of rich theology and comfort, and contains a powerful story that transcends throughout all time. It is a story of a Son who loved His bride, so much that He sacrificed His own life to save her. He defeats the dragon (Satan) once and for all, and it concludes with the splendorous celebration of the matrimony of the Son, who is crowned everlasting King by His Father, and His imperfect, but beautiful, bride. Leaving the book that the reformers considered worth risking their lives to protect and to translate, and a book with a glorious message of Christ’s work to ‘bite the dust’ is the most cowardly thing anyone who owns a Bible can do. I suggest we read the Scriptures rather than to leave it in the shadows. Open you eyes to God’s word and let its light speak into your heart.
Soli Deo Gloria.