Tag Archives: Gideons International

Is Bible the World’s Best-selling or Most-read or Most Distributed Book?


READERS HAVE VIEWED THIS POST MORE THAN 11,970 TIMES.

 

 

Myself

By T. V. Antony Raj

.

.

A few days ago, some friends and I while discussing the Holy Bible unwittingly got divided into three factions. One group claimed the Bible as the world’s best-selling book. Another group upheld it as the world’s most-read books. The third group considered it as the most-printed and most-distributed Book.

Many devout Christians are quick to assert that the Holy Bible is the world’s best-selling book, for all time. They claim that because a great number of people purchased the Bible, it, therefore, has lots of philosophical truth in it.

The Bible, the Quran, and Quotation from Chairman Mao, often reported as the most-printed and most-distributed books worldwide have hundreds of millions of copies to their credit. Exact print statistics for such books are, in fact, not available, or inaccurate because many unrelated publishers have printed these books over several centuries. Many books such as Don Quixote, The Three Musketeers, Alice in Wonderland, The Adventures of Pinocchio, the individual Harry Potter books and much more generally cited as “best-selling books” do not have dependable sales figures.

Obviously, the mere volume of books sold has no relation to their content. Therefore, the Bible cannot be considered as the best-selling book of all time for several reasons:

Firstly, the Bible in its many versions have been in print for hundreds of years, and their number has not been reliably accounted for. Hence, over such a time, we can only estimate the number of bibles sold. Statistically, such an estimate without a measure of confidence with it is useless.

Secondly, not all copies of the Bible fetch money. In fact, many missionaries hand out enormous numbers of bibles free of charge. These cannot be counted in a bestseller list, not only because they have not been sold, but because the person receiving the book may not actually want it. Compare this to the Harry Potter series, where the numbers given away free dwindles into insignificance.

Thirdly, not all copies of the Bible are read, and almost no one reads them cover to cover. On the other hand, if you consider a modern novel, it would be ludicrous and unthinkable for a person to read only a few pages at random and ignore the rest. Do you know that most copies of the Bible placed in bedside drawers in some hotels across the world are never read, and in many cases rarely even seen by any living creature?

.

RELATED ARTICLES

Add this anywhere

Advertisements

What would you prefer to read – ‘The Holy Bible’ or ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’?


.

Myself By T.V. Antony Raj

.

Earlier this month, Damson Dene Hotel, in England’s Lake District, replaced in all 40 guest rooms, the ubiquitous bedside cabinet Gideon Bible with something a bit more modern, the soft-porn bestseller: “Fifty Shades of Grey” by E.L. James, a former TV executive, wife and mother of two based in West London.

The irony is that the Damson Dene Hotel, was purchased from a Methodist group 10 years ago. Its current owner, Jonathan Denby, apparently thought it inappropriate to distribute Bibles in today’s secular society and has explained his decision in a blog post:

Tonight millions of women will be curling up in bed with a good book and you can bet your life it won’t be the Bible. More likely than not it will be Fifty Shades of Grey. I haven’t read the book yet – I’m not in the target audience – but I’m told it’s a ripping good yarn and everyone who’s in the target audience loves it. This made me  wonder about the sense of providing a book, the Gideon Bible which no one reads, and many dislike, in the bedside cabinet of our hotel bedrooms, instead of a book which everyone wants to read, such as Fifty Shades of Grey.

Denby said he did not do it for any philosophical reasons, and had considered substitutions for a long time. “I was thinking originally of putting in a book by Ayn Rand – Atlas Shrugged was my first thought,” Denby told NBC News.

Denby also said in his blog: “I’ll keep a couple behind the reception desk so that if any guest whose preferred bedtime reading happens to be the Bible finds that they have forgotten to pack their copy, they’ll be pleased to read in the guest handbook that they can borrow a copy from the receptionist.

That hasn’t stopped the local vicar from publicly denouncing the change. Rev. Michael Woodcock, Local vicar and parish priest at St. Mary’s Church in Crosthwaite has publicly denounced the change. He told British media that the hotel’s decision is just a gimmick. “It is a shame that the Bible has been taken out,” he told the paper. “But I am sure it will be put back in the future. The more attention that is drawn to this the more bad publicity it gets.”

Fifty Shades of Grey‘ is all that people are talking about at the moment, but I know that some are too shy to buy it for themselves,” hotel manager Wayne Bartholomew told the Daily Mail. “I thought it would be a special treat for our guests to find it in their bedside cabinet and that includes the men too.”

“The Bible is a great read. It has stories which feature sex and violence, as well as comedy, tragedy, poetry, and prose. Its themes are eternal; they still speak directly into people’s lives centuries after it was written,” said a member of The Bible Society.

.

RELATED ARTICLES