Did you know . . .

that the Bible is not only the world's best-selling book—it's also the world's most shoplifted book? Or that the phrase "holier than thou" comes from Isaiah 65:5 and was used by God to criticize those who felt themselves better than others?

1001 Surprising Things You Should Know about the Bible is filled with fun and revealing facts like these. You'll find insight into the many characters, events, and exciting facts about the most influential book ever written. Brief, accessible descriptions are arranged under topics such as:

How the Bible Reads © The Apocrypha © Famous Words and

Phrases © Strange and Amazing Facts @ Poetry of Kings ©

Miracles of Amazing Proportions © Festivals and Holidays ©

Family Life © Angels in the Bible © Symbols

If you enjoy history or trivia, are looking for great openers for a sermon or speech, or just like to read interesting facts for the fun of it, step into the delightful pages of 1001 Surprising Things You Should Know about the Bible.

Jerry MacGregor (Ph.D., University of Oregon) is a literary agent for Alive Communications and the author of several books. A former pastor and seminary professor, he lives in Colorado with his family.

MARIE Prys is a freelance writer and editor. A history buff and graduate of Dordt College, she lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and daughter. Prys and MacGregor are the coauthors of 1001 Surprising Things You Should Know about Christianity and 1001 Surprising Things You Should Know about God.


It's the best-selling book of all time—a volume that has changed the course of history, affected the lives of millions, and made all of us stop and think. Christian martyrs have died for reading this precious volume. It's been hidden, suppressed, and exalted through the ages. Though the authors lived thousands of years apart and included kings, shepherds, prophets, humble fishermen, and well-educated apostles, this book speaks to every person.

The Bible also holds the key to the most famous person the world has ever seen or known—Jesus Christ. It tells us where we came from and directs us where we may ultimately go. Why do we read this book? To know God. To meet him, commune with him, and find peace with him. Along the way, we discover amazing prophecies, inspiring stories, and truly horrible happenings that changed history forever.

1001 Surprising Things You Should Know about the Bible illuminates the many characters, events, and exciting facts about the most influential book ever written in the history of the world. This collection is not made up of the 1001 "most important" facts, the 1001 "best" facts, or even what we might consider the 1001 "most necessary for a complete education" facts. Rather we have picked what is unique, unfamiliar, and might not be included in a scholarly examination of the Bible .. . yet what is indeed still a part of it. All 1001 facts were checked and considered, but this isn't what you might consider a "researched" volume. Instead it's fun. And true.

No book about the Bible will ever be a substitute for the original, inspired Word of God. So we pray this book will be used and enjoyed for its information, but that the Bible's authority will always remain primary in your life.

Jerry MacGregor and Marie Prys

Part 1


the Bible

Came to Be

About the Bible

1. The Bible. Christians believe this book to be the true Word of God. From the creation account of Genesis to the end-time visions of Revelation, from the story of Israel to Jesus' ministry, it is the source for what Christians believe and how they try to live.

2. The word Bible comes from the Greek word biblia, which means "books," which comes from another word, byblos, meaning papyrus, a material books were made from in ancient times.

3. The ancient Greeks obtained their supplies of paper from the port of Byblos, in what is now Lebanon. Their word for book—biblion (the singular form of biblia)—was derived from the name of this port, and from this we get our English word Bible, meaning the Book of books.

4. The word Bible is not in the Bible. The term came long after all the writings were completed and assembled.

5. The Bible is the world's best-selling book as well as the world's most shoplifted book!

6. The Bible is the most bought yet least understood book. Nine out of ten Americans own a Bible, but fewer than half ever read it. Worldwide sales of the Bible are uncountable.

7. Just how big is the Bible? Stack ten average-sized nonfiction books printed today. That pile will contain the same number of words that are found in one Bible—close to one million words not counting the number of words in features like footnotes, verse numbers, and concordances.

8. The Bible looks like one book, but it is actually an anthology, a collection of many smaller books. In an even broader sense, it is not just an anthology of shorter works but an entire library.

9. Some Bible books are as short as half a page. One of the longest books—Jeremiah—is roughly the length of today's short novel. This makes the Bible's longest book one hundred times longer than its shortest book.

10. Though the Bible as a whole is much longer than most any other book we'd like to read, its individual books are mostly shorter than any other book we consider reading.

11. The Bible is an extraordinary gathering of many books of law, wisdom, poetry, philosophy, and history. The number of books in this portable library depends on which Bible you are holding. The Bible of a Jew is different from the Bible of a Roman Catholic, which in turn is different from the Bible of a Protestant.

12. The Bible is both ancient and contemporary as it deals with the unchanging issues of human existence: life, death, joy, sorrow, achievement, and failure.... Yet these issues are couched in the language and correspondence of ancient times.

13. Testament was another word for "covenant"—meaning an agreement, contract, or pact. For Christians, the Old Testament represents the ancient covenant made between God and his people.

In the New Testament, Christians believe in a new covenant with God made through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.

14. Written over the course of a thousand years, primarily in ancient Hebrew, the Jewish Bible is the equivalent of Christianity's Old Testament. For Jews there is no New Testament.

15. At least half as much time elapsed between the Bible's first book and its last (with well over a thousand years between the first writing and the time of the last), as has elapsed between its last book and now. This means that writing styles vary not just between modern books and the Bible but among the Bible books themselves.

16. The terms Old Testament and New Testament originated with the prophet Jeremiah. When he spoke about the glorious future for Israel of which the prophets often spoke, he said that God would "make a new covenant with the house of Israel." Testament means "covenant," and Jesus of Nazareth, the long-awaited Messiah, made a new covenant with God's people. The books of the New Testament provide the fulfillment of the promises made throughout the Old Testament books.

17. The translation of the Hebrew Scriptures into the Koine Greek dialect was an outstanding literary accomplishment under the Ptolemies. This translation was called the Septuagint. The translation project is said to have been sponsored by Ptolemy n Philadelphus around the third century B.C. According to tradition, seventy-two Jewish scholars (six from each of the twelve tribes) [DOUBT  THAT  FOR  THE  10  TRIBE  HOUSE  OF  ISRAEL  NEVER  RETURNED  TO  THE  HOLY  LAND  -  Keith Hunt] were summoned for the project. The work was finished in seventy-two days; the Jewish scholars were then sent away with many gifts.

18. The Septuagint provided a bridge between the thoughts and vocabulary of the Old and New Testaments. The language of the New Testament is not the koine of the everyday Greek, but the koine of the Jew living in Greek surroundings. By the New Testament era, it was the most widely used edition of the Old Testament.

19. Most Jews of Jesus' day spoke Aramaic, a Syrian language similar to Hebrew that was commonly used at the time. Jesus surely studied the formal Hebrew of the Torah, Prophets, and Writings.

Whether he could also speak Greek is unknown. Jesus left no personal writings.

20 Both the Jewish Bible and Christian Old Testament contain the same thirty-nine books, although they are arranged and numbered in a slightly different order. In Jewish traditions the Bible is called the Tanakh, an acronym of the Hebrew words Torah (for "law" or "teaching"), Nevi'im ("the Prophets"), and Kethuvim ("the Writings").

21. The Old Testament's first five books, the Pentateuch, were already considered authoritative Scripture by the time of Ezra in the fifth century B.C. The other books were recognized as part of the Old Testament at later times.


22. Jesus himself knew the "old covenant." As a Jewish boy, he diligently studied the Torah, Prophets, and Writings. He could recite them by heart when he was twelve. Because there was no Bible as we know it, he would have learned by rote from scrolls kept by local teachers or rabbis.

23. The earliest references to the Old Testament were "the law of Moses," "the law of the Lord," or simply "Moses." Since the additional writings were considered the work of prophets, the common term became "Moses and the Prophets" or something similar.

Note: Wherever the word "law" is seen, the Jewish reference would be "Torah." By New Testament times, "Scripture" or "the Scriptures" became common. The simplest generic term for the collection was "writings," often with "sacred" or "holy" added.

24. The uniformity of Bible printing sometimes obscures the scope of variety within the Bible's writings. If Bible printers laid out the print with all the different styles and languages accounted for, including prose, poetry, and songs, a wheelbarrow would be needed to move a Bible from the den to the bedroom.

25. No Bible writer that we know of ever drew a map to accompany his writing—at least not one that was preserved. Maps are generally drawn from facts discovered through historical and archaeological research.

Nuts and Bolts

26. Jerome (340-420) began his ascetic lifestyle as a hermit but found he needed something to occupy his mind. He took up Hebrew and eventually began teaching classes in biblical interpretation. In A.D. 382 he would translate the Old and New Testaments from their original languages (Hebrew and Greek) into Latin—what we call the "Vulgate."

27. The tests of canonicity included: (1) the book had to have a history of being used in Christian worship; (2) the book had to be written by an apostle, or associated with an apostle; and (3) the book had to have evidenced power in the lives of believers.


28. No New Testament. During the entire first century and much of the second century there was no concept of a New Testament canon. Church fathers often quoted from sources that were familiar in tone yet different in the names of the sources. Paul's writings were the most well known and were quoted often, hut they were not thought of as scriptural.


29. The term New Testament was created by Tertullian around the year 200. In an attempt to move the church away from Greek and toward Latin, which had become the preferred language of scholars, Tertullian referred to the writings of the Christian church as Novum Testamentum—a phrase we still employ today. Interestingly Tertullian also coined the term Trinity to refer to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

30. A New Testament Canon was not looked upon favorably at first. In fact it was through heretical movements that the New Testament came into being as a legitimate part of the Holy Bible. Marcion was a teacher who broke away from the church in Rome. Around A.D. 150 he rejected the Old Testament and instead chose to accept only ten letters from Paul along with the Gospel of Luke as authoritative Christian Scripture.


31. The Muratorian Canon is named for its discoverer, L. A. Muratori, who first published it in 1740. A fascinating look into the early church, it reveals that by the year 190, Christians had developed their own New Testament and put it alongside the Jewish Scriptures—the former the fulfillment of the latter. It contains in order: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Galatians, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, Romans, Philemon, Titus, 1 and 2 Timothy, the Apocalypse of John (Revelation), the Apocalypse of Peter, and the Wisdom of Solomon.


32. Some books of Scripture faced challenges. Christians in the West didn't like Hebrews, while those in the East opposed Revelation. Church historian Eusebius, writing in the fourth century, noted that James, 2 Peter, 2 and 3 John, Jude, and Revelation were the only books "spoken against." Martin Luther would challenge the Book of James in the sixteenth century, calling it "an epistle of straw."


33. Accepted at last. The Eastern church accepted the New Testament as we know it in A.D. Pope Damascus called a synod together in Rome in 382.


34. The allegorical method of interpretation went to extreme lengths to try to make the Old Testament into a Christian book. Origen, one of the first Christian theologians, believed that "the Scriptures were composed through the Spirit of God, and have both a meaning which is obvious and another which is hidden." He then proceeded to create all sorts of allegorical meanings to the Word of God—infuriating his critics, who felt that Origen was crafting theological implications out of thin air.

[YEP  A  NUT  CASE  OF  A  THEOLOGIAN  -  Keith Hunt]

35. We get our word paper from the papyrus plant—a tall weed that could be cut into strips, flattened, then woven together and dried to form sheets of paper, it is incredibly resilient, and scraps of paper with Scripture on them date back to the early second century. Writing done on sheepskin was known as "parchment."

36. In ancient times when parchment was too expensive to possess, peasants would use fragments of pottery to write (scratch) memoranda of business transactions. Many of these have been uncovered by archaeologists, and they reveal much about ancient history. These fragments are called ostraca.

37. The word translated "book" in your Bible is really the word for "scroll." The words of Scripture were written onto pieces of parchment or papyrus; then those pieces were glued together to form scrolls. It wasn't until the second century that the notion of "pages" was invented, when a "codex" was created by gluing several flat sheets to a wooden spine.

38. The Bible wasn't translated into English until the seventh century A.D. The translations weren't precise at that point—they read more as a paraphrasing of the original manuscripts. The copies were known as "manuscript Bibles," and few have survived.

39. Florilegia were popular with the masses before the invention of movable type. Artists would create a collection of Bible verses and pictures, often on one particular topic, and produce them in quantities. These small booklets (which get their name from the Latin phrase "to gather flowers") were then used to teach basic Christian doctrine to groups of people.

40. The Glosses were Latin Bibles in which a scholar had taken a pen and written a translation into another language. This was generally done in secret because the Roman Catholic Church had banned Bibles in any language but Latin. By writing a literal translation of each word, those who did it were "glossing" or "explaining" foreign words to future readers. Their notes, written above each line of Latin type, gave rise to the expression "reading between the lines."

41. The Lindisfarne Gospels are one such manuscript Bible that has survived. It was written in Latin around A.D. 700, but it has an English interlinear translation that was added into the original 250 years later.

42. The earliest known fragment of a New Testament papyrus manuscript was recovered from the ruins of a Greek town in ancient Egypt. A mere 2-1/2 inches by 3 -1 /4 inches, the fragment dates from about A.D. 115 or 125 and contains a portion of John 18:31-33, 37-38. It is commonly called the Rylands Fragment because it is housed in the John Rylands Library of Manchester, England.

43. The Codex Sinaiticus is the oldest copy of the complete New Testament. Housed in the British Museum in London, it contains handwritten pages bound to a spine on one side. Written in Greek, it dates from about the year A.D. 350.


44. Count Constantine von Tischendorf discovered the Codex Sinaiticus at the Monastery of Saint Catherine on Mount Sinai in 1859. It was written in large Greek letters (uncials) on vellum sheets that measured fifteen by thirteen inches wide. It had been copied in the fourth century A.D, making it the earliest complete copy of the New Testament in existence. Many other manuscripts were written earlier, but they were not complete copies.


45. The Book of Kells is an illuminated manuscript—that is, a lavishly decorated, handwritten copy—of the four Gospels in Latin. Produced in Ireland, it is generally regarded as the most beautiful handcrafted book of all time.

How the Bible Reads

46. More than three thousand versions of the entire Bible, or portions of it, exist in English.

47. Chapter and verse divisions in the Bible were not determined by those who wrote the words we read. These divisions were added to the text hundreds of years after the authors died. The original writers neither planned nor anticipated these divisions.

48. Chapter and verse numbers in the apostles' letters, for example, would appear as strange to them as the following does to us:

Dear Aunt Sue,

Chapter One

Last week we went to town and learned that. . .

49. ”Divided on horseback" was the criticism of Robert Estienne, a French publisher and convert to Protestantism who decided to number the verses in the New Testament in order to make it easier to study and memorize. While Stephen Langton had divided the text into chapters, Estienne then broke each chapter into numbered verses. According to his son, he did much of the work while on horseback— leading critics ever since to suggest the reason some verses' divisions are short and others are long was because of the bumpy ride between his office in Paris and his home in southern France.

50. The Bible was designed more for the ear than the eye. In antiquity people passed history and genealogy from generation to generation by oral tradition—through storytelling or by reading aloud. Those who wrote the Bible did so knowing that their words would be read aloud. So puns, acrostics, and cryptograms are all used widely throughout the Hebrew Scriptures.

51. Imagine reading this book without vowels. Maybe after a while you could fill in some of the blanks and figure out most of it. After all, it's simple English. But now, imagine it as part of an ancient language that has fallen into disuse over several centuries. That is how the Bible once appeared.

52. Hieroglyphics—derived from two Greek words that mean "sacred carvings," since the signs were at first chiseled on stone— were the basic writing system in Egypt at the time of Moses. Since young Moses was educated in the Egyptian sciences and arts, he no doubt learned to read and write Egyptian hieroglyphics. About 750 pictures were used at first in hieroglyphics. At least twenty-two signs existed for various birds, such as the curved neck of the Egyptian vulture, the flat face of an owl, and the tail feathers of the pintail duck.

53. The alphabet's origin. A few hundred years after the time of Moses, the Phoenicians invented an alphabet. They took the Egyptian syllabic signs and used each to represent a single sound. The Phoenicians and the Hebrews used only twenty-two symbols and had no letters for vowels.

54. The alphabet quickly spread throughout the Mediterranean world colonized by the Phoenicians. About 800 B.C. it was transmitted to the Greeks, who improved it by adding vowels. This is the alphabet that spread to the Romans, who passed it on to us almost in its present form.

55. The Hebrew alphabet has twenty-two letters, all of them consonants. In fact Semitic languages like Hebrew, Aramaic, and Arabic are still generally written without any vowels, although a system of dots and dashes above and below the line of writing has been added in recent times to aid in knowing what vowels are needed. Readers of classical Hebrew were and are versed in its oral traditions and provide the vowel sounds from memory.


56. When the Old Testament writers completed their scrolls, they depended on scribes, men who patiently copied the Scriptures by hand when extra copies were needed and when the original scrolls became too worn to use any longer. By the time Jesus was born, the books of Moses had been copied and recopied over a span of more than fourteen hundred years!

58. Before beginning his work each day, a scribe would test his reed pen by dipping it in ink and writing the word Amalek and then crossing it out (cf. Deut. 25:19). Then he would say, "I am writing the Torah in the name of its sanctity and the name of God in its sanctity."

59. The scribe would read a sentence in the manuscript he was copying, repeat it aloud, and then write it. Each time he came to the name of God, he would say, "I am writing in the name of God for the holiness of his name." If he made an error in writing God's name, the scribe had to destroy the entire sheet of papyrus or vellum that he was using.

60. After the scribe finished copying a particular book, he would count all the words and letters it contained. Then he checked this tally against the count for the manuscript that he was copying. He counted the number of times a particular word occurred in the book, and he noted the middle word and the middle letter in the book, comparing all of these with the original. By making these careful checks, he hoped to avoid any scribal errors.

61. The Bible was written in several languages. Most of the Old Testament books are in Hebrew, but parts of Daniel are in Aramaic. The New Testament books are written in koine ("common") Greek, though they contain Latin, Aramaic, and Hebrew phrases.

62. The Masoretes were a group of Jewish scholars who wanted to ensure that the Old Testament documents would not become corrupted over time. Since the Hebrew language has no vowels, they created a system of inserting "vowel points" into the text to help priests and readers know how to pronounce the words properly. Their careful work has led to almost no changes in Old Testament wording for more than a millennium. Translators today still refer to the "Masoretic" text.


63. The Hebrew language slowly changed, as languages do, throughout the centuries after the Old Testament writers passed away. The language of Moses would seem strange to a modern Israeli, just as the language of Chaucer or even Shakespeare is difficult for us to discern.

The Greeks, who borrowed the basic twenty-two-letter alphabet used in Hebrew and Phoenician, added five new letters at the end of their alphabet. These five additional letters are the reason why the Greeks are credited for inventing the vowel system.

64. Approximately two thousand years of history pass within the Bible's pages. Great empires came and went around the ancient Near East: Sumer, Akkadia, Babylon, Egypt, Assyria, Persia, and Greece. Along with those rising and falling empires and cultures, Hebrew and Aramaic fell into disuse and were eventually replaced by Greek. Sometime around 250 B.C. someone decided to preserve those writings in a complete Greek translation of Hebrew Scripture.

[THE  LXX  OR  SEPTUAGINT  - Keith Hunt] 

65. At least three or four centuries elapsed between the close of the Old Testament writings and the opening of the New Testament. This silent period is called the intertestamental period and was comparable in length to the time that the judges ruled, or about the same number of years kings ruled Israel.

The Missing Part - the Apocrypha

66. The word apocrypha originates from a Greek word that means "hidden." There are a number of books of Scripture that were not included in the Protestant Bible because their origins were not believed authentic. The apocrypha includes in particular the Old Testament books that are included in Roman Catholic versions of the Bible.

67. The Greek word apocrypha refers to a small group of ancient writings whose "divinely inspired" status has long been the subject of debate and controversy. Some of these books may have originally been written in Hebrew but were only known to exist in their Greek versions—one of the reasons the rabbis rejected them as part of Hebrew Scripture. They were included in the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible that was used by the early Christian church.

68. The Apocrypha was accepted as part of the Bible by Augustine in the late fourth century. Since much Roman Catholic theology is based on the writings of Augustine, Catholics accept the Apocrypha as part of the Word of God. However, neither the Jews nor Christians in Palestine ever accepted it as Scripture. Protestants during the Reformation rejected it as part of the Canon, and it does not appear in Protestant Bibles.


69. Pseudepigrapha is the term for the many other Old and New Testament apocryphal books that have been rejected and are considered of doubtful authenticity. The apocryphal books are considered those "hidden" books of the Old Testament that are found in Roman Catholic versions, but excluded from Protestant Bibles. The following books are included.

70. First Esdras gives the same historic account as the books of Chronicles, Ezra, and Nehemiah. An additional story is added in, called the "Debate of the Three Youths." The story is Persian and involves King Darius and Zerubbabel, a governor.

71. Second Esdras comes from a Hebrew source, but it has changed and expanded with various Christian additions. The book is also called "the Apocalypse of Ezra." The book explains seven different visions involving Ezra speaking on the people's behalf, salvation, Jerusalem and Rome, and a final vision concerning the sacred books Ezra is supposed to restore.

72. Tobit is a blind Jew in captivity in Nineveh. Tobit sends his son, Tobias, to collect a debt. Tobias falls in love with his cousin, Sara, along the way and has to defeat the demon Asmodeus in order to escape death unlike Sara's seven previous bridegrooms. Raphael helps him to do this. Tobias catches a fish in the Tigris River that eventually restores his father's sight.

73. Judith is a book about a beautiful Jewish widow of Bethulia. She plays the heroine of her book by saving her city from Nebuchadnezzar's forces. Beautiful Judith entices the general, Holofernes, into a drunken stupor after going to see him on the pretense of sharing military secrets. When he is asleep, she cuts off his head and brings it back to her city. The people pursue the fleeing enemy.

74. Additions to Esther may be more authentic than the other books as many scholars regard these passages as true additions to the original Hebrew. Some even consider the real Book of Esther an abbreviated work. The apocryphal version includes much of the same story line as the canonical Book of Esther.

75. Wisdom of Solomon, though named after the wisest man who ever lived, was not written by him or even about him. It is believed to have been composed originally in Greek, and there is evidence of Greek philosophy and Platonic terminology. It is a historical account of how the Jews have been helped by wisdom.

76. Ecclesiasticus was written around 180 B.C. and is held in high esteem by both Jews and early Christians. It contains the sayings of Joshua ben Sira, who recommended observing the law carefully and maintaining a healthy, pious fear of God. The book also gives practical advice for daily living.

77. Baruch may have more than one author, but it is likely that Baruch, a scribe of the prophet Jeremiah, was involved. The book offers encouragement to the Jews in light of their exile to Babylon. It serves as a historical guideline for that time period as well.

78. Additions to Daniel comes out of the Septuagint. The book includes stories regarding falsely accused people and an even more in-depth writing of the three Christians' prayers and praises from the fiery furnace. Daniel is a prominent figure in this apocryphal book.

79. The Prayer of Manasseh is just what the title says it is—King Manasseh's prayer to God while he was in captivity, as described in 2 Chronicles 13. God allowed him to be captured because he had worshiped idols and been an evil king. The book is thought to be Jewish in origin.

80. First and Second Maccabees trace Jewish history between 175 and 134 B.C. The books describe the hero Judas Maccabeus and his family, the Maccabees. The first book was translated from a Hebrew work in about 100 B.C. The second book is thought to have been taken from a work by Jason of Cyrene, a man little is known of. The first book is thought to be more accurate, though there are discrepancies between the two.

The Bible

into Translation

81. The Vulgate was written by Jerome (340-420) in A.D. 382. It was a translation in Latin from the original Old and New Testaments' original languages (Hebrew and Greek). The Vulgate has long been the Roman Catholic Church's authorized version.

82. The Synod of Toulouse in 1229 forbade everyone except priests from possessing a copy of the Scriptures. At that gathering Pope Gregory IX asked Dominican friars to question suspects and prosecute heretics, making the friars a powerful force and keeping the Bible out of the hands of laypeople.

83. John Wycliffe (ca. 1328-1384) was a reformer who wanted to make the Christian Scriptures accessible to common people. In the Middle Ages it was common for only officials in the church to be able to read or even have access to the Scriptures. Wycliffe's work is considered the most historically significant in the effort to make the Bible available to all people.

84. The Wycliffe Bible was translated from the Vulgate Bible into English by John Wycliffe in 1384. The Vulgate Bible was a Latin translation composed by Jerome. The Catholic church denounced Wycliffe as heretical for doing this as it was a forbidden act to translate the Bible into English at that time.

85. The invention of movable type by Johannes Gutenberg was recently hailed as the most important technical advancement of the last millennium. Gutenberg, a printer in Mainz, found a way to make many copies of a page by using letters made of lead. By 1456 he and his fellow printers had created nearly two hundred copies of Jerome's Vulgate Bible. Prior to that time, all books were hand printed on papyrus sheets or animal skin, making them expensive, time-intensive, and rare. Consequently, few people could read, and even fewer owned any books. Within twenty years of Gutenberg's first printed Bible, the printers of Mainz had created more Bibles than had been produced by hand in the previous fourteen hundred years.

86. The printing press not only allowed for the dissemination of the Scriptures but also for the spread of critical, sometimes satirical, examinations of the church's excesses. These writings fit the growing mood in Europe that the Roman church was out of touch with common people's lives.

87. The first copy of the Gutenberg Bible took three years of constant printing to complete. It was finished in 1455. It was done in two volumes, with 1,284 pages total. Nearly two hundred original Gutenberg Bibles were printed, and forty-eight still exist.

88. William Tyndale (ca. 1494-1536) believed the Bible should be read by everyone, not just the few who understood Latin, the language of the church. So he set out to translate the Bible into English.

89. Accused of perverting the Scriptures, Tyndale was forced to leave England, and his New Testament was burned as an "untrue translation." Arrested and imprisoned as a heretic, Tyndale was executed in Antwerp by strangling. His body was then burned at the stake in October 1536. William Tyndale is now honored as the "father of the English Bible." The Tyndale New Testament was published in 1526 from the ancient Hebrew and Greek texts. This version, too, was condemned by the church.

90. An English Bible was prepared by Miles Coverdale at the same time the Tyndale Bible was being written. The English Bible was published in 1535, though it was translated by a man who was not versed in Hebrew or Greek. Coverdale drew from the Vulgate, some early German versions, and partly from the Tyndale Bible. This was the first Bible that placed the Apocrypha in a separate section, under the title of "noncanonical."

91. The Matthew Bible was published in 1537 as an English Bible. It claimed to be "truly and purely translated into English by Thomas Matthew." In fact John Rogers wrote the Bible, which was a compilation of the English Bible and the Tyndale Bible.

92. The Taverner Bible was written just two years after Coverdale finished the English Bible. In reality it was only a revision of the Matthew Bible.

93. The Great Bible (1539) was the first widely popular English translation of the Scriptures to be owned and read by the common people. Produced by Miles Coverdale and John Rogers, it was based on translations from the Latin Vulgate, with additional notes from the writings of Martin Luther and Ulrich Zwingli. It was a significant improvement over the earlier Coverdale and Matthew Bibles due to its readability and understanding of poetry.

94. The Geneva Bible (1560) was a product of the Calvinist movement in northern Europe. Rather than simply relying on Roman Catholic translations, the English exiles in Geneva created prologues to each book of Scripture, added marginal notes to aid understanding, and spent considerable time recrafting the poetic elements of the various books. One outstanding feature that the translators developed was the numbering of chapters and verses— something that not only made it a popular Bible, but which has been copied by translators ever since.

95. The Bishops' Bible appeared in 1568 at the order of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Matthew Parker. The Geneva Bible was not given official endorsement by Queen Elizabeth. As a result a new edition was started shortly after the Geneva Bible was printed.

96. The Rheims-Douay Version was completed in 1610 by Roman Catholics who had escaped from England during Queen Elizabeth's reign. They settled in France and published the New Testament in Rheimsin 1582 and the Old Testament in Douay in 1610. It is mainly a translation of the Latin Vulgate.

97. While Gutenberg's Bible was the first printed Bible, it was done in Latin, so was limited to a scholarly audience. But in 1522 the church in Spain produced the Complutensian Polyglot, the first Bible with the Old Testament in Hebrew and the New Testament in Greek.

98. In 1603, James VI of Scotland became King James I of England and began a program of peacemaking between hostile religious factions of Great Britain. That same year Dr. John Reynolds, the Puritan spokesman at a meeting of religious leaders at Hampton Court, proposed that a new English translation of the Bible be issued in honor of the new king. The 1768 revision is what most people now know as the King James Bible.

99. The King James Bible, which was originally named the Authorized Version, was first suggested by the Puritans in 1604. James, who disagreed with the Calvinist leanings of the Geneva Bible, wanted a version that supported the right of kings to rule over people. He appointed fifty-four scholars, divided into eight teams, and demanded they examine all earlier English versions to aid in translation. Produced in 1611, the translation is marked by beautiful language, an accurate translation, and modesty when faced with embarrassing language and situations.

100. The first Native American translation of the Bible, completed in 1663, was made into the language of the Algonquin tribe, whom the Puritan colonists then promptly wiped out.

101. Stephen Langton, who was archbishop of Canterbury in the thirteenth century, created chapter divisions for the Bible. He died in 1228, and his work remains visible in the Bibles of today.

102. The Aitken Bible was the first Bible printed in the United States. Congress authorized its publishing in 1781.

103. The Revised Version was begun in 1870 in order to update the King James Version. The effort included both English scholars as well as American ones, and also included various denominations of believers. The English version was completed in 1885.

104. The American Standard Version grew out of the Revised Version, which was worked on by Americans and the English. The English advisors had the decisive vote on differences in translation. The Americans agreed not to publish any editions for fourteen years. After that time period was over, the American Revision Committee produced an edition with the American preferences in 1901.

105. The Red Letter Bible first appeared in 1928, when an American printer decided to put the direct quotations of Jesus in red ink. The idea caught on, particularly with Catholic printers, who still rely on red letters to note things of importance. The practice led directly to the phrase "red-letter day" to denote an important day in someone's life.

106. The Revised Standard Version came out in 1952 and deserves mention because it was a modernization of the King James Version using current biblical scholarship to determine the underlying Greek and Hebrew texts.

107. The Jerusalem Bible (1966), popular among Roman Catholics, contains about a dozen books that Jews and Protestants don't consider part of the Holy Scriptures.

108. The Good News Bible of 1976 became a best-selling version quickly and remains a popular modern version throughout churches today.

109. The New International Bible came out in 1978 and remains one of the most popular versions used today.


110. There are complete Bibles in more than forty European languages and 125 Asian and Pacific Island languages. There are also Bible translations in more than one hundred African languages, with another five hundred African-language versions of some portion of the Bible. At least fifteen complete Native American Bibles have been produced.

Funny and Fresh Takes

111. The Gothic Bible did not contain the books of 1 Kings or 2 Kings. The reason was that Ulfilas, the missionary who brought the gospel to the Goths of northern Europe in the mid-300s, didn't think the war-loving Gothic people should be reading about all the wars perpetrated by the Jewish kings. It's important to note, however, that the Goths had no written language at the time. In translating the Bible into the Gothic language, Ulfilas invented a Gothic alphabet so that the people could read the Good News for themselves.

112. The Bug Bible was published in 1535 and was known more by its real name, the Coverdale Bible. It was dubbed the "Bug Bible" because of its rendering of Psalm 91:5: "Thou shalt not need to be afrayd for eny bugges by night."

113. The Breeches Bible, or the Geneva Bible as it was better known, appeared in 1560. Genesis 3:7 reads that Adam and Eve "sowed figge-tree leaves together and made themselves breeches."

114. The Placemakers Bible was the 1562 edition of the Geneva Bible. The word "peacemakers" in Matthew 5:9 was changed to "placemakers" to read: "Blessed are the placemakers."

115. The Tryacle Bible came out in 1568 and was officially called the Bishops' Bible. The word "tryacle" was used in place of the word "balm" in Jeremiah. One instance can be found in Jeremiah 8:22: "Is there no tryacle in Gilead?" (Tryacle is a bit of a double entendre. It means "an antidote to poison," "a sweet dessert," and is sometimes used as a perjorative for anything cloyingly sweet.)

116. The King James Version (first edition) was completed by Robert Barker, the official printer of King James I, as early as 1611. Scholars call this a "He" Bible because it renders Ruth 3:15 as ". . . He went into the city" instead of ". . . She went into the city." Different copies of the KJV published between 1611 and 1614 contain either he or she, indicating that two presses were producing the Bible at that time. Later editions accepted "she" as the proper wording.

117. The Wicked Bible, or Adulterous Bible, was printed in 1632. The word "not" was accidentally left out of the seventh commandment: "You shall commit adultery" (Exod. 20:14).

118. The Unrighteous Bible was the Cambridge edition of 1653. The word "not" was left out of 1 Corinthians 6:9, which made it appear as: "The unrighteous shall inherit the kingdom of God." Another mistake from this version was found in Romans 6:13—the word "righteousness" was substituted for "unrighteousness"—"Neither yield ye your members as instruments of righteousness unto sin."

119. The Vinegar Bible was an Oxford edition from 1717. The heading for the segment of Luke 20 now known as the "parable of the tenants" was known in editions of that time period as "the parable of the vineyard." The word vinegar was mistakenly used in place of vineyard.

120. The Printers' Bible came out in the early eighteenth century, but an exact date is unknown. Psalm 119:161 reads, "printers have persecuted me without cause." The word printers should read as princes.

121. The Murderers' Bible was printed in 1801. The word murmurers was replaced with murderers in Jude 16: "These are murderers, complainers. ..."

122. The To Remain Bible was printed in Cambridge in 1805. A well-meaning proofreader was unsure about a comma in the manuscript and queried it. The editor penciled in the words "to remain"; thus Galatians 4:29 reads "he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the spirit to remain, even so it is now."

123. The Standing Fishes Bible was printed in 1806, and mistakenly used the word fishes for fishers in Ezekiel 47:10: "And it shall come to pass that the fishes shall stand on it."

124. The Discharge Bible also appeared in 1806. In 1 Timothy 5:21, the apostle says, "I discharge thee ... that thou observe these things." The correct wording would have been "I charge thee . .."

125. The Idle Shepherd Bible appeared in 1809. This edition mistook the "idol shepherd" of Zechariah 11:17 and made it read "idle shepherd."

126. The Ears to Ear Bible was published in 1810. Matthew 13:43 reads, "Who hath ears to ear, let him hear" instead of "Who hath ears to hear, let him hear."

127. The Wife-hater Bible was printed in 1810. The word "life" was changed to "wife" in Luke 14:26: "If any man comes to me, and hates not his father . . . and his own wife also. ..." It should read, "If any man comes to me, and hates not his father . . . and his own life also. ..."

128. Rebekah's Camels Bible is an 1823 edition that gives Rebekah "camels" instead of "damsels" in Genesis 24:61: "Rebekah arose, and her camels ..."

Famous Words and Phrases

129. ”Raising Cain" means to act with abandonment or wildly. As a phrase, it is most likely descended from the Genesis character Cain who killed his brother, Abel, and was forever marked as a violent man.

130. ”Jezebel" or "Delilah" is the name often given to a woman of cunning and deceit. Both Bible characters were beautiful, though calculating in nature. Delilah was a seductress; Jezebel was a queen.

131. A "Judas" can only refer to one personality trait: betrayal. Judas Iscariot betrayed his relationship to the Lord for thirty pieces of silver.

132. “Doubting Thomas” didn't believe Jesus had truly risen from the dead. He insisted on touching the nail marks in the Lord's hands and side before he would believe. Today we call a person with doubts a doubting Thomas.

133. “Jonah” is considered an unlucky name. The prophet Jonah tried unsuccessfully to run from God's calling. He took refuge on a boat and brought nothing but trouble to the other passengers, because God would not forget Jonah. Someone who brings bad luck or misfortune is considered a Jonah.

134. The word beautiful was first used in the English language by William Tyndale when he produced his English translation of the New Testament in 1526. Some scholars considered it an outrage that a translator would use a new, fashionable word in his interpretation of Scripture.

135. “The salt of the earth.” Many of the words we use in our culture come from the Lord Jesus. In describing his disciples with these words in Matthew 5:13, Christ was saying that they were valuable—salt being the preferred method of payment in those days. The phrase is still used to describe people we find valuable or important.

136. “Seek and ye shall find.” These oft-quoted words of Jesus come from his Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 7:7. It is still generally used as advice or encouragement to those who need to be seeking.

137. “A wolf in sheep's clothing.” Jesus created this phrase in Matthew 7:15 to describe religious leaders who appear righteous on the outside but are actually evil on the inside. We still use it to describe hypocrites or those who portray goodness while intending evil.

138. “The faith to move mountains.” Although not currently used quite as often as it was in the twentieth century, the phrase refers to the power of belief. The words were first said by the Lord Jesus in Matthew 17:20 when he was talking to his disciples about healing the sick and the demon possessed.

139. “The blind leading the blind.” Jesus coined this phrase in Matthew 15:14 when describing false teachers who insist they know the truth but do not, therefore leading innocent people astray. In our culture we generally use it as a negative descriptor for the self-important and self-deluded.

140. “Do not throw pearls before swine.” Jesus' words in Matthew 7:6 urge believers to take care with their message; it is not necessary to teach to those who are openly hostile to the gospel. A person wouldn't throw precious pearls to pigs, and Christians shouldn't throw the gift of salvation to those who will only turn around and attack them.

141. “Eat, drink, and be merry” was a phrase created by Jesus in Luke 12 while telling a cautionary tale about a rich fool who thought the rest of his life was set. The fool died that very night. The words are still generally used in the sarcastic or pejorative sense.

142. “The straight and narrow.” Following the small, less-traveled path leads to the narrow gate of life. In Matthew 7:14, Jesus cautioned his followers against following the more glamorous, broad, and well-traveled path that led to a wide gate full of destruction.

143. “A good Samaritan.” Someone who goes out of the way to help another can be likened to the famed character of Jesus' parable in Luke 10:30-37. The hero acts for the good of another with no thought to his own situation.

144. “Sweating blood” is a phrase used to describe someone going through a very difficult time. The etymology of the word relates back to Luke 22:44, when Christ's anguish in the Garden of Gethsemane caused him to sweat blood—something physicians say is, in fact, possible for those enduring great duress.

145. “The forbidden fruit” is one of many Old Testament phrases still used regularly in the English language. The original "forbidden fruit" was the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Adam and Eve were instructed to stay away from it in Genesis 2:17, but when the Serpent tempted them to eat of it, the couple disobeyed God and chose to sin. Now we use the phrase to refer to partaking in an activity we know to be wrong or sensual.

146. “Fire and brimstone” were the tools God used to destroy the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, according to Genesis 19:24. The apostle John used those same words to describe the ultimate end of Satan in Revelation 21:8. Due to its colorful imagery, the phrase is generally used to describe preachers who focus on the punishment aspects of the biblical story, or for any fiery speaker who makes reference to a bad end for wrongdoers.

147. “Taking a sabbatical” comes from the old Jewish notion of "taking time off." Leviticus 25 commands the people to allow the ground to lie fallow every seventh year in order to refresh itself— an action that was referred to as the “sabbatical year.”

148. “An eye for an eye” is a phrase that first appears in Leviticus 24:20. Rather than being a vindictive call for revenge, it actually limited the damage one person could do to another when taking retribution. Human nature encourages an individual to hurt others, but the Old Testament law wanted to limit that hurt to equivalent damage.


149. “A land flowing with milk and honey” were the words God used to describe Palestine to Moses in Exodus 3:8. It's now generally used to describe a fine or pleasant place.

150. “The apple of my eye” is a phrase first created in Deuteronomy 32:f0 to describe God's perspective of Israel. The Hebrew words literally mean "center" or "pupil" of the eye, but in the poetic sense they refer to someone or something highly valued by another. The poet David asks God in Psalm 17:8, "Keep me as the apple of your eye."

151. “Scapegoat.” On the Day of Atonement, the high priest would lay his hands on one goat, symbolically transferring the sins of the people onto it. However, instead of being killed, that goat was driven into the wilderness as a symbol of the sins being "gone." The goat, which took the blame for the sins of others, was known as the "scapegoat."

152. “Spare the rod and spoil the child.” This bit of homely wisdom (generally quoted by senior citizens when somebody else's kids are acting up) is based on the wisdom of King Solomon, who says in Proverbs 13:24 that a parent "who spares the rod hates his son."

153. “Pride goes before a fall,” one of the most commonly quoted phrases in American history, were the words of King Solomon in Proverbs 16:18, referring to the fact that a prideful attitude can blind us and lead us into trouble.

154. “A fly in the ointment” is a phrase commonly used to describe something that has gone wrong with a system or procedure. It comes from Ecclesiastes 10:1, which states that "dead flies spoil the perfumer's ointment."

155. “Woe is me!” This phrase, once common in nineteenth-century literature, was first used in Isaiah 6:5 when the prophet came face-to-face with God. It also appears in the Book of Jeremiah as an expression of sorrow.

156. “A drop in the bucket.” Generally used to refer to "a small amount" or "a meaningless portion," the words are lifted in their entirety from Isaiah 40:15, in which we are told that to the Lord "the nations are a drop in the bucket."

157. “Holier than thou.” These words, which in our modern culture are generally used to describe a self-righteous person, were used in that same sense by the Lord in Isaiah 65:5 to criticize those who felt themselves better than others.

158. “Like a lamb to the slaughter” were words first used in Isaiah 53:7 to describe the coming Messiah's willingness to accept his fate. It's now generally used in reference to an innocent victim or someone who is bound to lose in his or her circumstances.

159. “The skin of our teeth.” Generally used to mean "just barely," the imagery comes from Job 19:20. The phrase was popularized when made the title of a wildly successful play by American playwright Thornton Wilder.

160. “Can a leopard change its spots?” This rhetorical question, which suggests people cannot change what they are inherently, was coined by the prophet Jeremiah in 13:23 of his book.

161. “Feet of clay,” an expression which has come to mean a personal flaw in an individual, was first used by the prophet Daniel when describing the statue he had seen in King Nebuchadnezzar's dream. The feet of the statue were made of clay mixed with iron— a weak base for such a big, heavy monument.

162. “The handwriting on the wall” is a phrase that comes from Daniel chapter 5. The carnal King Belshazzar had seen a hand appear and write a mysterious message. Calling upon Daniel to interpret the message, the king learned that God had weighed Belshazzar on an eternal scale and found him wanting. His kingdom was to be taken away that very night—leading to our use of the phrase as "something inevitable that we can all see happening."

163. “We reap what we sow.” Generally accepted as cultural wisdom that means "you get what you earn," the phrase is lifted from Paul's letter to the Galatians in chapter 6, verse 7.

164. “The powers that be,” a phrase first created by Bible translator William Tyndale, is usually used to refer to "the government" or "those in charge." It means those in positions of authority are there by God's choice and therefore exist only because he wishes them to. The phrase was used by the apostle Paul in Romans 13:1 when, as the King James Version reads, he noted, "the powers that be are ordained of God."

165. “A thorn in the side.” The apostle Paul first used this phrase in 2 Corinthians 12:7 to describe some sort of physical ailment. Though he pleaded with God to take it away, the problem continued, thus keeping Paul humble. We still use the phrase to refer to an ongoing problem.

166. “Money is the root of all evil.” This popular phrase is actually a bit of a mistranslation from 1 Timothy 6:10. The actual words of Paul stated that "the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil" (emphasis added). Still the fact remains that lusting after money can get us into all sorts of trouble.

167. “Nothing new under the sun.” This statement by Solomon demonstrates the author's realization that despite temporary changes from one day to the next, there is nothing truly new or unexpected under the rising and falling of the sun each day. The phrase comes from Ecclesiastes 1:9.

168. “The fat of the land.” Pharaoh spoke these words to Joseph in Genesis 45:18. Joseph was to pass them on in turn to his brothers, who were hungry and in need of a place to live due to the famine affecting the land of Israel. The Egyptian king promised Joseph the best land of Egypt and that he and his brothers would be well provided for and able to eat "the fat of the land."

169. “All things to all men.” Paul is speaking in 1 Corinthians 9:22 of how he has become all things to everyone in order to win some to Christ. The phrase now is often seen as a "sell-out" point, as it is difficult to be everything to everyone and keep sight of one's own welfare.

Strange and Amazing Facts

170. A stack of scrolls was the form of the Bible until the fourth century A.D. Then it was compiled into one volume, though it was hardly complete at that point!

171. It wasn't until the sixteenth century, many, many years after the Bible was first printed, that it was divided into the chapters and verses we are accustomed to today.

172. No mention! There are two books of the Bible that never state the name of God: Esther and Song of Solomon.

173. There are twenty-four books in the Hebrew Bible. Generally the books are categorized within three sections: the Law (Torah), Prophets, and Writings. The Hebrew Bible has only what Protestants would call the "Old Testament."

174. The Protestant version of the Old Testament contains thirty-nine books. This is different from both the Hebrew Bible and the Catholic Bible. The New Testament of the Protestant version contains twenty-seven books.

175. The Catholic Bible's Old Testament contains the thirty-nine books of the Protestant version's Old Testament but also includes seven books of the Apocrypha.

176. How many chapters? There are 929 chapters in the Old Testament and 260 in the New Testament, making a grand total of 1,189 chapters in all!

177. How many letters? With 3,566,480 letters in the Bible, and a word count between 773,692 and 773,746, depending on how the hyphenated words are counted, this book is quite large.

178. The shortest book in the New Testament is 3 John, which contains only 294 words in its fourteen verses! John's second book has one less verse but four more words.

179. The shortest book in the Old Testament is Obadiah.

180. The longest book in the Bible is the Book of Psalms. It has 150 psalms.

181.The longest verse in the Bible (King James Version) is Esther 8:9, which has ninety words total. The shortest verse, John 11:35, includes only two words: "Jesus wept."

182. The Book of Isaiah is the most-often quoted Old Testament book, with 419 references made to it in the New Testament. The Book of Psalms is second and referred to in the New Testament 414 times.

183, The oldest verses in the Bible are believed to be fragments from "the Song of Deborah."

184. The newest verses in the Bible are thought to be found in the Gospel of John, which dates from around A.D. 100.

185. Job was written when? Job, the book that appears before the Psalms, is actually a much older book than the books it is located near. Job and Genesis are actually on similar timelines!

186. The most press? David receives second place for being mentioned a whopping 1,118 times in the Bible. He is second only to Jesus in this regard. Sarah, the wife of Abraham, receives the most references as a woman—56!

187. The name Jesus appears seven hundred times in the Gospels and Acts, and less than seventy times in the Epistles. The name Christ can be found sixty times throughout the Gospels and Acts, but 240 times in the Epistles and the Book of Revelation.

188. The most press for an animal? Sheep win the prize with mention of this very necessary animal occurring over four hundred different times.

189. Who was the oldest? Methuselah is believed to have lived 969 years on earth before he died (Gen. 5:27), making him the longest-lived person. Prior to the flood, people lived very long lives, but afterward, only a few (the patriarchs and Moses among them) lived beyond the expected seventy - or eighty - year life span.

190. The longest-reigning king in the Bible was Manasseh, who oversaw the kingdom of Judah for fifty-five years (2 Kings 21:1). The shortest-reigning king was Zimri, who wore the crown of Israel for only seven days (1 Kings 16:15).

191. Weddings galore. King Solomon, the son of David, is the most-often married man in the whole Bible. This king had seven hundred wives (all of royal birth!) along with an additional three hundred concubines (1 Kings 11:3).


192. A longer name can't be found in the Bible than that of Maher-shalal-hash-baz. The Lord told Isaiah, in 8:3, to give his child, born of a prophetess, this name, which means "quick to the plunder, swift to the spoil."

193.Though God is invisible and has no body parts, the Bible always refers to him with masculine pronouns, and we are said to be made "in his image" according to Genesis.


194. Shakespeare honored?! William Shakespeare is perhaps the only man not of Bible times who is honored in the Bible. How? In honor of his forty-sixth birthday, which happened to be the year the King James Version was being printed for the first time, the scholars took the forty-sixth psalm and made sure that forty-six words into the psalm appeared the word shake and forty-six words from the end of the psalm appeared the word spear.

[THAT’S  A  AH-AH-AH  -  Keith Hunt]

Famous Quotes

195. “The book of books, the storehouse and magazine of life and comfort, the holy Scriptures.”—George Herbert

196. “Prosperity is the blessing of the Old Testament, adversity is the blessing of the New.”—Francis Bacon

197. “Most people are bothered by those passages in Scripture which they cannot understand; but as for me ... the passages which trouble me most are those that I do understand.”—Mark Twain

198. “The English Bible, a book which, if everything else in our language should perish, would alone suffice to show the whole extent of its beauty and power.”—Thomas Babington Macaulay

199. “The Bible is a window in this prison of hope, through which we look into eternity.”—John Sullivan Dwight

200. “If you believe those four words, 'In the beginning God,' you have no problem believing all of the Bible.”—Raymond Barber

201. “Unless I am convicted of error by the testimony of Scripture or by manifest reasoning, I stand convicted by the Scriptures to which I have appealed, and my conscience is taken captive by God's word.”—Martin Luther

202. “A young man who wishes to remain a sound Atheist cannot be too careful of his reading. There are traps everywhere— 'Bibles laid open, millions of surprises'— ... God is, if I may say it, very unscrupulous.”—C. S. Lewis

203. “Either the Bible will keep you away from sin, or sin will keep you away from the Bible!”—Author Unknown

204. “The Bible is literature, not dogma.”—George Santayana

[OH  IT  IS  ALSO  VERY  MUCH  DOGMA  -  Keith Hunt]

205. “The Bible is no mere book, but a living creature, with a power that conquers all that oppose it.”—Napoleon Bonaparte

206. “In the twentieth century our highest praise has been to call the Bible 'the world's best-seller.' And it has come to be more and more difficult to say whether we think it is a best-seller because it is great, or vice versa.”—Daniel Boorstin

207. “There are no songs comparable to the songs of Zion, no orations equal to those of the prophets, and no politics like those which the Scriptures teach.”—John Milton

208. “When you read God's Word, you must constantly be saying to yourself, it is talking to me, and about me.”—Soren Kierkegaard

209. “You can learn more about human nature by reading the Bible than by living in New York.”—William Lyon Phelps

210. “The New Testament is the very best book that ever was or ever will be known in the world.”—Charles Dickens

211. “What you bring away from the Bible depends to some extent on what you carry to it.”—Oliver Wendell Holmes

212. “The Bible is alive, it speaks to me; it has feet, it runs after me; it has hands, it lays hold on me.”—Martin Luther

213. “The Bible tells us to love our neighbors, and also to love our enemies; probably because they are generally the same people.”—G. K. Chesterton

214. “Intense study of the Bible will keep any man from being vulgar in point of style.”—Samuel Taylor Coleridge

215. “The Bible we are told sometimes, 'gives us such a beautiful picture of what we should be.' Nonsense! It gives us no picture at all. It reveals to us a fact: It tells us what we really are; it says, This is the form in which God created you, to which He has restored you; this is the work which the Eternal Son, the God of Truth and Love, is continually carrying on within you.”— F. D. Maurice

216. “Read the whole Bible, and read it in order; two chapters in the Old Testament and one in the New, daily if you can possibly spare the time; and you will have more time than you are aware of; if you retrench all needless visits, and save the hours spent in useless or unimportant conversation.”—Adam Clarke, a Methodist circuit preacher of the nineteenth century, believed that only through regular Bible reading would Christians grow wise in their salvation.

[HE  WAS  VERY  RIGHT  -  Keith Hunt]

217. “You may as well quit reading and hearing the Word of God, and give in to the devil, if you do not desire to live according to it.”—Martin Luther