World sales of the Bible are more than 100 million every year
According to The Economist in Dec 2007 over 100m copies of the Bible are sold or given away every year. Annual Bible sales in America are worth between $425m and $650m; Gideon's International gives away a Bible every second. The Bible is available all or in part in 2,426 languages, covering 95% of the world's population.
Is it one book or many?
The Bible is not just one book, but a whole collection! There are 66 books split into two sections. 39 in the first largest part, called the 'Old Testament'. The second part, the 'New Testament' has 27.
The Old Testament covers a sweep of history, from the creation of the world, to about 400 BC. Its books include poetry and history, prophecy and law. But they all tell the story of God's troubled relationship with his people.
The New Testament, also called the 'Injil' in part of the world, covers the amazing life of Jesus, and what followed on. There are four accounts of Jesus' life, called the 'Gospels', written by those who knew Him. Then, in the book called 'Acts' there is the story of how His followers carried His message around the world. Letters to Christian groups follow, many of them written from prison. Finally, some amazing, often frightening, predictions about the end of the world and the start of something better.
The Bible is unique. Why?
It was written over a period of 1600 years.
It was written by more than 40 authors of every sort - kings, poor people, fishermen, poets, government officials, teachers, prophets.
It was written in three languages – Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek.
It was written on three continents - Asia, Africa, and Europe.
Is there any other book in daily use by millions of people, around the world, written thousands of years ago, which still speaks to us today?
There are other writings as old as this, but they have less relevance to the world today!
There are about 6,800 distinct languages in the world, the Bible has been translated (at least in part) into over 2000 of those languages?
Find out more about the teaching of the Bible. We recommend these online courses:
New Testament in audio form
Free MP3 audio downloads of the Bible
Online Bibles in English and other languages
This will take you to a choice of several English versions, and German, Swedish, Latin, French, Spanish Tagalog and Norwegian.
The English versions are referred to by their initials only - eg NIV, NASB, RSV, etc. You will find that NIV is the easiest to read, though it is not in easy English. Once you select 'NIV', you will be given a choice of all the names of all the books in both parts of the Bible, and the chapters. Bible Gateway has over 100 versions in its library of online Bibles.
Arabic Book of Life
If you don't know much about the Bible, a good place to start might be the Gospel of Mark or Luke, in the New Testament, telling the story of Jesus in a quick and easy form.