National Bible Week 2012: Sunday, November 18 through Sunday, November 25.
Every year since 1941 National Bible Week has been celebrated the week of Thanksgiving. Sponsored by the National Bible Association, the organization’s goal is to raise awareness of the Bible’s importance and relevance to our nation as a whole, as well as in the lives of individuals
The following information comes from the National Bible Association’s website:
What Is the Bible?
The Bible is a collection of books, poems, songs and other writings. The Jews refer to the Hebrew scriptures simply as that or as the “Tanakh” an acronym of the Hebrew names of the three sections of the Jewish holy writings. It is comprised of the holy books from Genesis to Malachi. This Jewish canon was accepted sometime between 200 and 100 BC.
The Christian scriptures would include the Hebrew Scriptures plus the books of the New Testament. The New Testament canon was accepted by the about the 5th Century. When this collection of Hebrew and Greek scriptures began to be thought of as a unit, it was first referred to simply as “the books” or “biblia” in Greek. Hence, the transliteration of the Greek word “biblia” into English became the term we use, “Bible.”
Why Read the Bible?
Since the Bible is the Sacred Scriptures of the Jewish and Christian traditions,
Jews and Christians read the Bible as a matter of their cultural and religious
heritage, and to better understand their own faith. All of us should read it
to better grasp the faith of others, the historical beginnings of our nation firmly rooted in the Bible and its values, and to better understand the multitude of references to the Bible in art and literature.
The Bible—Like No Other Book
Called by a variety of names—“Book of Books,” “the Word of God,” “Holy Writ,” “the Breath of God,” “Bread of Life,” “The Good Book,” “Sacred Text” and many other titles, the Holy Bible is unique: it is like no other book, as this statement from the Gideons International reveals:
THE BIBLE contains the mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation, the doom of sinners, and the happiness of believers. Its doctrines are holy, its precepts are binding, its stories are true, and its decisions are immutable. Read it to be wise, believe it to be safe, and practice it to be holy. It contains light to direct you, food to support you, and comfort to cheer you.
It is the traveler’s map, the pilgrim’s staff, the pilot’s compass, the soldier’s sword, and the Christian’s charter. Here Paradise is restored, Heaven opened, and the gates of hell disclosed.
CHRIST is its grand subject, our good the design, and the glory of God its end.
It should fill the memory, rule the heart, and guide the feet. Read it slowly, frequently, and prayerfully. It is a mine of wealth, a paradise of glory, and a river of pleasure. It involves the highest responsibility, will reward the greatest labor, and will condemn all who trifle with its sacred contents.
The Gideons International distribute God’s Word as a free gift. Bibles and New Testaments are printed and shipped through the generous support of individual Christians and local churches. The Scriptures, which are printed in more than 90 languages, are then distributed by dedicated members of The Gideons International in more than 190 countries around the world.
“So shall my word be that goes forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” —Isaiah 55:11
While it is important to read the Bible, it is also imperative to understand what is written and apply it in a practical way. A forthcoming article in December will talk about the controversy of “Biblical Illiteracy.” Stay tuned.
The accompanying video and song from Bigsby Company provide an entertaining way to memorize all 66 books of the Bible in order.
A related article discusses “How to Jump-start Your Day with a Word in Your Mouth and a Song in Your Heart.”