A Well-Traveled Book

From its creation, the Bible has been a well-traveled book. Its writing took place on three continents: Asia, Africa, and Europe.

The word bible originated from the Koine Greek term tà biblía, which means “the books.” The word was derived from the name of an ancient city—Byblos—which was the official supplier of paper producs to the anccient world.

Before they were called Christians, Jesus’ followers throughout the known world were referred to as people of “the Way” (Acts 9:2). The word “Christian” was first applied to them in Antioch(Acts 11:26).

God’s Word didn’t come together overnight. In fact, the books of the Bible were written over a period of approximately 1,500 years, but it wasn’t until 367 A.D. that Athanasius (Egyptian theologian best known for battling the 4th century heresy known as Arianism) provided the first list of the 66 books that constitute the biblical canon.

From its creation, God’s Word has never stopped evolving. For example, numbered verses were first used in the Geneva Bible. This is also the Bible that Shakespeare used and the one the Pilgrims brought to America in 1620.

Ever adaptable, the Bible has been used to create some of the world’s most beautiful musical libretti. Biblical Songs, a song cycle by Czech composer Antonin Dvorak, was written using 10 texts from the book of Psalms. (They can be heard free of charge on both Spotify and Pandora.)

Every bit of the Bible is fascinating—including how it was created . . . And how people are transformed by its power.

To date, the Gideons have distributed over two billion Bibles and copies of the New Testament. The first billion took 93 years (1908-2001), and the second billion were given out in under 14 (2002-2015).