|Good morning everyone,|
Our theme for this month: “Writing and Reading”
Our Bible verse for today: “So my word that comes from my mouth will not return to me empty, but it will accomplish what I please and will prosper in what I send it to do.” Isaiah 55:11 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Voltaire was wrong”
From its earliest days the Bible has withstood vicious attacks from the enemies of God as no other book ever has. Many have tried to ban it, burn it and outlaw it, from the days of the Roman empire right up to today in communist and Islamic countries. Perhaps one of the most notable and ironic stories is that of the infamous French writer and philosopher Francois-Marie Arouet, better known in history as “Voltaire”.
Voltaire was a popular and prolific writer who produced numerous works in every literary form including plays, poems, novels, essays, histories, letters, pamphlets, and scientific expositions. He even owned his own printing press. It was said that in his lifetime (1694-1778) he wrote over 20,000 letters and more than 2,000 books and pamphlets. But the thing that Voltaire is remembered for most is his hatred of Christians, Christianity, and the Bible. Much of his writing and public speaking involved scathing denunciations of Christianity in general, and the Bible in particular. He once claimed that within one hundred years of his death Christianity as a faith would be swept from existence and the Bible would be found only in museums.
Well, not only was Voltaire wrong regarding the demise of Christianity, but fifty years after his death the Geneva Bible Society purchased Voltaire’s home in Paris and his printing press that was in it. They then used the printing press to mass produce Bibles and Christian pamphlets, and they used his home to store them. It was one of the most ironic twists of fate in recorded history.
It’s estimated that worldwide, since the time of Voltaire’s death, over 5 billion Bibles, or portions of the Bible, have been printed in over 2000 languages. Today over 100 million Bibles are printed annually around the world (25 million in English); 168,000 are given away free every day; and Gideon’s International reported distributing over 59 million Bibles worldwide in 2021 alone. Additionally, with the advent of digital Bible apps, over 66,000 people worldwide are accessing a digital Bible app at any given time, and three people share a Bible verse online every second of every day.
Oh, and there are more professing Christians on this planet today than at any time in the two-thousand-year history of the faith. So, Voltaire was wrong. He was very wrong. Christianity and the Bible have survived very well, thank you, and a copy of the Bible is available for almost anyone who wants one. That’s especially true in the developed nations of the world. Our challenge, and our shared responsibility, is to get people to actually read it, and to read it deeply.
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