Imagine the reaction in the household of an average Christian family if a friend were to burst in exclaiming, “I found a Bible! I found a Bible!” They would likely view him as somewhat peculiar or somehow disturbed. “I’ve got a whole bookshelf full of Bibles! So what, if you’ve found one?” would not be a surprising response.
Today, this reaction would indeed be true: Most church families do have multiple copies of the Holy Scriptures. I have several different copies at home, plus one in my desk drawer at the office and one in the glove compartment of my car. Interlinears, paraphrases, annotated, amplified, and study Bibles, leather bound, hard bound, paperback, large print, red letter, wide margin, and many other offerings of the Bible abound. In such an environment, it is hard to appreciate the excitement described in the opening sentence.
But the most interesting fact is found in the Old Testament. It seems that even the royal line of David forgot God’s commandment that each king “is to write for himself on a scroll a copy of this law. . . . It is to be with him, and he is to read it all the days of his life” (Deuteronomy 17:18-19, NIV). Is it not strange that we, in the twenty-first century, should have such ready access to the Bible, when our ancestors seem to have been denied this blessing?
WHAT IS A BIBLE WORTH?
So it begs the question …… what is a Bible really worth? (With our amazing Rand exchange rate to the US Dollar let me use the US$ as the base of my reasoning!) Assuming—in today’s terms—a five day work week at eight hours per day, ten months of labor equal sixteen hundred hours. If the writer were paid at the rate of $4.75 per hour, approximately minimum wage, his salary for this period would be $7,600. A very dear price for a book!
But the story does not end there; we said it took a skilled writer. Such a person would not be laboring for minimum wage. Rather he would be earning perhaps $15 to $20 per hour or more. If we assume a rate of $15 per hour instead of minimum wage, the price tag now becomes $24,000!
True, the cost scenario and the calculations above are hypothetical and based on certain assumptions, and maybe even some flight of fancy. Nevertheless, they do dramatically illustrate the fact that today we enjoy a special privilege that is unique in history. Even as recent as a hundred years ago, though the printing process was reasonably mature, books, like the Bible, were neither so readily available nor so inexpensive as now. Why should we at this time be so blessed? Is the Creator trying to tell us something special?
We could ask many questions, perhaps without obtaining satisfactory answers. However, some things are sure. The real value of the Bible lies not in the time or skill required for a person to put it on paper; this is the very Word of God, of value beyond any calculation irrespective of human hypothesizing or assuming!
Also sure is the fact that with blessing comes responsibility. The ready access to the Word of God makes obvious our responsibility. From him to whom much is given, much is expected (Luke 12:48). We have a shortage of 200 000 000 Bibles in Africa! Most churches do not have Bibles or any access to the Written Word of God. We struggle to meet the demand. The price of Bibles rose sharply …. nearly in-affordable in most countries. To pay US$20 a Bible is common practice in many places ….. still we don’t give up.
We NEED your help! Would you help us to obtain US$24 000 Bibles for just US$10? Contact us or help us at Bibles for Believers – http://www.mission.co.za/
But there are great stories too …. when people do jump in and help us to reach out to ‘hungry for the Word of God’ churches and leaders …….!