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The Bible that’s Changing the World (Without a Leather Cover)

This website is about Bibles. Especially well-made Bibles!

We love them.

We smell the leather, and analyze the paper. Here at the Bible Buying Guide, Bible editions score high marks with us by featuring real leather covers (goat, sheep, cow – just not bonded!) sewn bindings (stitching not glue!) and modern features such as high quality paper and line-matching.

We buy, collect, and trade. It’s our hobby and passion.

And so it was a great reminder for me when I attended the local Gideon International chapter’s recent Pastors’ Appreciation dinner last week.  Together, we celebrated one of the Bibles that God is using to change the world: the small, 4.75″ X 3″ pocket New Testament with Psalms and Proverbs. Let’s go ahead and do a quick review, and then I’ll tell you why God is using it all over the world.

  • Translation: New King James

    One of 1.9 billion Gideon Bibles in 190 countries.

  • Cover: Plastic
  • Liner: Paper
  • Font: 6pt (or smaller)
  • Columns: Double
  • Binding: Sewn
  • Features: Presentation page, “Where to find it in the Bible,” plan of salvation, a few hymns
  • Cost: Free

If we judged this little wonder by some of the high-quality editions we like here on this site, it wouldn’t be memorable. This isn’t a Cambridge! The cover is plastic, it doesn’t stay open, and you need a old-school monocle to read it.

But here’s why I believe this Bible is being used by God to change the world: it is absolutely everywhere. I have personally served on the mission field in a number of countries spanning the glove including Africa, Europe, and Central America.

I’ve seen this Bible everywhere I have gone. From the bush-huts of Equatorial Guinea to the orphanage in El Salvador, people around the world get out their Gideon’s New Testaments when the pastor stands to preach, and study them in their homes.

It does not matter to them that it is just a partial. There’s only Psalms and Proverbs of the OT. But these Bibles are the only ones many people can afford. (Because they are free!). The speaker that night told a few testimonies of people who had been saved by reading New Testaments that others had literally thrown in the trash. As I stole a glance on my phone of the high quality Cambridge Clarion I had just ordered for my birthday, my heart was touched by the presenter’s stories.

Give me any binding, any paper: so long as it has the Word of God written on it.

Produced for as little as $1.30 each, literally billions (1.9 to be exact) have been given out all over the world (190 countries to be exact). They can be found prisons, schools, and cheap motels. Many people know them as the “hotel Bibles.” But for the rest of the world, in 99 languages around planet earth, people know them as the only Bible they have!

I believe this small, pocket dynamo is going to be used to help complete the Great Commission.

What a blessing to have any version of the written Word of God!

Even one without a leather cover.

Matthew Everhard is the Senior Pastor of Faith Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Brooksville, Florida. He is Bible lover and an avid Bible collector, owning numerous translations, versions and editions of the Bible, ranging from the very expensive, to the very free. 

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