The battle of the books: The Bible v the Koran

Dec 19th 2007 | WASHINGTON, DC
From The Economist print edition

The business of marketing the Bible and the Koran says a lot about the state of modern Christianity and Islam

CHRISTIANS and Muslims have one striking thing in common: they are both “people of the book”. And they both have an obligation to spread the Word—to get those Holy Books into the hands and hearts of as many people as they can. (The Jews, the third people of the book, do not feel quite the same obligation.)

Spreading the Word is hard. The Bible is almost 800,000 words long and littered with tedious passages about begetting. The Koran is a mere four-fifths of the length of the New Testament; but some Westerners find it an even more difficult read. Edward Gibbon complained about its “endless incoherent rhapsody of fable and precept”. Thomas Carlyle said that it was “as toilsome reading as I ever undertook; a wearisome, confused jumble, crude, incondite”.

Yet over 100m copies of the Bible are sold or given away every year. Annual Bible sales in America are worth between $425m and $650m; Gideon’s International gives away a Bible every second. The Bible is available all or in part in 2,426 languages, covering 95% of the world’s population.

Read the full article here>>>

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2 thoughts on “The battle of the books: The Bible v the Koran

  1. brethen,pls dont be like me. For 2 decades i was the typical church goer who carry the book but never really read it(maybe selected verses & J3.16). It was very hard to read. I even failed my Bible Knowledge at O lvls while my classmates got A1 in Confucian Ethics, Buddhist Studies.

    One day i felt so ashamed when i read a book (smith wiggleworth)that we feed our body with three hot meals a day, but on the Word, only feed our spiritual body 1 cold snack a week. No wonder i depended on pp’s bread crumbs.

    If we humble ourselves & ask the Lord for wisdom before reading His Word, HE will grant us the understanding. Otherwise it will just be a “wearisome, confused, jumble, crude, incondite, endless incoherent rhapsody of fables and precepts”.

    mat4:4 But HE answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

    At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight.
    Mat11

  2. i think this is a very interesting article.

    “There is a difference, however, between getting and understanding a Holy Book. Here both Christianity and Islam suffer from serious problems. Americans buy more than 20m new Bibles every year to add to the four that the average American has at home. Yet the state of American biblical knowledge is abysmal. A Gallup survey found that less than half of Americans can name the first book of the Bible (Genesis), only a third know who delivered the Sermon on the Mount (Billy Graham is a popular answer) and a quarter do not know what is celebrated at Easter (the resurrection, the foundational event of Christianity). Sixty per cent cannot name half the ten commandments; 12% think Noah was married to Joan of Arc. George Gallup, a leading Evangelical as well as a premier pollster, describes America as “a nation of biblical illiterates”. ”

    has christianity become a mere status that pple acquire, yet not knowing what it is they are believing, or even understanding what they are reading?

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