Many people are prone to making assertions like, “the Bible is just a book.” So, let’s take a week in this series and look at that assertion. Is the Bible just like any other book? The answer, of course, is no. As a work of literature, the Bible stands so far above other books that there is no comparison. Let’s look at some of the unique aspects of the Bible as literature:
The Bible has the widest circulation of any book ever in print in the history of mankind. Billions upon billions of copies have been made a distributed far more than other book in history.
The Bible has been translated into more languages than any other book. To date, the Bible has been translated into well over 2,200 different languages. Despite that, there are still over 2,000 language groups with no Bible in their native tongue, and more and more translations are completed every year.
A simple chart showing the total number of languages the Bible had been translated into by year gives an idea how quickly it spread around the world especially in recent years:
By the year (A.D.)
# of Lanuguages
|2006||2,426 have some portion|
3. Influence on other Literature
The Bible has had more impact on other literature than perhaps any book in human history. I know that one of the things that struck me most when I finally read through the Bible for the very first time was how many sayings, phrases, axioms and literary themes originate with the Bible.
Let’s have a look at some quotes from others on the pervasive influence of the Bible. Northrup Frye, a literary critic, says:
“Western literature has been more influenced by the Bible than any other book.”
Bernard Ramm adds:
“No other book in all human history has in turn inspired the writing of so many other books as the Bible.”
And the book, The Greatest English Classic sums it up:
“If every Bible in any considerable city were destroyed, the book could be restored in all its essential parts from the quotations on the shelves of the city public library.”
The conclusion is clear! The Bible is a book. It is 66 of them to be exact. But, it is not just any ordinary book. From a literary viewpoint, like any other viewpoint, it is extraordinary!