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James Pate

I remember the Gideons giving us Bibles in my elementary school. I'm not sure if that was legal or not. But, you're right, they were a couple of elderly guys, telling us to go to church on Sunday.

Looney

They just need sunglasses and they can come across as Men In Black. Cool.

JohnFH

James,

And I hope you follow their advice about church to this day.

Looney,

What a precious comment. You made my day.

David Ker

I love Gideons. They have done much good in Africa. They would distribute better bibles if it weren't for financially prohibitive licensing of "popular" translations. This happens with Bible Societies as well. An atrocious old Portuguese translation is ubiquitous in Mozambique because it was free and the good ones were too expensive for the local Bible Societies to get a hold of.

Their distribution model is very effective in Africa. You blow into town, dump thousands of Bibles and move on. Then the Bibles start changing hands. It's amazing how the Bibles have blessed individuals and thus families, churches and communities.

I love your idea of updating their recruiting. Social media. YouTube. Get some gals involved. And Calvinists. That would be a kick.

Chris

I think one thing that's difficult for us to understand from a consumer's perspective is the copyright/licensing issues that come with Bible translations. I'm sure that many organizations would love to distribute Bibles for free if they could. But licensing is a sticky issue, and from the publisher's perspective it's also understandable that they aren't willing to 'just give away' Bibles. Someone has to pay the scholars who spend years translating the Bible, after all.

I never fully understood this concept until I started working for an audio Bible company (Voxbiblia.com), and used to question why we couldn't just give away the Bible for free. But there you have it - Sometimes it's just not possible :S

Chris

On a side note - since you like the KJV Bible, let me know if you'd like a free KJV audio Bible and I'll see if I can fix you up with one, courtesy of Voxbiblia ;)

Email to: chris@voxbiblia.com

JohnFH

David,

Along with Looney, I can see you equipping them with dark sunglasses and ipods.

Chris,

I love my KJV, and look forward to the big celebration next year, which I note begins this year already at SBL-Atlanta, thanks to the Nida Institute.

Gary Simmons

It's Calvinists like the one you linked to, John, that made me hesitant to give Calvinism a chance for a long time.

...Did he seriously just equate "the world" with "believers" in John? I'm speechless.

Hansen

Whatever the Gideon's have been doing in the way of Bible distribution, they should, if they haven't, bring their game to China. Whole Bibles are not needed in hotel rooms. Parts of the Bible would not only be welcome, they would be beneficial.

Bilingual, Chinese/English selections form Psalms, Genesis, the gospels, and other portions of Scripture could do a lot of good.

The authorities here are much more interested in making money than promoting atheism and warring against God. Approaching the right people wisely and helping them to understand how placing Bibles in hotel rooms can benefit them directly ($$$$) could open an entirely new field for the Gideons.

Bible already are easily available for anyone who wants one. Providing them in hotel rooms is a logical next step.

JohnFH

Gary,

You remind me of the ongoing need to introduce Calvin's themes in a biblical and creedal framework. I am just as speechless as you are when I read Calvinists who systematize the gospel into a shadow of its biblical self.

Hansen,

I wouldn't be surprised if there is a story behind the non-involvement of the Gideons in China.

Mitchell Powell

We just had the Gideon come by the Ohio State University. They looked dazed, lost, confused, and stiff -- all 60-something white guys in nice suits. And they so over-filled the campus that just about everyone walking about campus that morning had two or three bibles pushed at them. Those who wanted Bibles for the most part already had them. I don't know all the answers for the Gideons, but some rethinking must occur if they're to impact the world effectively.

JohnFH

Hi Mitchell,

I'm sure that some and even many Gideons will read this thread. I hope they will take your observations and reflections to heart.

Jonathan O.

You're right , there are certain times when a change is needed.It's a very good article, with very good advices. I like your style nice and straight to the point.

Mike

It is not about the Gideons but about GOD's and his word being given to everyone who wants one.....

Henry DeLeeuw

a Calvinist? now your the ones who don't have to witness?

Henry DeLeeuw

and the Gideons do have the ESV, women and do distribute in China

John Hobbins

Hi Henry,

Some of the greatest missionaries the world has ever seen have been Calvinists. This is not about Calvinists and non-Calvinists. This is about obeying Christ's command to make disciples of all nations.

Please do not take offense. That is not the purpose. The goal is simply to be able to recognize Gideons as a present-day fulfillment of the prophecy Peter quoted on the day the church was born:

And in the last days it shall be, God declares,
that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh,
and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
and your young men shall see visions,
and your old men shall dream dreams;
even on my male servants and female servants
in those days I will pour out my Spirit,
and they shall prophesy.

Men and women, lettered and unlettered, are to be filled with the Holy Spirit and publicly speak in God's name. That is what it means to prophesy.

Alexander Erik Petzinger

I am in total agreement with what John Hobbins says above. This issue is not who is or not a Calvinist. Believers will often needlessly argue this doctrine until the Coming of Christ. There are believers in heaven who were of both the Arminian and Calvinist camps. The central doctrine is the sufficiency of one's trust in the saving grace of Jesus Christ (John 6:29). Nevertheless, it is indeed sadly the case of many Calvinists that they use their belief system as an excuse not to evangelize whereas the true understanding of Calvinism is to be an ever greater reason to evangelize. The understanding should be that God is so gracious to us in that He empowered our will to repent and continue to will and to work for His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13)

Oure Manase

Dear brother/ Sister,

I hereby kindly submit my kind request for boxes of free bibles--any version--hard copies-- for use in outreach in Kenya.

I am involved within arid north-east and Islamic estates towns/ cities in Kenya.

Your prompt and kind consideration will meet much appreciation.

Blessings,
Oure Manase
0714.922.885
www.nuurnetwork.webs.com

joe

Earlier this year at least 615,000 scriptures were placed by Gideons in Kenya. The distribution included over 1,500 schools around the regions of Nirobi, Lake Victoria, and El Doret.

ESV is now the official non-KJV translation used by Gideons in the USA.

Gideon wives in the USA are responsible for scripture distribution in the medical field and female inmates in jails and prisons. That is a an incredible responsibility,

Meetings with Chinese officials continue regarding Gideon work in mainland China, but distribution is done is a legal manner. You can't just go into schools or prisons and give out God's written word until God opens the door.

Which is why prayer is needed. Our best tool is prayer. Pray not only for open doors, but also for the funds and manpower to get the job done.

Today most Gideon Camps around the world are on a 'scripture budget'. Until God releases the resources empty hands will still wait for a New Testament.

Of course Gideons pay annual membership dues which covers more than all the administrative overhead. So 100% of gifts to Gideons goes to buy and ship scripture.

The comments to this entry are closed.

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