In Bedford, England there’s a statue and museum dedicated to John Bunyan and his brilliant work The Pilgrim’s Progress. The book follows the incredible story of “Christian” as he travels from this world to the next.
And when Ravi Zacharias traveled to the museum, he had an incredible conversation with a curator.
Several years ago, Ravi, a Christian writer and international speaker, took his family to visit the museum. Inside, they saw just how many languages the simple book had been translated into – more than 200! In fact, The Pilgrim’s Progress has been translated into more languages than any other book except the Bible.
It was fascinating to Mr. Zacharias that a man of such humble origins as Bunyan was responsible for a book that had left such an imprint on the whole world. As he wandered from one exhibit to another his sense of wonder only grew. When he’d finally seen all the displays, he gathered his family and headed for the museum’s exit.
It was there he briefly spoke with one of the museum’s curators.
I commented to the woman at the front desk, “Isn’t it amazing that a simple little book from the hands of a mender of pots and pans has won such worldwide acclaim?”
She paused and said, “I suppose that is true, but I must confess that I haven’t read it.”
If there hadn’t been a hard floor beneath me, I would have voluntarily fainted. Unable to help myself, I asked her, “Why not?”
“I found it too difficult, I suppose,” came the dispassionate reply.
That museum had hundreds of copies of the book in it…and this woman never read a single one of them.
According to research by the American Bible Society, 88% of U.S. homes contain a Bible. In fact, most of those homes have multiple copies, the average being just over 4 Bibles per family. But too many families don’t read what’s in front of them. A whopping 60% of Americans know they need to read the Bible more.
Do you read the Bible as often as you should? If not, why not?
Jesus Among Other Gods by Ravi Zacharias. Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2000, Pages 75-76.
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(Resource cataloged by David R Smith)