Two Weeks in a Row, the Bible Beats Out Bieber on Facebook
400 Years After King James Bible, the Bible Is Still Hot; Experts & Artifacts Available from 195-Year-Old American Bible Society
The Bible beat out Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga for the second week in a row to remain the most-visited page on Facebook. Pretty impressive for a book that is often maligned as a stodgy, outdated rulebook.
Facebook users are flocking to the webpage to show their love of Scripture, posting messages like "we know stars like Bieber and Gaga…but talk about someone who created the solar system…GOD."
The timing for the popularity of the Bible's Facebook page is particularly appropriate. This year marks the 400th anniversary of the most-published book in history, the King James Bible. While usage of the King James Bible has certainly waxed and waned during the past 400 years, its influence has reverberated across the English-speaking world and has permeated nearly every corner of culture. From literature to law, praise to politics, the King James Bible has shaped the way the world speaks and writes.
The King James Bible's significance is born out of its creation as well as its enduring impact. It was significant in its time (1611) because the collaborative process of its creation brought peace to warring theological factions. It is significant for all time because it is the most widely published book and arguably the most influential book in all history. Even noted atheist Richard Dawkins praised it saying, "You can't appreciate English literature unless you are to some extent steeped in the King James Bible. There are phrases that come from it - people don’t realize they come from it - proverbial phrases, phrases that make echoes in people's minds."
"For me the most significant impact of the King James Bible has been on the lives of those who have, for 400 years, read its truths and discovered its life-changing message," said Lamar Vest, president of American Bible Society.
Lamar Vest, president of American Bible Society and trustee of the King James Bible Trust, can discuss:
- The impact of the King James Bible in language, art, politics and society
- Why it matters 400 years after its publication
- The creation of the King James Bible
- Why King James Bible artifacts are important beyond being old
- Was the King James Bible an accurate translation
- If so, why are there so many new English translations
Visual Opportunities - Artifacts
American Bible Society houses the Museum of Biblical Art (MOBiA), which is home to thousands of Bible artifacts including many rare editions of the King James Bible such as those listed below. For further details about the Museum of Biblical Art's upcoming King James Bible exhibit click here.
- 1611 King James Bible in English (London: Robert Barker) - The King James Bible was completed in 1611.
- 1620 King James Bible in English (London: Norton and Bill) - This Bible has chained binding. Chaining a Bible was the only way to provide public access to Scripture in this time.
- 1660 King James Bible in English (London: Henry Hills and John Field)
- 1792 King James Bible in English (New York: Hodge and Campbell)
- Helen Keller’s Braille King James Bible was donated to American Bible Society by Keller in 1932.
About American Bible Society:
Headquartered in Manhattan, the 195-year-old American Bible Society exists to make the Bible available to every person in a language and format each can understand and afford, so all people may experience its life-changing message. One of the nation's oldest nonprofit organizations, today's American Bible Society provides interactive, high- and low-tech resources enabling first-time readers and seasoned theologians alike to engage with the best-selling book of all time.