The Influence of the World’s Greatest Book

One writer has aptly noted that if every Bible in every city of the world was destroyed, the entire book could be restored by piecing together quotations from books on the shelves of public libraries. This example was given to show how often the Bible has been cited in the works of literature.

Historian Philip Schaff vividly describes the uniqueness of the Bible and its influence: “This Jesus of Nazareth, without money and arms, conquered more millions than Alexander, Caesar, Mohammed, and Napoleon: without science and learning. He shed more light on things human and divine than all scholars and philosophers combined: without the eloquence of schools. He spoke such words of life as were never spoken before or since, and produced effects which lie beyond the reach of orator or poet; without writing a single line. He set more pens in motion, and furnished themes for more sermons, orations, discussions, learned volumes, works of art, and songs of praise than the whole army of great men of ancient and modern times.”

Bernard Ramm, a Christian apologist, elaborates on this dead: “There are complexities of bibliographical studies [on the Bible] that are unparalleled in any other science or department of human knowledge. From the Apostolic Fathers dating from A.D. 95 to the modern times is one great literary river inspired by the Bible – Bible dictionaries. Bible encyclopedias. Bible lexicons. Bible atlases, and Bible geographies. These may be taken as a starter.

“Then at random, we may mention the vast bibliographies around theology, religious education, hymnology, missions, the biblical languages, church history, religious biography, devotional works, commentaries, philosophies of religion, evidences, apologetics, and on and on. There seems to be an endless number.”

And all of this writing came about because of the brief life of Jesus Christ. Kenneth Scott Latourette, in his History of Christianity, concludes by saying: “It is evidence of His importance, of the effect that He has had upon history and presumably, of the baffling mystery of His being that no other life ever lived on this planet has evoked so huge a volume of literature among so many people and languages, and that, far from ebbing, the flood continues to mount.”

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