If You Had Only One Book...

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If you were stranded on a desert island and could have only one book to read, what would it be? Other than one on how to survive on a desert island or how to get off a desert island, what would you choose?

Curious, I perused an online discussion of this very question. As one would expect, there was a variety of opinions. Amazingly, not a single person selected the Bible even though it is "by far the bestselling book of all time" (Russell Ash, The Top 10 of Everything, p. 112).

Ironically, people buy Bibles, but apparently they don't read them. At least that's what seems to be the case according to a recent survey by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. The average respondent to this survey correctly answered only half of the 32 questions about the Bible and other aspects of religion. (Ironically, atheists scored higher than Christians!)

This year is a significant year in the history of the Bible. Exactly 400 years ago in 1611, the King James Version became available to English-speaking people. In the ensuing years this translation has had an enormous impact on Western nations. But will the average person even be aware of this historical milestone? Be sure to read the article "Your Bible Is 400 Years Old" for more details.

So let's say you selected the Bible as your book to read while stranded on a desert island. What are some of its key points?

Jesus, the Son of God, said that God's words, which are recorded for us in the Bible, are truth (John 17:17 John 17:17Sanctify them through your truth: your word is truth.
American King James Version×
). Put another way, we can be absolutely sure that whatever God says is accurate. If He says something will come to pass, it will. When He explains how to have good relationships with others, what He reveals works.

In addition to explaining what God is doing and how we can live better lives, God's Word reveals our spiritual potential to become part of His eternal family. As John 1:12 John 1:12But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
American King James Version×
says, "But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name." And of even more sobering significance, each of us will be judged by what is written in the Bible (Revelation 20:12 Revelation 20:12And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
American King James Version×

Recognizing these principles, Paul told Timothy that the Holy Scriptures are "able to make you wise for salvation" (2 Timothy 3:15 2 Timothy 3:15And that from a child you have known the holy scriptures, which are able to make you wise to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
American King James Version×
). Why? Because, as Paul continued, "all Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work" (verses 16-17).

As beneficial and important as the Bible is, it is of no value unless one reads it and applies its timeless instructions. In this issue we draw your attention to the 400th anniversary of the King James Version of the Bible and highlight this book's continuing relevance. We hope it will inspire you to be like the people of Berea who "received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so" (Acts 17:11 Acts 17:11These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
American King James Version×
). VT