Gideon Bible Story

I was in Oxford last week visiting my father. We had arranged to meet in the centre of town for a coffee. I was running a little early, and he was running a little late, so I had some time to look in the Age UK charity shop before we met.

I gravitated towards the book section and noticed they had a Bible on display. Upon closer inspection I discovered it was a Gideon Bible. I have a love for Gideon Bibles as during my first spell in psychiatric hospital, when in a time of crisis, I asked a member of staff for a Bible, it was a Gideon Bible that was given to me.

If you don’t know the Gideons, they are a worldwide evangelical Christian organisation who distribute Bibles in hotels, hospitals, prisons, schools, and various other places. What I like about their Bibles is that they have a kind of index in the front, where you can easily find passages related to a particular subject or emotion. For instance, if you’re ‘Needing Peace’, ‘Thankful’, ‘Depressed’, or ‘In Temptation’, you are directed to a series of relevant scriptures.

While I understand that for more seasoned Bible readers this isn’t the best approach to Bible study (it’s better to read each book as a whole), for someone who is new to the Bible, as I was when I was in hospital that time, this is incredibly helpful. I found so much comfort in the passages I read and it was through my study of that Gideon Bible, while in hospital in 2007, that I first came to understand and believe the Gospel.

Several years ago while I was serving on a street outreach team I contacted the Gideons as I wanted to buy some Bibles that we could give to people we met on the street. They said they never sell Bibles to members of the public, and keep rigidly to their mission of distributing Bibles free of charge in places such as those mentioned above.

I was so delighted to find a Gideon Bible in the charity shop last week that I didn’t consider there was anything untoward going on, and I quickly purchased it (it cost about Β£1.50). It was only a little later when I was sitting with my father having coffee that I looked inside and read the words, ‘This Book is not to be sold’!

It’s a lovely Bible (King James Version) and I would like to bless someone with it, perhaps someone who is new in the faith or going through a tough time but has never read the Bible. Can you think of anyone who would like it? If so, drop me an email via the contact page and I’ll gladly send it to you, or directly to them (the photo that accompanies this post is of the actual Bible).

Do you have any experience of Gideon Bibles? Feel free to share in the comments below.

13 comments

  1. That’s a great idea, having an index for relevant passages. I dont have any experience with this Bible, but I’ve got a big old leather bound one back home in Australia that looks about 100 years old! Here in China though, I’ve got a great dual language Bible, with modern English on one side of the page and Chinese on the other.

  2. It is good for me to see this story and take it in. Thank you for sharing it. I have for years wondered whether the Gideon organization has outlived its usefulness — and it does really need to distribute better versions these days — but there always seems to be the possibility that one of their Bibles will fall into the right hands!

    1. Hi Brian! Yes, I understand where you’re coming from. Bibles are so readily available now, and with the Internet we’re only ever a few clicks away from searching for relevant scriptures. A lot has changed even since I read that Gideon Bible in 2007. It will be interesting to see how they ‘keep up with times’. God bless you πŸ™πŸ»

  3. I’ve always esteemed the Gideons and their dedication to put forth God’s word. Love to see their Bibles in hotels. Most of all, as a Parole Officer, I remember meeting with new releases who often reported directly from the bus station to parole office. Often within their prison duffel was a Gideon Bible! The Lord used that Bible many times to open a talk about ‘new beginnings’ in the community… and in the Lord. May the Lord bless the Gideons today! πŸ“–

  4. I was in a thrift store and noticed a small bible being sold, which I thought odd as it was one commonly handed out for free. Yep, said inside, “Cannot be sold,” and it was being sold.

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