Here’s the boring true story.
Here’s the story I choose to believe:
The work of the Gideons is invaluable. I always felt weird turning down their little pocket-Bibles. Might nightstand is filled with the things.
One of the welcome signs of Autumn in east Tennessee, along with the gorgeous leaf-color changes and the cooler air, is the appearance of the Gideons on (or near) the university campus, usually in October, passing out the pocket New Testament/Psalms/Proverbs volumes. I have seen some students (actually, just one or two) hiss and snarl and jeer at them for, I don’t know, whatever reason du jour that university students maintain for hissing, snarling and jeering at a stranger trying to give them a free book that they could simply and politely refuse. And though the King James, certainly a good translation for the period in which it was produced, and a stylistic wonder, is not my first choice, I always accept one myself because it makes the Gideon happy, and it seems ungrateful to refuse it, the upshot of this being that I do not have a coat, jacket, raincoat, book-bag or knapsack without a volume in a pocket somewhere available for consultation, the need for which arises more often than one would initially think.
Plus (one of the most beautiful combinations of words in the language): FREE BOOK!
For a while now, the Gideons have been using the New King James Version (at least here in the US). It’s much more readable.
Gee, I live right here in the U.S., but all I’ve ever seen in the Gideon giveaways is the King James version–but the KJV is highly readable, at least if you grew up with it. I assume the Gideons use it because (a) it’s the translation most familiar to most of the people in the US, and (b) it’s WAY out of copyright!
Interesting. I live in the Northeast, and all the Gideon pocket NTs I’ve picked up in the last 15 years or so have been NKJV. I’ve got a little orange one on my desk right now.
I used to work the front desk at a hotel. The Gideons were always courteous and friendly when they came. Unlike many other groups I won’t name (though most were sports or youth groups), they never harassed the staff or trashed their rooms. I’ve still got one of their pocket New Testaments in my car. God bless them.
A bilingual Gideon Bible came in handy for my morning readings during a recent trip to Taipei. Yes, God Bless them!
I LOVE THE GIDEONS. Every Gideon I’ve ever met has been a decent man, and they do really good work. If they weren’t Protestant, I would totally be one.