The National Bible Association is sponsoring International Day of the Bible (@IntlDayofBible) (#biblecelebration) November 18, inviting people around the world on that day to participate at noon your local time by pausing for a few minutes to creatively celebrate your love of the Bible by reading, reciting, singing, Tweeting, or socially sharing portions of Scripture.
The International Day of the Bible is the official start to National Bible Week in the USA. November 18-24, 2018 will be the 77th commemoration of the event. The National Bible Association website explains how it all began:
Since 1941, starting with President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, every US president has declared the week of Thanksgiving, National Bible Week. This, our 77th year, we again commemorate and honor God for giving us His Word.
The National Broadcasting Company (NBC) which was a leading national radio station at the time, invited the founders of the National Bible Association to read the Bible on air all day. At the same time, the leaders of the National Bible Association were invited by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to come to the White House for the following day to present him with a Bible to inaugurate the first National Bible Week. These glorious plans were in place but tragedy interrupted them. The day that they were going to read the Bible on NBC radio was December 7th, 1941, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
The founders sent President Roosevelt a telegram telling him that they and the nation would be praying for him and that of course they would not attempt to come to the White House. NBC called and told them that though they could not read the Bible all day on the air, would they come to the studio and read the Bible on air between the news reports about the disaster.
Radio stations across America piggybacked on NBC’s programming at this point as they were only one of the few broadcasters nationwide who at the time had same day international coverage. So that day, Americans heard the comforting words of the Bible as they contemplated the worst single day foreign attack on US soil in history.
Describe the event you’ve planned for November 18, 2018
Ambassador Gilbert A. Robinson (Ret.): For this year’s event we’re asking pastors, priests, rabbis, and other clergy to please join us on Sunday, November 18th, to “Encourage Everyone to Read the Bible…whatever their version,” by using the hashtag (#BibleCelebration. Last year we had such a huge turnout across so many different countries and we look forward to having an even larger impact this year!
Why has this international celebration of the Bible been organized?
Ambassador Gilbert A. Robinson (Ret.): To make people more familiar with the Bible and to “Encourage Everyone to Read the Bible…whatever their version”. We hope that we can inspire others across the world to find inspiration and guidance, and share their experiences and favorite Bible passages.
What do you recommend churches can do to elevate the practice of Bible reading among their congregants?
Ambassador Gilbert A. Robinson (Ret.): We recommend having the clergy select several passages each week and talk about them and encourage the congregation to read the Bible.
From your vantage point, characterize the influence of the Bible in cultures around the world.
Ambassador Gilbert A. Robinson (Ret.): The basic points in the Bible are love; to be kind to your fellow man. That affects every culture in the world. Even those who may not know what the bible has done.
How do you respond to critics who say the Bible should not have civic endorsement?
Ambassador Gilbert A. Robinson (Ret.): A civic endorsement to be kind to your fellow man and follow love wherever is not bad for any civic endorsement. But if people don’t want to encourage the Bible, they don’t have to. Reading the Bible is a positive in civic life.
What would you like to see happen in the lives of people who participate in the International Day of the Bible?
Ambassador Gilbert A. Robinson (Ret.): That their faith—whatever it is—is strengthened through the Bible and that they can share with others around the world what the Bible has meant to them.
What is a favorite Bible passage of yours and why?
Ambassador Gilbert A. Robinson (Ret.): “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding” Proverbs 3:5. Because to me it encompasses most of what the Bible is trying to teach us: put your trust in God.
What are your thoughts about Bible Gateway and the Bible Gateway App and Bible Audio App?
Ambassador Gilbert A. Robinson (Ret.): It’s a very powerful tool that can help spread the Word of God and inspire others to look to the Bible for guidance, and it makes Bible study easy with its user friendly interface. It makes me wish this had been available years ago! It’s a truly incredible thing to have and to use. I like that with today’s technology and everyone’s busy schedule a person can use an app to access the Bible; that’s an amazing thing! One of my favorite things about the Bible Gateway App is the “Bible Verse of the Day;” a great way to begin your day!
Is there anything else you’d like to say?
Ambassador Gilbert A. Robinson (Ret.): If you owned only one book in the whole world, the best one to own would be the Bible.
Bio: Ambassador Gilbert A. Robinson is Chairman of GAR Inc., an international firm advising companies on international trade, governmental relations and communications. The company has been operating since he left the State Department. From 1998-2003, he was also National Director and Chief Operating Officer of the Center for the Study of the Presidency with headquarters in Washington, DC. From 1983-1985, Ambassador Robinson served as Ambassador and Special Advisor for Public Diplomacy to Secretary of State George Shultz. In February 1981, President Reagan appointed him as Deputy Director of the United States Information Agency, and he was confirmed unanimously by the Senate.
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