The World’s Most Banned Book
Which book holds the honor for being the most censored or banned book throughout history? Is it Hitler’s “Mein Kampf?” Perhaps it’s some piece of trashy pornography? Or Salman Rushdie’s “Satanic Verses“?
The truth is, the book that has faced more censorship than any other is the Bible–or some portion of it.
We find an example of banning certain parts of the Scriptures right within the Bible itself. Jeremiah 36:1-26 tells of the time when King Jehoiakim was read a portion of the Hebrew scriptures by the prophet Jeremiah. He was so shaken by what he heard, he ordered that the scrolls be cut and burned. A few hundred years later, according to the Apocryphal book of First Maccabees, Antiochus IV in 168 ordered the Jewish Torah to be torn in pieces and burned (I. Maccabees 1:56).
During the Reformation, Catholics were so committed to the Latin versions of the Bible that they persecuted–and even put to death–those who tried to translate the Bible into their own nations’ languages. Martin Luther’s German-language translation met with this sort of resistance.
Bible-banning continues in the 21st Century. Muslim countries and Communist nations like China make it very difficult for citizens to obtain a copy of the Scriptures. Missionaries regularly report the need to smuggle Bibles into nations, because government agents won’t permit it to come into the country otherwise. One lady, Hillery, emailed me about this very thing. “I actually did help smuggle Bible’s and literature into China, from Hong Kong, while I was there. It was exciting, and scary.”
One group that helps smuggle Bibles into countries that forbid them otherwise is an organization called Bibles Unbound. A representative of the group told me, “Persecuted Christians from around the world are gathering names and addresses from their local communities. These names are then submitted to Bibles Unbound where members have the opportunity to mail New Testaments in the appropriate language directly to the field.”
Those who oppose the censorship of books by religious or political groups must be consistent–and support groups such as Bibles Unbound, who, though different in religious views from you, are likewise the victims of unjust censorship.