Bible Collection

I have a collection of Bibles in different languages.  It’s an odd collection, I know, but there are two logical reasons for this collection.  The first is that it is a collection of the most widely published and translated work in the world.  No other literary work is available in so many languages.  I am a foreign language buff, so the Bible is a logical book to choose when collecting works in other languages.

The second purpose is that a Bible collection is a “living collection”; that is, I collect Bible translations when I find them and give a localized Bible to someone who can read it in that language and needs a copy.  Last year a Paraguayan friend saw that I had a copy of the Bible in Guarani and marveled that I had one because they weren’t readily available in Asuncion.  So I gave it to him and bought another one.  Whenever these books serve a greater purpose than collecting dust on a shelf, I am happy to give them away.  So far I’ve collected over 50 Bibles in different languages from around the world.  Yesterday I found four more in a Lusaka bookstore translated into different African languages, including Bemba, an indigenous language widely spoken in Zambia.  If I come across someone who needs one of them, it’s theirs to keep.  I’ll get another.

I also enjoy the challenge of finding Bibles in local languages wherever I travel.  I’ve been able to collect indigenous Bibles in virtually every country I’ve visited.  When I can’t find it locally, I buy one online.  The only Bible I haven’t found to date is an Egyptian Coptic Bible.  I didn’t have any luck finding one when I visited Egypt in 2001-02, and I couldn’t find it for purchase online.  Here in Zambia, the challenge will be to find the Bible translated into the countries’ seven major indigenous languages.  Yesterday I found Bibles in Bemba and Kaounde.  Two down, five to go.

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