How Many Bibles Have Been Sold?

atkins-bookshelf-booksThe Bible, which has been translated into more than 500 languages, is the world’s best-selling book of all time. The stunning success of the Good Book began with Johann Gutenberg’s first printed Bible, written in Latin, using movable metal type. The Gutenberg Bible, 1,286 pages printed in two volumes, remains one of the most valuable books in the world — not only for its rarity (only 180 copies were printed) but for its beauty. The last Gutenberg that was sold, and mind you it was an incomplete edition, fetched $4.9 million in 1987 (a staggering $10.4 million in today’s dollars).

But we digress — let us return to the original question: just how many bibles have been sold or printed? A survey conducted by the Bible Society, revealed that approximately 2.5 billion copies of the Bible have been printed between 1815 and 1975; however, other book experts believe that the number is closer to 5 billion. The number-obsessed folks at Statistic Brain have estimated that there have been 6.1 billion copies of the Bible printed. Consider that the Gideons International, founded in 1899 to distribute free bibles, have distributed 2 billion Gideon Bibles from 1908 to 2015 — an impressive feat. Notwithstanding the Gideons’ charity, and the Bible’s admonition of “thou shalt not steal,” the most stolen book in the world is the Bible, since it is readily available in bookstores, libraries, places of worship, hotels, and motels.

Read related posts: What was the First Bible Printed in the United States?
What is a Thumb Bible?
How Many Books Exist in the World?

The Most Expensive American Book
Most Expensive Books Sold in 2012
Most Expensive Book in the World
Rarest Book in American Literature

For further reading: