National Bible Week is the week of Thanksgiving Day, from November 17 to 23 this year. Christians in the U.S. spend this week honoring the Holy Bible and reciting hymns, prayers, proverbs, and prophecies of the great religious text. Brought into observance by former U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1941, National Bible Week recognizes the non-believers and offers readings and guidance from the pages of the Bible. Starting from the Sunday preceding Thanksgiving, the church holds events to encourage reading, listening, and comprehending the basic teachings of the Bible. As the holy season transcends upon us, the penultimate month of the year is a great time to come together as a community and share our faith in the name of Jesus.
History of National Bible Week
U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt commemorated the word of God by observing the first National Bible Week in 1941. Since then, every president has continued the tradition of celebrating the Holy Bible during Thanksgiving week.
Sinking deep into Hitler’s tyranny, the world looked different when FDR helmed the presidency. On December 7, 1941, NBC, the leading radio station at the time, opened the day’s programming with the founders of the National Bible Association. As the program began, the news of the attack on Pearl Harbor broke in the studio. To hold the attention of a shocked and grieving nation, NBC requested the National Bible Association to continue reading the Bible all day. Before the tragedy, the President had invited the founders of the National Bible Association to the White House to lay the foundation for the first National Bible Week. The founders canceled, writing a telegram to the president stating, “May God bless and guide you in this emergency.”
The Bible is an incredibly detailed, long-preserved snapshot of an ancient culture and religion. For billions of people, the religious text offers hope, strength, and guidance to navigate difficult times. Leading a nation through its toughest days, President Roosevelt conceptualized the idea of a Bible Week to unite Americans with the stories of the Creator told through the virtue of strength and reconciliation.
The Bible, the ultimate bestseller, is central to the religion of Christianity, and the English translation has over 100 versions. National Bible Week celebrates the holy text in all its glory, bringing communities together to read their favorite verses and share personal interpretations with the world.
National Bible Week timeline
The first texts of the original Jewish Bible are written, some believe, by Moses.
The oldest manuscript of the New Testament is written on a papyrus fragment.
The New Testament is translated, for the very first time, to Latin.
Biblical translator and reformer John Wycliffe translates the Bible in common vernacular.
German inventor Johannes Gutenberg introduces printing to the European world and produces the first printed version of the Bible.
The King James Version of the Bible is published after being commissioned in 1604.
The first National Bible Week is observed to help Americans grieve the Pearl Harbor Tragedy.
National Bible Week FAQs
Is National Bible Week related to Thanksgiving?
Although it is based around it, National Bible Week is not related to Thanksgiving Day. President Roosevelt announced the first National Bible Week observance in 1941 to offer collective prayer to the nation.
Who brought Christianity to America?
The 16th Century European colonization brought Christianity to America, with the British bringing Roman Catholicism to Maryland and Northern Europeans introducing Western America to Protestantism.
Where should I start reading the Bible for the first time?
The Bible consists of 1,189 chapters. For your first reading, you can begin by understanding the scope and message of the Bible, and nothing compresses this theme better than the book of Genesis. However, it is not necessary to read the Bible from front to back.
How to Observe National Bible Week
Explore a new verse or teaching
Bible verses are sometimes hard to comprehend. This week-long holiday is the perfect opportunity to get acquainted with the hidden gems of the great text. Even non-Christians can gain some universal wisdom from the scriptures.
Attend a service at a different denomination
Many lessons and interpretations can be learned from the sermons of the different church denominations. A great way to expand your community and share your faith is to switch up your denominations.
Invite your friends to a Bible reading
An afternoon filled with friendship and the religious teachings of the Bible is a great way to celebrate National Bible Week. Engage in praise and worship, or prayer, then round up with a potluck while remembering all the things to be thankful for.
5 Facts About The Origins Of The Bible
It was written in Hebrew
The original Bible, also known as the Jewish Bible, was written almost entirely in Hebrew
It has more than one author
40 men wrote the divine library of the Holy Bible.
40 men wrote the divine library of the Holy Bible.
Parts of the Bible were penned by kings, the other parts by fishers, homeless prophets, doctors, farmers, and many more.
It’s a Greek affair
The first biblical texts were written on papyrus, or ‘Biblos’ in Greek, from which the word ‘Bible’ was derived.
Burn in hell, lest you translate
43 years after John Wycliffe translated the Bible, the clergy of the Roman Catholic Church became aware, dug up his corpse, and burned it.
Why National Bible Week is Important
It’s the most profound text
In a simple story of the Creator and his creations, the Bible tells indisputable facts about the world we once lived in and teachings that can help us lead happier and fulfilled lives.
It transcends religion
The more you immerse yourself into the teachings of the Holy Bible, the more you understand how it transcends the sacrament of religion and offers a refuge from the turmoils of daily life. The Bible guides us to a path of righteousness still relevant in the 21st century.
It honors a long history
Withstanding centuries of desecration at the hands of despots, the Bible still survived to the 21st century. There was a time when the common person couldn’t touch or own the word of God. On National Bible Week, we hold the holy teaching in our hands and pay a solemn tribute to the preservers, fighters, and believers of the Bible.
National Bible Week dates