Is the Bible Worthless?

By Curtis Rittenour
Posted April 30, 2018

Whether or not it’s at the top of your reading list, the men’s fashion magazine GQ attracts a fair number of readers: Some 950,000 copies are sold in the United States each month, mostly through subscriptions. Lots of men look to this periodical when wanting to know what to wear for work and leisure and other fashion issues.

So when the magazine, once known as Gentleman’s Quarterly, recently stepped away from clothes and  shopping tips to literary analysis, it made the news—specifically when it put the Holy Bible on a list of “21 Books You Don’t Have to Read.”

The author of the piece, novelist Jesse Ball, writes, “The Holy Bible is rated very highly by all the people who supposedly live by it but who in actuality have not read it. Those who have read it know there are some good parts, but overall it is certainly not the finest thing that man has ever produced.”

While it’s safe to assume Ball isn’t a fan of Scripture, the editors at GQ did themselves no favors, Bible-wise, when they said of the scorned books on their list: “[N]ot all the Great Books have aged well. Some are racist and some are sexist, but most are just really, really boring.”

So, according to GQ, the Bible—a book revered by millions around the globe—is “not the finest thing” and is also “just really, really boring.”

As you might expect, the reaction from the Christian community was swift. Noted Christian writer Eric Metaxas, whose 2017 biography of Martin Luther was a bestseller, said on Twitter, “If there is a person on the planet who cares what @GQMagazine has to say about literature, I'd love to meet that person. And pray for him."

And Brian Houston, whose Hillsong Church in Australia is known around the globe, chimed in: “What a way for GQ to show [its] irrelevance. The [B]ible is way more hip than GQ.”

If going just by the numbers, it would appear that GQ might be off in their assessment of what's “really, really boring.” As mentioned, just under one million copies of the magazine go out each month in America. By contrast, between 20 million and 25 million copies of the Bible are sold in the United States each year, according to The New Yorker magazine and elsewhere.

In other words, for every single copy of GQ magazine that’s sold, between 20 and 25 Bibles are purchased.

This isn’t merely a numbers competition, of course. While a menswear magazine might help someone look a bit more sophisticated by the world’s standards, few books have had the life-changing impact of the Bible. Whether it inspired a former slave ship captain named John Newton to find salvation and write “Amazing Grace,” or led George Müller to open orphanages for needy children in Victorian-era Britain, or to touch the lives of everyday people in a hundred different walks of life, the Bible’s power to transform lives is well documented.

Of course, you don’t have to take the word of a fashion magazine to discover the life-changing message of the Bible. Right now, via your computer or mobile phone, you can click here to access our FREE Bible Study lessons on a wide range of topics. Use these lessons and your own Bible, and you’ll know more than most about what the Scriptures actually say!

Written by Mark A. Kellner


NOTE: If you have a Bible question for Pastor Doug Batchelor or the Amazing Facts Bible answer team, please submit it by clicking here. Due to staff size, we are unable to answer Bible questions posted in the comments.

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