Keith Wishum: An amazing book

Published 11:07 pm Friday, October 5, 2018

It is an amazing book! Having sold more than 500 million copies worldwide, Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling is the best-selling book series in history. Her first novel has sold more than 120 million copies, making it one of the best-selling books of all time. The last four books in the series consecutively set records as the fastest-selling books of all time. The final installment, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, sold roughly 15 million copies worldwide within 24 hours of its release.
Yet for all that, Potter won’t become the best-selling book of all time. And the series won’t likely still be popular after 2000 years. Those distinctions belong to the Bible. According to Guinness World Records, 5 billion copies of the Bible have been purchased since 1815. One estimate places the number of Bibles ever sold at 6 trillion. Harry will need some major magic to match that.
Rowling’s stories certainly are captivating. My wife bought one of the books on a Saturday. By Monday, she and both of our kids, sharing the one copy, had read the entire 652 pages. One child read all night. Another read in the car right up till time for Sunday school and rushed back to read more while the rest of us were still in the restaurant at lunch. It’s a fascinating story.
But it’s not Harry Potter that people turn to when life gets hard. When someone is gravely ill, or his life is in shambles, it is the Bible to which people rightly look. Ancient words, ever true, still provide necessary solace and guidance.
I like the Harry Potter novels. It’s good, whimsical fun, but I can’t imagine anyone taking the world of Hogwarts very seriously. Rowling’s novels are enjoyable entertainment, hardly the sort of thing to shape someone’s life.
The Bible, on the other hand, is undeniably out to change your life. “The Word of God is living and active” it warns (Hebrews 4:12). It is designed to change how you think – and live. It openly admits, “These are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:31).
If you long for a new life, a better life, an eternal life, then the Bible is for you. Why not give it a read? It is one best-selling, life-shaping, amazing book!

Keith Wishum is minister, Williams Road Church, Americus.