Why Do They Put Bibles In Hotel Rooms – Have you ever noticed that hotel rooms always have a Bible located somewhere in the room? Why is that? Why are there bibles in hotel rooms?
The short answer to this question is actually quite obvious. There are Bibles in hotel rooms because people take the initiative to put them there. There is one group that is also largely responsible for this, the Gideons.
Why Do They Put Bibles In Hotel Rooms
The Gideons came about because two businessmen named John H. Nicholson and Samuel E. Hill met one night while staying at a crowded hotel in Boscobel, Wisconsin.
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The hotel was so full that night that the only way the two men could secure a room was to agree to share a twin room even though they were complete strangers. While they slept, they started chatting and discovered that they actually have a lot in common. Not only were both entrepreneurs, but both were also Christians. In addition, both were trying to find a way to gather Christian business people into a common group.
A year later, in 1899, Nicholson and Hill carried out their plans and called a meeting in Janesville, Wisconsin under the guise of “mutual recognition, personal evangelism, and united service for the Lord.” Unfortunately, the meeting was not well attended. The only men who succeeded were Nicholson, Hill and another man named William J. Knights. However, they had everything they needed to get started.
The third man, the knight, came up with the idea of calling his innovative organization Gideon, after the biblical character from the Book of Judges who was called by an angel to lead the Israelites to rise up against the Midianites, who were robbing the riches of their crops. Despite being outnumbered, Gideon miraculously leads his men to victory.
Over the years, the Gideons grew into a legitimate organization. Since the group was intended for business people, many people who often travel for work wondered how they could do more to further the Gideons’ goal of doing God’s work by practicing faith, humility and obedience along the way. And so the idea for Gideon’s Bible was born.
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The Gideons decided that leaving Bibles in hotel rooms could serve a dual purpose as it could benefit other members of the organization who would no longer need to carry their Bibles on the go, as well as others who also use the room who might be interested in learning more about the gospel .
Nine years after the Gideons were first formed, the group officially left their first Bible in a hotel room at the Superior Hotel in Superior, Montana in 1908. Many are surprised to learn that the Gideon Bible is not actually the name of a version of the book. The Bible, but simply the name of the organization it is today, known for leaving Bibles in hotel rooms. The Gideons use the King James Version of the Bible.
Today, the Gideons have come a long way from their humble beginnings. Headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee, the organization has 270,000 members and affiliates worldwide.
The group mainly distributes the Bible free of charge and finances all its activities on the basis of donations. They will deliver the Bibles to the hotel owner as a one-time payment when the hotel opens and will replace all Bibles as needed if requested. They now distribute Bibles to more than 194 countries around the world in 94 different languages.
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Anyone interested in joining the Gideons must be a businessman or retired businessman over the age of 21 in good standing with the church. Women are not allowed to join Gideon, but Gideon’s wives can join as helpers.
Although the Gideons are known for putting Bibles in hotel rooms, the group doesn’t stop there. They also distribute Bibles to soldiers, nursing homes, hospitals, prisons and schools.
In the United States, the group has faced controversy over its practice of handing out Bibles during school hours, and in 2009 the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louisa believed that the practice of handing out Bibles during school hours was unconstitutional. Some British schools have banned Gideons, but there the practice largely continues.
The Gideons celebrated the donation of their 2 billionth Bible in April 2015. Their distribution rate has increased significantly in recent years, but it took almost fourteen years to go from one billion to two billion Bibles distributed worldwide.
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According to the group, the average Gideon Bible has a lifespan of six years and will be read by 25% of people who sign up for the room, although these numbers have never been verified by outside sources.
It’s also worth noting that it’s not just the Gideons who leave Bibles in hotel rooms. For example, the Marriott hotel chain leaves copies of the Book of Mormon in many of its rooms. Other hotel chains offer Buddhist, Hindu, Christian Science or Scientology books in addition to the original Gideon Bible.
So the next time you lie back in your hotel bed and open your nightstand, you’ll know where the Bible came from.
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Gideons International began in 1898 when two traveling businessmen, John H. Nicholson and Samuel E. Hill, arrived one night at the crowded Central Hotel in Boscobel, Wisconsin.
The two never met but there was only one twin room left so they decided to share it. The men started talking and discovered they shared a common faith and both toyed with the idea of starting an evangelical association for Christian businessmen.
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They decided to try together. They called for a meeting the following year for men interested in uniting for “mutual recognition, personal evangelism, and united service for the Lord.” Only one other person attended that meeting – William J. Knights, who suggested that they name their organization after Gideon, the Old Testament judge who led a small group of men to defeat a much larger army.
As the group grew in the early years, most of the new members were men who often traveled for work and spent many nights in hotel rooms. They wondered how they could be more effective witnesses of Christ on the road and came up with the idea of giving Bibles to hotels. They could be used not only by Gideon’s members as they traveled the country, but also by other visitors who needed them. They started at the Superior Hotel in Superior, Montana and then went on to put Bibles in every hotel room in America. Since 1908, they have distributed more than 1.7 billion Bibles and expanded beyond the United States to more than 190 other countries.
Gideons don’t go from room to room and put books on the nightstand like Bible elves. When the hotel opens, local Gideon members will present a Bible to the hotel manager in a small ceremony, then give the distribution staff enough books for each room and extras. In addition to hotel rooms, Gideons also provide Bibles to military bases, hospitals, nursing homes, prisons, and students on college campuses.
Each Bible distributed is free and the project is fully funded by donations to the group. The Gideons will also replace any books that are lost or worn, and the group says books have an average lifespan of six years. Nor are they lost when people ignore the “thou shalt not steal” rule when it comes to the Bible. You’d rather just take the book if you need it that badly.
Bible In Hotel Room Hi Res Stock Photography And Images
Based on the success of the Gideon Bible Project—the group’s own statistics claim that 25% of people who check into a hotel room will read the Bible provided—other faith groups have begun handing out their own free literature to hotels. The Marriott chain of hotels, which was founded by Mormons, puts a Book of Mormon in many of its rooms, and many hotels offer Buddhist, Hindu, scientific, or Scientology books in addition to the standard Gideon Bible. (TRAVEL) Thanksgiving is upon us again and
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