Record-breaking Bible tours Cyprus
A UNIQUE 1,500-page ‘travelling Bible’ written in 66 languages, one language for each book of the Old and New Testament combined, toured the island this week.
The colossal 7kg leather-bound Bible, measuring 46cm x 30cm, is set to be entered in the Guinness Book of World Records as the most widely travelled Bible in the world, as it will have visited 170 countries during a two-year global itinerary finishing in June 2010. Cyprus was its 96th stop.
Pastor David Cox, leader of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Cyprus explained that the travelling Bible is part of the Follow the Bible initiative from the worldwide Adventist Church. “The purpose of this world tour is to encourage people to recognise the importance of the Bible and to make its wisdom and values a greater part of their lives, both for their individual benefit and the benefit of society,” he said.
The first destination for the Bible in Cyprus was the American Academy in Nicosia, where staff and students leafed through its pages and attempted to read the different languages. “Pidgin English was the most popular and amusing language for the students,” observed Pastor Janos Kovacs-Biro, evangelism director for the Adventist Church in the Trans-European region, who hand-carried the Bible for 31 days across Europe where public events were organised to showcase it.
With the formal consent of the Mayor of Nicosia, Eleni Mavrou, the next stop was the centre of Nicosia, where a special display stand was set up in the square leading to the main shopping area of Ledra Street in partnership with the Bible Society.
Moses Elmadjian, one of the organisers of the Nicosia event and also the grandson of Moses Boursalian, the first Adventist to arrive in Cyprus in 1912, said, “We invited passers-by to handle and read the Bible and offered some free guides designed to help them read the Bible all the way through in one calendar year. The Bible was read in a total of 20 languages by people of all faiths who happened to be walking by. We even had a Norwegian tour group pause for a moment and serenade us with the hymn ‘Blessed Assurance, Jesus is Mine’ on their way around the town with their tour guide!”
The final destination for the Bible was Paphos, where it attracted some curiosity among tourists at the site of St Paul’s Pillar, where tradition says that the Apostle Paul was bound and lashed during his missionary journey to the island.
The Bible is now on a tour of the Middle East, proceeding through Egypt, UAE, Kuwait and finally Lebanon.
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