FAQs

Want to know more? Email us with your questions and a representative or member from your area will contact you to follow up.

Where can I read the Bible online or on my smartphone?

If you have a smartphone, download our NewLife app at www.newlifeapp.ca. It includes the full Bible in an easy-to-read translation (NLT) and doesn't require wifi to read. NewLife works on iOS, Android and BlackBerry (2014), and has multiple languages built into the app.

There are also quite a few places online where you can read the Bible, including www.biblegateway.com. It has a wide variety of translations to choose from, including the New Living Translation, which is one that we use for our Bibles. It also includes translations in many other languages.


Why do The Gideons give out only the New Testament and not the complete Bible?

We do distribute full Bibles as well as New Testaments, such as in hotels, hospitals and prisons. However, when it comes to schools and personal one-on-one distributions, we tend to give out New Testaments with Psalms and Proverbs.

The main reason for this is because our primary goal is to introduce people to Jesus Christ. If we can ask people to read one thing in the entire Bible, it's the stories that revolve around the character of Jesus and who He is. We want them to start there and then explore the whole story, including the Old Testament, as they dig deeper into the Bible.

This is not to minimize the value we place on the Old Testament. The entire Bible is God's Word and is the foundation of what we as Christians stand on. In fact, we believe that the entire Old Testament is looking ahead to the Messiah, who is Jesus, so it's important to read the whole story.


Are Gideons engaging in evangelism when they distribute New Testaments to grade 5 students?

Yes—and no. Yes, we are placing the the Word of God into the hands of boys and girls with the hope that it will be opened and read so that their lives can be transformed. Very often, even though they may not fully understand it at that age, they will hang onto it for many years and draw hope from it later in life.

However, giving New Testaments to students is also placing a well known “text book” into their hands—a book that teaches a great deal about morality and about early church history. The New Testament is the most reliable ancient document. Its textual integrity is more certain than that of Plato's writings or Homer's Iliad—books that are willingly accepted in school systems.


Given today's technology and access to everything online, is The Gideons' 100-year-old practice of handing out Bibles still a valid practice?

The World Wide Web offers a virtually endless body of information through millions of websites. Some of those websites reflect reliable organizations and institutions while others consist of random thoughts by obscure individuals. Students today are faced with an incredible challenge: what is true? Receiving a print version of the Bible in their hands adds legitimacy to the book and allows them to take it with them wherever they go. For those who want to explore different translations of the Bible, those versions are available online.


Is The Gideons a male-only organization?

No. Men and women of all vocations are members of The Gideons International In Canada. The Gideons began as an association of Christian commercial, business and professional men in the United States in 1899, with the Canadian chapter organized in 1911. Until 2012, the ministry involved men as members and included women as auxiliary members. Today, Canadian Gideons, both men and women, serve as equal members.


What do Gideons believe?

The Gideons International is a diverse association in that our members come from many Protestant denominations with a common interest in spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ. All Gideons also hold certain core beliefs: The Bible is the inspired, infallible, inerrant Word of God. The Lord Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God. Members must also: Have received Jesus as their personal Saviour, endeavour to follow Him in their daily lives, be members in good standing in their Protestant or Evangelical churches and have the recommendation of their pastors.

Is The Gideons International a denomination or a church?

No. The Gideons are an association that works with Protestant or Evangelical churches. Our members come from many denominations and share a desire to see the lost come to Christ.


Do people actually read the Bibles in their hotel rooms?

Yes! Each Bible placed in a hotel room has the potential to reach up to 2,300 people in its estimated six-year life span. Research from the hotel industry tells us that approximately 25% of travellers read the Bibles in their hotel rooms. When older Bibles are replaced in hotels, we often see messages written in the Bibles, thanking The Gideons for placing it, or encouraging other hotel guests to read it.


How does the New Testament compare to other ancient writings?

Author Book Date Written Earliest Copies Time Gap # of Copies
Homer Iliad 800 B.C. c. 400 B.C. c. 400 yrs. 643
Herodotus History 480-425 B.C. c. A.D. 900 c. 1,350 yrs. 8
Thucydides History 460-400 B.C. c. A.D. 900 c. 1,300 yrs. 8
Plato   400 B.C. c. A.D. 900 c. 1,300 yrs. 7
Demosthenes   300 B.C. c. A.D. 1100 c. 1,400 yrs. 200
Caesar Gallic Wars 100-44 B.C. c. A.D. 900 c. 1,000 yrs. 10
Tacitus Annals A.D. 100 c. A.D. 1100 c. 1,000 yrs. 20
Pliny Secundus Natural History A.D. 61-113 c. A.D. 850 c. 750 yrs. 7
  New Testament A.D. 50-100 c. A.D. 114 (portions)
c. A.D. 200 (books)
c. A.D. 325 (complete N.T.)
c. +50 yrs.
c. 100 yrs.
c. 225 yrs.
5366

http://www.everystudent.com/features/bible.html


Did The Gideons create their own Bible version?

No, The Gideons is not in the business of Bible translation. It never has been. A century ago, it used the King James Version. Today it primarily uses the New Living Translation, a clear, modern translation that is as accurate and reliable as any other Bible available today.


Should other faiths have the right to distribute their books of faith in the schools?

Every school board handles this issue separately, but generally other religions already have that right. Boards of education are encouraged to teach about a wide range of world religions and to be neutral in their stance. The Gideons International In Canada has been giving New Testaments to grade 5 students, as well as university and college students, for about 100 years. That distribution is being done through hundreds of volunteers across the province, the country and the world and it is always being done with the approval of boards of education, principals and teachers. Other religions have the same freedom to distribute their books of faith in a similar fashion.