Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Spreading the Word of God in Denmark

A copy of the Bible may be found in many Danish households, but for many if not most Danes the Bible is a a neglected book, an artifact with little or no relevance or meaning for life today. Very few Danes appear to have even an elementary idea of the basic theme and message of the Bible and less of an idea of how to conform their lives to its message. The first complete Danish translation of the Bible appeared in 1550. An updated translation of the Bible, published by the Danish Bible Society (Det Danske Bibelselskab) in 1992, replaced a previous version of the Old Testament (1931) and the New Testament (1948). Work on a translation in contemporary Danish was begun in 2001. The Danish Bible Society (www.bibelselskabet.dk), located in Copenhagen, was formed in 1814. Scripture distribution in 2004 consisted of 38,964 complete Bibles; 37,739 New Testaments; and 1,442 portions. The reevangelization of Denmark, the Holy Spirit's work of church renewal and nationwide revival, as well as new church planting efforts hinge on dynamic, Spirit-filled preaching and teaching of the Word of God that gets the Bible off of dusty shelves, out cupboards and attics, and into the hearts and minds of Danish men, women, and children. "For the Word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart" (Hebrews 4:12, NIV). Can there be any doubt that a renewed focus on fearless, relevant-to-life, true-to-the-Word expository teaching and preaching would revolutionize the work of the Gospel in Denmark.

Johannesevangeliet 3:16: "For således elskede Gud verden, at han gav sin enbårne søn, for at enhver, som tror på ham, ikke skal fortabes, men have evigt liv." (John 3:16)

PRAISE God that the Bible is available in an acceptable Danish translation as well as in Greenlandic and Faroese.

that Danes who hunger for truth and a personal relationship with God will be led by the Holy Spirit to pick up the Bible and read it daily (Psalm 1; Joshua 1:8).

that as Danes read the Bible the Holy Spirit will wake them up with concern about their spiritual state and eternal d
estiny, calling them to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. (2 Chronicles 34; John 3:16).

that believers and unbelievers alike would come to recognize the value and meaning of the Bible for everyday life (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

for the success of the Danish Bible Society's efforts to encourage Danes in daily Bible reading.

for those th
roughout Denmark who are truly committed to Spirit-empowered, Bible-based, and life-changing teaching and preaching.