The American Bible Society (ABS) is offering free Bibles to any Kanye West fan curious to learn more about Christianity. Robert Briggs, ABS’s interim president and CEO, told Charisma News that the spike in interest in the Bible because of West’s new album is an amazing opportunity:
“No matter what you think about Kanye’s politics, art or faith, there’s no denying that his comments and album have sparked a huge wave of curiosity and interest. We love it when these topics emerge in the news cycle and are excited to be able to share the Bible with the curious—no matter their background, interest level or motivation.”
The American Bible Society Seizes the Moment
The American Bible Society has been around since 1816, working to provide Bibles to anyone in the world who wants one. When West released his first gospel album, Jesus Is King, on October 25th, it resulted in over a million Google queries that included “Jesus, “Bible,” and “What do Christians believe?” Seeing a chance to respond to people’s curiosity, ABS initially announced it would offer 1,000 free Bibles to anyone who wanted one. Said Briggs, “This is what we love to do: share the Bible with those who are seeking spiritual answers or simply curious about its contents.”
But after offering the first 1,000 Bibles, ABS received more than 6,000 requests for one, so the organization decided to extend its offer until November 22nd. Dr. John Farquhar, director of ministry intelligence for the American Bible Society, said, “We never could have dreamed that we’d get such an overwhelming response. Our hope is that these Bibles will allow Kanye fans to get to know the extraordinary person of Jesus, who inspires not just musicians, but millions of believers around the world.”
Kanye West’s latest album has set some groundbreaking records. It is the first album to hold the number one spot on all five of the following charts: Billboard 200, Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums, Top Rap Albums, Top Christian Albums, and Top Gospel Albums. West is also the first artist to hold all 10 spots on both the Hot Christian Songs and the Hot Gospel Songs charts.
The controversial rapper is also continuing his “Sunday services” and reportedly bringing the next one to Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church in Houston. West and Osteen will have a 20 to 30 minute conversation during the 11 a.m. service and then West will perform with his choir during the evening.
The debate continues as to whether West’s spiritual transformation is genuine. A secular artist creating a gospel album is nothing new, says former music executive, Naima Cochrane, who believes that the rapper is simply “co-opting the black church experience for nonblack consumption.” Yet Pastor Adam Tyson, who is personally acquainted with West, says he has seen spiritual fruit in his life.
If you are living in the U.S. and would like a free Bible—whether or not you are a Kanye fan—you can fill out a form here to get one.