So I got into a discussion with a friend regarding the bibles in the hotels. The debate is, are you meant to take them - is that the goal of the Gideons, to spread the word? Or do they only put them there so people staying will be able to read the word?
I didn’t know, he didn’t know, so I thought I’d ask here. My opinion is that they are meant to be taken, but I didn’t know for sure.
Heck I dunno. We weren’t actually *in *a hotel. I don’t even recall how the conversation came up. Also, neither of us need a bible. It was just one of those random conversations friends sometimes have over beers.
When I worked in a hotel, we had at least enough spare Gideons in the basement to replace every one in every room at least once. Considering they give hotel spares, I am guessing you either are permitted to take them, or they just expect that some will be taken.
I just went to the Gideons website. Strangely, they don’t actually answer that question.
They don’t claim to distribute the books to anyone who wants one.
However, if a Gideon witnesses directly they will give you a bible. They distribute them through these “designated traffic lanes of life” to make them easily available for inspiration, so I suspect that if you find one and need it, they won’t object to your taking it. After all, if you decide you need it, then it’s doing its job.
In the late 70s and early 80s every fall they would hit the 2 college campuses I went to. They would give out the small version of the New Testament. In 1 day I would normally run into about 3 or 4 of them on campus.