What is the most widely read book in the world?

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One Answer The Holy Bible has been read by more people in its many translations than any other book. Here are a number of ways that the Bible, in its many translations can be considered the most widely read. Time & space cannot handle all of the reasons. Here is a summary:

* Churches now and in the past find the Bible being read to the parish each week. Very often parts of Scripture literature can be found in the pews or in church lobbies;

* Synagogues, now & in the past read parts of the Hebrew Bible each week;

* Christian TV & radio broadcasts read to the public parts of the Bible each day, it's a 24/7 thing;

* Many if not most churches have Bible study classes;

* There is a large number of "Bible Colleges" worldwide;

* Christians on their own read their Bibles a lot, how many could never be calculated;

* There are approximately 2 billion Christians in the world;

* It can be reasonable said that once the Roman Empire made Christianity its official religion, Christianity has been a dominating factor in world religions;

With all of these factors in mind, it is no stretch of the imagination to say that the Bible is and has been the most widely read book in the world.

Another Answer Actually its the Holy Quran. The Bible is rarely actually read from cover to cover. The Holy Quran is the most memorized book in the world. There are millions of people who have memorized it, from the first word till the last word. There would also be lots of people who have read the Quran from cover to cover just like the bible, but not memorized it.

Thus we can be sure that more people have read the Quran because there are millions who have memorized it. Also as there are roughly 2 billions Christians and roughly 1.4 billion Muslims. From statistics we know that there are more practicing Muslims than christians thus more people reading the quran than the bible. Also the number of Muslims are growing more than the Christians, thus more will read the Quran than the Bible. Thus we can safely assume that the Holy Quran is the clear winner.

Although "Christianity" came 600 years before, if you think about it, the bible was never ever released during the time of Jesus pbuh but a rough estimate by scholars 30 - 60 years after Jesus pbuh. The bible during that time was not easily available like how it is today and not for the common man.

Also there are so many versions of the bible so its not the same book which is being read. There is only one version of the Holy Quran, and many translations. I'm not talking about the translations here, there might be 1 to 100 English translations but only one Arabic Quran.

I'm just taking about that Arabic text here. Just to show that it is undisputed that the Quran is and till the end of the universe will be the most read book. Even if you compare the Quran without its translations against all bible versions and all translations of the bible and all the versions translation. See the next paragraph.

If you want to dispute on the fact that this question does not mean reading the book from cover to cover, but on bits and pieces of it. The holy quran still is the most read book in the world. As there are more practicing Muslims than christians in the world, which is a fact. Each practicing Muslim prays 5 times a day and that does not include optional prayers which most do anyways. In the 5 times prayer a day the quran is read 27 times minimum.

Let's just take the weakest estimate that 10% of Muslims are practicing, which is 140 million. Do the math, 140 million x 27 = 3.78 billion times per day, the Holy Quran is being read.
A Third Answer The flaw in this analysis is that most Muslims cannot read the Quran. Although most if not all have memorized it or parts of it, mostly this is done by rote. In fact, 80% of Muslims cannot read or speak Arabic, and so they do not comprehend what they are reciting (unless they have had it translated or explained to them). This is according to Muztaffar Iqbal, author of the Integrated Encyclopedia of the Qur'an. Reciting from memory is not the same thing as reading.
If we accept the limitation that reading a translation is not the same thing as reading the work in its original language (which would exclude the Bible which is almost always read in translation from the Greek), the number of people who have read the works of William Shakespeare in its original form is probably higher than the number who have actually read and understood the Quran in its original form (the 20% or 280 million Muslims who can actually understand the Quran in the original Arabic)
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