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'Our Sea-Beaten Rock'

The founder of this newspaper, Mary Baker Eddy, was once given a copy of Martin Luther's German translation of the Bible. In appreciation, she wrote: "The Bible is our sea-beaten rock.... It stands the storm. It engages the attention and enriches the being of all men."

Guidance, strength before storms, and spiritual enrichment are indispensable in the final years of the 20th century - as indeed they always are. The Bible's message of God's love for mankind, His readiness to save and heal, is never dated.

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Since 1941, National Bible Week in the United States, which started yesterday, has been a yearly reminder of the Scriptures' enduring importance. Its organizers suggest, among other things, forming Bible reading groups and distributing used Bibles to those who can't afford a copy as ways of celebrating the week.

Getting the Word out is central. The International Bible Society has distributed 560 million copies of the Bible over nearly two centuries. The American Bible Society notes that speakers of more than 2,000 languages can read at least one book of the Bible in their native tongue.

But giving the Word expression in one's life - that's crucial.

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