Prison can be a dark and lonely place filled with hopelessness. To keep their minds sharp and their hearts encouraged, many prisoners turn to reading.
But reading materials are often in high demand and low supply, especially personal Bibles. According to a recent survey Prison Fellowship conducted of prison chaplains, the majority of prisoners do not have easy access to individual Bibles.
To help meet this need, Inside Journal®, Prison Fellowship’s quarterly newspaper for men and women behind bars, has partnered with Tyndale House Publishers to offer free Inside Journal NLT Life Recovery Bibles to prisoners who request them by mail. The initial response has been overwhelming! A representative from the publishing house said they were receiving roughly 50 letters a day from prisoners requesting this special-edition Inside Journal Bible.
Offered in either English or Spanish, the Bibles are easy to read and understand. Each Bible includes supplemental content that’s relevant to people in prison. The large-print format is invaluable to the aging prison population, and in cases where cell lighting is poor.
ENCOURAGING LETTERS FROM INSIDE
Over the years, Inside Journal has received numerous letters from men and women behind bars longing to receive their own Bible.
“I was really wondering if you could please send one [Inside Journal Bible] to me please. I have no one to send me any Bible or mail, and I would really appreciate it. I used to be a drug addict, and I think the recovery Bible will help with my new journey with the Lord.” —Michael, Florida
“I had my own Bible, but I got transferred [to a different prison] and I wasn’t allowed to bring my belongings along with me. … I miss my Bible that kept me busy, kept me learning, and how to forgive and love. I never read the Bible until I came to prison this third time around, and what I can say is what a learning experience it is. … Since I left [that other prison], I have been getting into unnecessary trouble, and now it’s been almost 5 months [that] I have been in the hole. … I asked a few inmates to get me a Bible, with no luck, and then … there was one where the words were so, so tiny I couldn’t see them. I pray every night before going to bed, and I pray that I can get my hands on a Bible. So, the next day as I’m getting ready to move to a different cell, I’m sitting down bored and I asked the staff for a piece of newspaper that is in the garbage, and he tells me, ‘What you want that for? It’s garbage.’ When I read the piece of paper [Inside Journal], there it was, the address for a free Bible! And I said, ‘God heard my prayer, thank you Jesus!’ So, I would like a free Bible. Thank you so, so much.” —Wilson, Pennsylvania
“Hello brothers, God bless you. My name is Abraham and I'm in prison. I first met God here in the prison, and so I believe God has a purpose for me in this place, and I'm glad I came. I would like [an Inside Journal Bible] please. Because right now I do not have [a Bible]. Thank you so much, and may God bless you.” —Abraham, Florida
REMEMBER THOSE IN PRISON
In Hebrews 13:3, we are challenged to “remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison” (NIV). Prisoners can find encouragement through Bibles, publications such as Inside Journal, and prayers from people like you.
To learn more about Inside Journal, visit https://www.prisonfellowship.org/resources/inside-journal-archives/.
Together, we can help spread God’s message of hope and healing to even the darkest corner of a prison cell.