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Q&A

When was the first publication of red letters for the words of Jesus Christ?

In 1899, Louis Klopsch, editor of The Christian Herald, read Luke 22:20 and was struck by the words “This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.” Because of the symbolism of the blood, Dr. Klopsch wondered if the words of the Lord might effectively be printed in red: “Why not a red-letter Bible with the red words to be those of our Lord?” He sought counsel from his pastor, T. DeWitt Talmage, of Brooklyn Temple. Talmage encouraged him, and the first red-letter New Testaments were printed in 1901.

Red was applied to all the words of Jesus, including those quoted by others in the Bible, but not in the Old Testament theophanies (or appearances of Christ before He came to earth in flesh).

The first printing quickly sold out, and red-letter Bibles have been immensely popular ever since.

— Ken Horn

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