He Lives

The Red Letter Bible

There are millions of people who read the Bible daily, yet few may know why some publishers print the words of Jesus Christ in red. Mr. William Emmett Shelton (author) of Magador, Ohio and Mr. Laurence S. Heely Jr., publisher of Christian Herald Magazine, say that the idea originated from a man by the name of Louis Klopsch, the first editor for the Christian Herald.

Louis Klopsch was born March 7, 1852 in Germany. In 1853 his mother died. The next year his father, Osmar Klopsch MD, brought him to the United States. Louis studied journalism at what is now Columbia University. He graduated with high honors. With the Christian Herald he rose from stock boy to editor amidst the company of some very religious publishers. By about the year 1889 he was the owner-editor of the American edition of the Christian Herald Magazine.

On June 19, 1899, the now Dr. Louis Klopsch was writing and editorial for the Christian Herald when his eyes fell upon Luke 22:20 and the words: "This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you." Dr. Klopsch realized that these were the words of our Saviour when he instituted the Lord's Supper. reasoning that all blood was red, he asked himself, "Why not a red letter Bible with the red words to be those of our Lord?" Dr. T. Dewitt Talmadge, pastor of the Brooklyn Temple where Louis and his father worshipped, encouraged him greatly by saying, "It could do no harm, and it most certainly could do much good."

The editor besought Bible scholars in America and Europe to submit passages they regarded as spoken by Jesus Christ while on the earth (some publishers have since expanded this to include all words in red spoken by Christ). The November 1901 issue of the monthly magazine, ran a large advertisement offering a red letter Bible to the readers. The first printing of this red letter Bible numbered sixty thousand copies. They were printed on presses owned by Dr. Klopsch. The edition sold quickly. Presses were run day and night to supply the demand. The King of Sweden upon receiving a copy, sent a congratulatory cablegram to Dr. Klopsch. Nevertheles the one telegram that thrilled publisher Louis Klopsch the most was the one he received from President Theodore Roosevelt. There followed a letter on White House stationery inviting him to dine with the chief executive. He accepted.

Dr. Louis Klopsch died March 28, 1910, and was buried at Mont Lawn near Tonawanda, New York, where he had established an orphanage. The New York Tribune said: "He will not be easily replaced. He lived and died by his own motto: Do all the good you can for all the people you can. This he truly did."

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