This Bible distribution is a global enterprise taking place in over 194 countries and in over 93 languages, with the organization being most widely known for copies placed in hotel and motel rooms. The Gideons also distribute to hospitals and other medical offices, schools and colleges as well as jails and prisons. The organization takes its name from the Biblical figure Gideon, depicted in Judges 6.
The Gideons International has a strong international presence. Its members distribute Scriptures in many countries to people who cannot afford to purchase Scriptures on their own.
Gideons began distributing free Bibles, the endeavor for which they are chiefly known, in 1908, when the first Bibles were placed in the rooms of the Superior Hotel in Superior, Montana.
Members of The Gideons International distributed over 84.6 million Gideon Scriptures in 2012. More than 1.8 billion Bibles and New Testaments have been distributed since 1908. On average, more than two copies of the Bible are distributed per second through Gideons International. It is anticipated that the two billionth Scripture will be placed in 2015.
The headquarters of Gideons International is in Nashville, Tennessee.