Saturday, December 4, 2010

Oh, the types of Bibles on my shelf...

I recently started reading thru the Bible.

I can't even count how many times I've started, then given up around Leviticus.  (Haven't we all?)  I've read thru the Bible several times, first as a teen, and once chronologically.  (Not my favorite.)

My childhood Bible was a Children's Living Bible.  It still sits on my bookshelf, because my mother is a saver and she kept it for me for 30 years.  I love opening the torn cover, and seeing my fourth-grade cursive scrawl "Sin will keep you from this Book, and this Book will keep you from sin."

I've gone through many Bible stages, and growing up in a pastor's home plus marrying a man who would become a pastor guaranteed that I would have many types of Bibles to choose from.

The NIV had its glory days during my college years in the eighties, so we all had the super-duper hard-bound copy that the school was giving out.  Knowing that I was going to a Bible college, I had saved my pennies and bought a leather KJV, red-letter edition.  I was completely bummed the day I arrived on campus and learned that the college generally used the NIV instead.  Of course the pastoral students used the Dake or Thompson, and my best friend (who became my sister-in-law) had a commentary that put five versions side by side.  It weighed 20 pounds and I was so jealous of the ease with which she was able to complete her assignments.  She didn't have to go to the library to use their commentaries.  (That was before the days of the internet, or even personal computers for that matter.  It was during the era of typewriters and Correct-Type.)

The number of Bibles on our shelves now, in our home, is somewhat humbling.  Though I am writing tongue-in-cheek and with a light tone, I don't take them nor our privilege for granted.  I will so gladly share the good news of Jesus with those who do not know about Him - both thru the printed word and hopefully with my life.  I'm grateful for the written word, and I'm grateful for Jesus - the Word became flesh!  It's NEVER about how many Bibles you HAVE, it's always about how you live out what is recorded within, with how close you are to the Author.

But the reality is that I do have a lot of Bibles to choose from.  Along with the Children's Living Bible, I have a Study Bible, a thin-line, the purse-sized one with tiny print, an ESV, an RSV, my father's first KJV, my mother's first Bible, which she picked strawberries all summer as a girl to buy, and a special one with a carved olive-wood cover.  That one was my Grandmother's.

I do not have the Jack Van Impe Bible nor the MacArthur Study Bible nor the Geneva Bible nor the Camo Bible nor the Patriot's Bible nor the Eco-Friendly Bible, nor even the Ladies' Devotional Bible.  (Truly, no offense meant if you have one of these...I just don't.)  I do think that the Bibles that come encased in metal look cool, but that is beside the point.

I won't even begin to list my husband's types of Bibles from his years in the pastorate.  Suffice it to say that I was thrilled when he bought a parallel.  He has shelves of commentaries which I dream of cracking open, but as of yet, have not.  My favorite in his collection was a gift from a very strong woman in our last congregation:  it's a red-leather, red-letter edition KJV.  She was gracious, but she wanted him to have a REAL Bible. 

So now, I've started reading thru the Bible yet again.  I know, I know, most people start in January.  I'm always running behind, in everything, so I thought that I would start early.  That way, I'll be less behind.  Who am I kidding?  It will take me two years, at least, to make it through.  I am okay with that.

Soon, I'd like to tell you which version I've chosen, and why, and what I've already enjoyed about it.

Until next time,



  1. We used to have a ton of Bibles on our shelf too. My husband wanted to pursue a degree in Theology, and one day he still might. We've been trying to build our collection back up again, but some things are irreplaceable, like the Bible the church gave me when I was baptized. When I was little, we had one of those olive wood covered Bibles too - aren't they awesome? Ours had a cross carved into the cover. :)

  2. I've read the Bible through about 1 1/2 times each year, for the past 6 years. I'm not a fast reader and most times, I have to re-read what I read, just to keep it in my head! My secret? Read 1 chapter each day, starting in Genesis and ending in Revelation (I do read Psalms but I tend to skip Proverbs half the time).

    This really works! I don't follow those "read the Bible in a year" type of programs, although I'm sure they work fine. (If you are supper motivated, you can read 1 chapter of OT, starting in Genesis, and 1 chapter of NT, starting in Matthew, each day.).

    1 Chapter a day. Who can't commit to that? :0)

  3. Are you reading The Message? That's been on my list of Bibles to buy for the past few years. I

  4. You're on to me, Deborah. :)

    Jennifer - you're right! That's a great way to do it. Thanks for saying hello! :)

    Ness - I think that my Grandma's copy came from Jerusalem, but who can say, perhaps it was made in China? :) My mom has one with a carved mother-of-pearl cover. It is beautiful.