Purchasing a new Bible is a special thing because I didn’t just buy another Bible but rather I replaced my primary study and preaching Bible. Sure I have shelves full of various Bible translations and paraphrases, study Bibles, application Bibles and the like. But this guy is the captain of the team, the one I depend on to get me through the crucible moments of my pastoral calling. I had used the previous one for around 8 years. Forcing it into retirement has been a difficult process. However, it was just time and there wasn’t any getting around it. After carrying it with me to various meetings everyday for 8 years, studying and preaching with it, it was time. The pages are brown from my oily fingers (gross, I know), the maps had fallen out, and the pages were so marked up it was becoming distracting. Oh, and I was missing some pieces that had just crumbled over time.
I had some very specific things in mind as I was looking to replace my seasoned – but retiring – veteran. I needed a thinline version because I do take it with me everywhere. I do have electronic versions on my iPhone and iPad but the Bible is one area where I am a little old school. My primary preaching notes are written into the margins of my Bible which I can’t do in an electronic version.
Although a great resource, I was not going to carry around one of those huge study Bibles to every meeting, every day. Also, I love the red-letter editions. I find it incredibly helpful to quickly know if it is Jesus that is speaking. This keeps me from needing to stop and analyze the discourse to find out if it is Jesus or not.
Next, I wanted real leather without any crazy designs on it. My retired edition was genuine leather and it weathered all of my abuse extremely well. I want to drain all of the life out of each edition that I buy because I invest a lot of time into the notes that are written into each one. For years I will reference various scriptures and I will find the margin notes that came out of another time of study (this is also why I mourn the retirement of an old copy). The genuine leather editions are always a little more pricey, but they are definitely worth it over the years of use.
The most significant and truly foundational aspect of the choice was the translation. How did I choose the translation? Very good question, I’ll be answering that in the next post.
… to be continued…