While I was doing missions work in [Bolivia] this past summer, the following was posted on [Christianbook.com]’s Facebook page: “Are you a bible cover kind of person? Do you have notes in your margins? Do you use a highlighter? Do you love leather-bound? We're curious!
Check out our Bible Cover Closeout Sale! Grab some great savings on some bible covers that won't be around too much longer!”
Now, if I wanted to, I could rant about how CBD probably wasn’t actually
curious about whether I mark up my Bible with a highlighter or with sheep’s blood, or about the commercialization of Evangelical Christianity in general and the Bible in particular, and what a shame it is to the Church.
But I won’t (even though I kinda want to). Because- honestly? I think it’s pretty cool that there are so many different styles of Bibles out there. Whatever it says about the hearts of the people who manufacture them, it attests to the staying power of the Bible after so many centuries. I don’t know how I feel about using Bibles as “self-expression” (not that I’m not guilty of it myself), but if it teaches people to think of their Bibles as much a part of them as the music they listen to, and their faith as much a factor in their public identity as the clothes they wear, then I’m satisfied. And I also think it’s a massive blessing that Bibles made today are so convenient to carry around and read- if that encourages knowledge of God’s Word (it has form e), I’m all for it.
So- how about you? What’s your “Bible style?” What have you found is the most convenient way for you to “read, hear, mark, learn, and inwardly digest” God’s Word?
What translation do you use? Do you use a study or reference Bible?
What’s your physical Bible like? Is it big or small? Leather, hardcover, softcover?
Do you use a Bible cover? What’s it made of?
Do you mark up your Bible? Do you use pen, pencil, highlighter, or sheep’s blood? (kidding about the sheep’s blood… maybe)
Where do you keep your Bible? Do you carry it with you ([highly recommended])? In a pocket? In a purse or backpack? Do you balance it on your head?
My normal carry-around Bible is a combination King James Version Bible, KJV Apocrypha, and 1928 Book of Common Prayer, with cross-references, leather bound, from the [Anglican Parishes Association]. I prefer to read the Bible in the context of prayer, so having the Prayer Book with me is very helpful. It’s not very tall, but because it’s three books bound together, the spine is massive. It’s black, genuine leather, because the only other option was hardcover, which I find is not very durable for carrying around every day (the spine moves vertically and breaks).
I put my Bible in a cheap polyester cover from CBD
. Out of reverence for God’s Word, I try to keep my physical Bible in the best shape possible; but this Bible was way too expensive and hence not getting replaced any time soon, so large parts of it are currently being held together by duct tape.
I prefer not to mark up my Bible (I end up marking too much and cluttering the page), but I use the pages of notes in the back for writing down prayers and liturgical texts I use regularly, as well as the Shorter Ending of Mark, which isn’t in the KJV.
I always balance it on my head- when it’s not in my hand or stuffed in my backpack.
As you can see, my Bible is pretty boring and old-fashioned- I’m not into these neon-rainbow-colored Bibles and alligator leather covers, or whatever it is people use nowadays. In fact, despite what I said above, I think that focusing on the outward appearance of your Bible leads to a very unbiblical vanity. Nevertheless, if you’re serious about hearing from God in the Holy Scriptures, you also need to think seriously about how best to develop that habit- which doesn’t mean finding a “cool” or “hip” Bible (there’s no such thing, in the eyes of the world), but figuring out how to remove any obstacles (eg, imagine trying to fit the Bible above in your backpack) that stand in your way.
So- what about you? What’s your Bible like, and how does it help you "read, hear, mark, learn, and inwardly digest" the Word of the Lord?