We kind of collect Bibles around our house. I tease my husband because he has so many different ones. S was formerly in the Navy and one time I saw a "SAILOR'S BIBLE" at the Bible bookstore. I immediately acted like I was breaking out in a cold sweat and shaking as I walked slowly toward the Bible that WE DON'T HAVE!!!! (My sense of humor--one of the many reasons he married me.)
For years we have kept all of our Bibles, except the ones we are currently carrying with us, on a shelf together. We jokingly refer to it as the "religious shelf." And you have to say that with a very pompous sounding voice, by the way. We do give Bibles away whenever needed. If someone comes to our house and we find out they don't have a Bible--you better believe they are going home with their choice from the religious shelf. It is painful to know that we freely have all these Bibles in our home and Christians in other countries are lucky to get their hands on a Bible at all. We would give all of them away if we could except one for our family. But which one would we choose to keep if we could have just one?
AH HA!! THAT is the point of this post! (You just knew I'd get around to it eventually, didn't you?)
Before I get too far into this, let me give you some background on our Bible experience growing up. We both grew up with a mixture of versions or translations in our homes. We also both grew up with grandmothers who read only the King James Version. Since S and I grew up at the same church, I would have to say that the main version or translation (I know there's a difference, but you are going to see me use those terms interchangeably) that we grew up using was the New International Version (NIV).
Now, if you are a new Christian or perhaps have never been to church, what I just said was a bunch of nonsense. Believe me, even as someone who grew up in church, I'm about to confuse myself!
I've heard different things about different versions over the years. The real trouble began for me when I had to buy Bibles for my children. We had a lovely little hard cover baby Bible both girls carried to church back when they still stuck everything in their mouth. I wanted them to get in the habit of bringing their Bible to church so this was the one I bought them. Slob didn't hurt it at all. From there they graduated to The Young Reader's Bible. I knew this was not a real Bible, but rather a Bible story book. So last year for Christmas, with Sweetheart being a reader and all, I decided I needed to purchase real Bibles for both girls.
And I was completely overwhelmed.
I sensed this was a very important decision and I began by visiting the Bible bookstore. Silly me.
There are hundreds and hundreds of Bibles to choose from. It is absolutely mind-boggling. I had no idea where to start.
Of course I was drawn to cute little things like this. But I was leery of purchasing cuteness over quality. And then there were some that were just cool in a weird sort of way. At the same time, S was involved in youth ministry so I decided to see what kind of Bibles the teens at church carried. For weeks I accosted the children and teens at church: Let me see your Bible. Who gave this to you? Your mom? Where did she buy it? Can I look at it for a minute?
And then of course I hit the internet. And what I found was very interesting, but it will have to wait for the next post.