faith, family

The quest for a bible

I stand in Family Christian, perusing the bibles, admitting defeat.  Defeat because what I want isn’t here, I know that.  It never has been and it likely never will be.  The closest I ever came to what I want was at Sam’s Club, of all places, but that one opportunity came and slipped away.


I look at the bibles and cannot decide whether to be amused or impressed.  I pause for a moment on the Women of Color Study Bible.  Clearly not for me.  The very thought of a bible existing that is “clearly not for me” lingers in my mind as I ponder the American Patriot’s Bible.  I wonder about the various women’s bibles and why none have ever attracted my interest.

So many titles, so many choices.  I am a bit overwhelmed when I notice a title that seems out of place:  The Case for Christ.  Mis-shelved?  No, it is an actual bible, edited by Lee Strobel.

I can’t decide exactly what I think of all the titles for a single book.  A single book which was written to all of us, now continually rewritten, retranslated, repackaged and remarketed to increasingly focused “niche” markets.

A single book, written to unite us, now seems to segregate us into individual markets.  The Sportsman’s Bible, the Policeman’s Bible, the Keepsake Bride’s Bible.  All of a sudden, the Bible is reminding me of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, except that it is the same material.  The same material repackaged, with new supplemental material.

I finally settle on The Archeological Study Bible.  I have been looking at it for awhile, intrigued by the promise of archeological and cultural references.  I have picked it up several times, but this evening I have admitted defeat and take my selection to the counter.

Because I know what I want.  I want something of a family bible.  A large book with large print to sit impressively on my dining room table as we read it together.  An illustrated book.  Beautifully illustrated.

What I want has existed in the past.  The Dore Bible is an excellent example.  Imagine how the mind of a child could be stimulated pouring over beautiful illustrations like this:

And how his mind would be drawn into the story.  Art that does not merely illustrate, but captivates.

The 1846 Illuminated Bible (an audio introduction will start) is the one I almost purchased.  With over 1600 detailed illustrations, it is something to behold.  It has something to draw each member of our family in as we read together.

But even the reproduction runs close to $300, and the originals in the thousands.  A family bible should be something the children are allowed to touch.  To take to their rooms.  To refer to throughout the day.

Apparently my niche market isn’t quite large enough to justify the publishing costs of such an impressive volume.  But wouldn’t it be lovely…

0 thoughts on “The quest for a bible

  1. I found your blog a while ago (I am sorry, I can’t remember how…) and have been following a few of your entries with intrest. This one struck me and I finally had to stop my “blurking” and comment. I hope that it is OK. 🙂

    We have a series of books that I love with illistrations, simple wording and lovely hard bound keepsake variety bibles. I just wanted to share a link with you. (Keep in mind that my family and I are latter-day saint so this fits with us, but it is not strictly for latter-day saints)

    Here is a link right to the Old Testiment:
    http://deseretbook.com/item/4940479/The_Old_Testament_for_Latter_day_Saint_Families
    And this is the New Testiment:
    http://deseretbook.com/item/3700605/The_New_Testament_for_Latter_day_Saint_Families

    Hope it possible helps you.

  2. Oh, it would! When I got to Idaho I found a large, used-to-be-white Bible on the floor of my husband’s car. When I picked it up, I couldn’t believe he’d kept it on the floor.

    It is not in the best repair, but it is a treasure. His grandmother had given him the old family Bible. It is full of Renaissance style artwork. And it is now stored on the end table, not the car floor. (In Dylan’s defense, he had been reading it before work, and he was sort of living out of his car before we were reunited. 😉
    .-= Renae´s last blog ..Inexcusable =-.

  3. My wife found the Spark Story Bible (http://tinyurl.com/yk6p3sq) last year at the National Youth Convention. The kids (4 and 3) love the pictures in it. We have about 3 or 4 different children bibles and this is by far the best. Its BIG though.

    Not sure its what your looking for though. I would love a bible with illustrations like the one you posted.

  4. You shop at Family Christian? That aside it is disturbing. Which shall I buy, the bible for men, women, married couples, singles, military blah blah blah. Here’s an idea. How about a bible that says bible on the front and read it. Soon one will find that it is for everybody, without the commercialization of the text. I wonder if Luther would rail against todays versions.

  5. Hi,
    I found you through the Homestead Carnival and have been enjoying your posts for a while.
    I have tended to steer clear of all the different Bibles and simply use the new American Standard Bible. We have 10 children with 8 still at home and we read together morning (Ps and Prov) and evening (Chapt per night reading throught the Bible). All the children have the NAS which makes it easy to read together with the children taking turns. I agree that with so many different ones it is overwhelming! I would be interested in looking at the Archaological Study Bible based on your recommendation though.

    1. Beautiful! I love old bibles and old illustrated bibles, especially. Why do our modern versions either have to be cartoony for children or merely include a small insert with a few illustrations?
      .-= Dana´s last blog ..And the winner is… =-.

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