Beautiful Bibles are bad?

We have a beautiful Bible at our house. We received it as a wedding gift over 30 years ago and it is magnificent. It has an ivory cover with gold printing, and is majestically-illustrated. It is so beautiful we keep it in a box, on an important bookshelf in the office. Or maybe it’s in the living room…

We have another Bible. It is not beautiful at all. It was given to one of my boys for Middle School CCD. He wrote on the cover, and his little brother scribbled on a couple of the pages. I take it on trips with me, and many of the pages are wrinkled from being stuffed into my briefcase on a crowded plane. The front cover fell off months ago, and we have been steadily losing pages. So far, they have only been introductory pages, but chapter one of Genesis is in imminent peril. It’s about to split in two, right around the third chapter of Daniel. This Bible has some miles on it.

I think that is how it should be. Bibles are meant to be heard, not seen; read and reread, not admired for their pretty covers. Thumbed, held, even yelled at and wept upon. God talks to us through His word. That’s a little difficult when you’re sitting in a box on a shelf in the living room…or maybe the front closet…

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2 thoughts on “Beautiful Bibles are bad?

  1. You know I could really make an analogy to my faith life from that. I really want to be that beautiful Bible, clean and dressed up in my finest content to sit and worship my God from my seat in the back of Church, quiet, unhindered. But I think I should be content to be more like the well used Bible, rough around the edges, banged up from life’s circumstances, written on a bit by my family. And getting up in the morning I sometimes feel like I have a broken binding. But when the rubber meets the road, that is the Bible that gets the Word out…I would much prefer to be that kind of messenger.

  2. Amen, amen, amen! Jesus did some of His best teaching while standing on a hillside, or walking along a dusty road. The only time he appeared to dazzle was when he was transfigured in front of James, John, and Peter. And that scared the daylights out of them!

    Thanks for being rough around the edges and a little worn, you give me hope.

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