Sunday, October 21, 2007

A Special Bible

Michael Spencer, over at InternetMonk, has a post up today about the special Bibles in our lives. As I thought about the way God has used His Word to shape me, three copies of the Bible really stand out to me.

The first time I read the New Testament through (even before I came to trust Christ), I used a paperback copy of "Good News for Modern Man." Although I wouldn't recommend that as any kind of personal study Bible today, God's spirit really spoke to me through it and showed me my need for Christ. When I found passages that I didn't understand, I just underlined them in red and read on. Later, I joined a Bible study group that used the same version. By then, I realized that many of my first questions had already been answered. Trust God, I learned, and He is faithful to teach you.

Not long afterward, I bought my first Thompson Chain Reference (KJV, of course) Bible and read through that. That was in 1970, and I still use it. I realize that the references/categories are not infallible, but the Holy Spirit is, and I treasure the things He's taught me through my dog-eared red leather copy. I use NSAB and appreciate it, and I've read the Living Bible through, too, but always go back to my Thompson.

Those copies formed the bedrock of my spiritual education

The third Bible is unique because I've never really read it. It's a KJV, published in London in 1866. My great-grandfather received it as a gift in 1867, and it is special to me because he owned that Bible for 57 years before he came to trust Jesus Christ as his own Savior. He wrote on the flyleaf, "The Lord came into my heart January 25, 1910."

Thomas Harrison died long before I was born, but that Bible and inscription tell me that he is with Christ today. Other relatives have told me that he truly became a new man in Christ, and I am reminded again that God is faithful.

What an encouragement!


Dinah said...

I have a few Bibles in my "past" - I've been following Christ for about 6 years, and my favorite Bible is my first one - an NIV that contains underlining and comments and handwritten cross references that convey the utter excitement with which I received the Word. One page has JOY written, in HUGE letters across the page. Others have the prayers inspired by the text. It is also falling apart, the pages are dog-eared, and some of what I've written has worn off (hmmmmm). I continue to use it for my more devotional reading, but when I want to do serious study, I prefer NASB and a KJV Key word Study Bible, that makes word studies easy when I do not have my computer and word study tools close at hand. I also use an ESV at times. But nothing feels as good in my hands or in my lap as the Bible that first introduced me to my Lord. Those first discoveries of truth made such an impression on me that I struggle to leave behind the Bible that bears witness to that joy!

Elder's Wife said...

Funny, isn't it, how we form an emotional attachment to the first Bible we devour after we've come to know Christ. Part of a bonding thing, do you think? Bit of a security blanket, maybe. My old Thompson Chain Reference is really worn after 35 years, but I can find my way around in it in the dark!
The trick, I think, is to rely on the Word Himself, and not just the print.

Dinah said...

You said:
"The trick, I think, is to rely on the Word Himself, and not just the print."

AMEN! He is where it all begins and ends.