I read an interview done with John Piper and he was discussing those who are new to studying for the ministry. One of his recommendations was to pick an influential figure in the Christian faith, whether it be a theologian, apologist, or an evangelist, and become an expert on them. Well, I had already begun this path with my studies on C.S. Lewis.
However, this prompted me to see who Piper was influenced by. It was Jonathan Edwards. So I started looking into Edwards, and was immediately drawn in, mostly because he was alive during my favorite period in history, colonial America. As I was browsing articles about him on the Internet, I found one that struck a chord with me.
Apparently, Edwards or his brother-in-law, had ripped apart the binding from his Bible, and put it back together with a blank page in between the Scriptures. Every other page was blank and this allowed Edwards to write notes opposite the Scripture he was reading.
I thought it was genius so I searched online to see if one existed. I stumbled across some blogs where people were making their own Bibles by literally pulling them out of the binding and placing blank pages in between the Scriptures. Their Bibles tended to be massive, almost half a foot high, for only half of the Old Testament. The self-made Bibles also felt like binders, something that could just be tossed around and not respected.
That wouldn’t work for me, as I wanted one Bible that could house all of my notes. While I own Bible software and it is priceless for my studies, there is nothing like having your own Bible to physically write notes in. So I did more searching and only found two Bibles in print. The first was an NIV. I don’t prefer that translation so I kept looking. I searched for hours and finally found one in the KJV. The interesting thing is that Edwards had that same translation.
Though the style is hard to read and archaic, it is beautiful. The words flow across the page. So I picked it up. Best investment I’ve made. All of my notes are contained in one place and it is all bound in a nice leather backing. But more importantly, when I pick it up and read it, because of its binding, quality, and old language, I feel a sense of reverence when I’m reading the Word. Reverence is something I will discuss in my next post, but I recommend everyone at least check one of these out. You will not be disappointed.