I saw last week that my good bloggy friend Susan at By Grace participated in a meme called “Meet my Bible.” I thought it looked like an interesting one to do. Please feel free to join in! Let me know if you do, and I’ll be glad to come and read about your Bible.
1) How old is your Bible?
I’m not quite sure. This one doesn’t have a presentation page to record who it was from and when it was received. I would guess about twelve years, judging from some of the notes in it — some seem to be sermon notes from the pastor of the church we were in about 11 years ago, before moving to GA and back to SC, but there aren’t many like that, so I am thinking we got it towards the end of our time there.
2) Why did you choose this Bible?
I wanted a wide margin Bible for taking notes, and this Cambridge Bible was recommended to me.
3) Do you highlight/mark passages?
I don’t highlight any more, but I do mark passages, draw arrows, etc.
4) If so what is your system?
I used to have an elaborate system: I underlined promises in blue, warnings in red, commands in black, and highlighted salvation verses in yellow. That was at the beginning of my first attempts to read and study my Bible regularly, and I probably needed to do that then, but sometimes your system can get in the way of your actual reading. Now I mainly just underline verses that stand out to me, but I will also draw an arrow to a cross reference or another verse that this verse is referring to, or I’ll underline repeated words.
5) Do you have notebooks to record things?
No, not at this time.
6) If so how many and what do you record?
I used to just use a simple small spiral notebook that I jotted down thoughts, impressions, reactions, applications, etc., from what I was reading. I eventually stopped because I was piling up these little notebooks but never really referring to them again. Even so, it was a good exercise and a way to keep from just glazing over the passage, so I should probably resume it.
7) Where is your favorite spot to read your Bible?
At the end of the couch, under the lamp, often with the throw blanket over me. I usually sit with my back against the armrest and my legs stretched out on the couch. If I am doing something more studious, I’m usually at the kitchen table or at the computer, but for everyday reading, I am here.
8) Any thing special about your Bible you want to share?
Though I love any Bible as the Word of God, I don’t have quite as much of an attachment to this particular edition as I do the first one my husband gave me after we were married. There is that sentimental value, but also our first 14 years we were under two pastors with definite gifts of teaching, and some of my sermon notes in that Bible are precious to me. That’s also the Bible where the flyleaf favorites I mentioned once are recorded. I still have it close by and refer to it sometimes, but it is falling apart.
During the past read-through of the Bible, I’ve been using the New American Standard — all of the above are KJV. It’s funny, but when a pastor explains what a passage in the KJV means, often the definition or wording he uses are exactly what the NAS records. So it has been interesting to read it through, and though I love my notes and markings, it has been nice in a way to have everything uncluttered and fresh.
I learned long ago that different methods are fine for different seasons in life: sometimes I read more at a time; sometimes I read a smaller section more slowly; sometimes I want helps; sometimes I want just the Word. We’re so fortunate in this country to have helps and multiple copies of the Bible. I can remember in college praying for those under persecution for their faith behind the Iron Curtain and being able to only imagine what they’d give for their own copy of the Bible.
There is one story from that time (the late 70s) that sticks out to me. A pastor spoke in chapel who made period trips into the Soviet Union, helping as he could. He heard a story one time of a Christian woman who wanted to attend a secret gathering of believers. Her husband was not a believer, but went with her — I don’t remember if he wanted to be with her to protect her, or what, but I do remember he was nervous about the whole encounter. At the meeting, they only had one Bible, so they tore off different parts of it to give to the people who came to keep for themselves. The portion this man received only said, “And the Lord said to Jeremiah.” At first he was disappointed, thinking, “Jeremiah? Who is this Jeremiah? Who has ever heard of him?” But later he thought, “If the Lord deigned to speak to this insignificant Jeremiah, who no one has ever heard of, then He must see me and know of me, too,” and he was eventually saved. I was amazed at the power of the Word of God — even a simple phrase of it!
Reasons to read the Bible
What do you say about this book?
Having devotions when you’re not feeling very devoted
When there is no hunger for God’s Word
Encouragement for mothers of young children