I'm old enough to remember when people thought the most important thing about a Bible was reading God's word inside it. Today, the people who publish Bibles seem to have a different idea.
LifeWay advertises a Bible bound in brown and pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Zondervan puts out a Bible that's carbon-neutral. (Do we really think that we'll save the planet by buying greener Bibles?) Thomas Nelson has announced that it will no longer make Bibles with petroleum-based covers. Here are more Bible ideas that seem to say that the power is in the packaging and the marketing, not in the Lord:
The NIV True Images Bible for Teen Girls.
Page edges of Bibles: they can be plain, gilded, or stained. But printed? Yes, this edition of the bestselling True Images Bible has page edges that are actually printed with a youthful, contemporary paisley design in colors that coordinate with its trendy Italian Duo-Tone™ binding. It’s a look that’s sure to appeal to the young teen who wants a Bible that speaks to her in a unique design that fits her lifestyle.
The Bug Collection Bible - Dragonfly
Perfect for people on the go, these Bibles contain the full text of the bestselling New International Version in a compact size, complete with a cute bug design on the cover.
NIV Bible Across America
A one-of-a-kind handwritten NIV Bible displaying an enduring commitment to make God’s Word more accessible and more relevant to more people everywhere. The NIV Bible Across America is a complete Bible handwritten by over 31,000 people from all walks of life and from all over the USA.
Armor of God Bible
Based on the famous “Armor of God” passage from Ephesians 6:10-21, this NIV themed backpack Bible includes 12 full-color, illustrated tip-in pages that will help boys ages 6-9 understand what each piece of armor stands for when it comes to faith...
Wild About Horses Bible
What girl doesn’t love horses? Filled with beautiful features and photographs, horse lovers will be inspired by this NIV Bible.
Soul Surfer Bible
With Bethany Hamilton
Glitter Wave. Bethany Hamilton, a rising star in the surfing world, is an inspiring teenager with a heart for Jesus Christ. This Bible contains 12 full-color tip-ins that will help teens apply Bethany's mission to their own lives.
You can also get The Way for Cowboys or the
NIV Peacemakers New Testament (for law enforcement officers) or The American Patriot's Bible. You can get the Archeology Study Bible, a Devotional Bible for Couples. If none of those suit your fancy, try a Bible for fire-fighters, a New Testament for women with crisis pregnancies, a New Testament for baseball players....
You get the idea.
I'm wondering whether someone will put out a left-handed knitter's study Bible for my wife. (If so, she'd have the sense to be horrified.)
Where's the line between making a Bible that's appropriate for a culture, and trusting in the packaging instead of in the Lord and his word? I'm not sure, but I'm pretty sure that some of these publishers have crossed that line to the wrong side.
For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
--Hebrews 4:12 NASB