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Tuesday, August 04, 2009

So, tell me about your Bible.

Let me preface this by saying that I am not a religious person. I enjoy reading about other people's path to faith and about the little quirks and facts about various religions, but I am not personally religious. I enjoyed Eat, Pray, Love and Girl Meets God. I have The Year of Living Biblically in my TBR, along with Karen Armstrong's Through the Narrow Gate and Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality. I am currently reading Rapture Ready!: Adventures in the Parallel Universe of Christian Pop Cultureby Daniel Radosh, because of Stephanie at Open Mind, Insert Book's review.

I have just finished reading a fascinating chapter about the various types of Bibles currently on the market and it makes me curious about what Bible most people choose, and why they chose that specific one. Radosh quotes a statistic that most people have FOUR Bibles in their home (I'm too lazy to go look up his source, sorry.) I know that we have more than one, though I couldn't tell you just how many.

I don't want to turn this into a topic about religion itself, but I am curious: what do you think about the Bibles aimed at specific niches? There's the Teen Study Bible, New International Men's Devotional Bible, Bibles for women... well, you get the idea. I remember several reviews last year (I think) about a Bible in magazine format. This doesn't even address the issue of things like devotionals and study guildes and books about finding your faith. I'm talking the Holy Book itself. Do you have more than one Bible? Do you actively use/read/study them all? Do you have different Bibles for different purposes (as the chapter claims)? (For example; one for practical application, one for historical reading, one for children, one that highlights God's promises and one that translates it into Klingon.) Do men and women really need separate Bibles? I'm really curious what you think, so please tell me!

(PS. This also makes me want to ask how many dictionaries you have, but that might take us off topic.)


  1. Mormons (which is what I am) use the King James version of the Bible, so all the copies we have of the Bible are that version. We own . . . a lot of copies. I would guess, off the top of my head, we have at LEAST six. And that's probably very conservative.

  2. We have 2 NIV Bibles in our house that are pretty standard, not geared towards any one purpose (one is mine and one is my husband's). Only one is read somewhat regularly. Our church has the verses on the big screen and if I'm at home and want to look up a passage I usually go to a website that has the different versions on it.

    I actually think it's ridiculous to have so many different types of Bibles (not versions, types). There are other sources to turn to if you want a specific view of Scripture that are more practical than buying a whole separate Bible. My college room mate was from Japan and I took her to a Christian bookstore and she was amazed at all of the different Bibles. She said in Japan you'd be lucky to find one type of Bible in a regular bookstore.

  3. I tend to stick with one translation for awhile and then switch it up later on to get a fresh perspective. When you read a book as much as I read the Bible (personally and at church, etc,) this is necessary.

    I had a student Bible when I was a teenager but now I just like a good plain Bible with maybe a simple concordance in the back.

  4. We have .. three bibles, I think. I bought one when I was going through my confirmation thing last year, and then someone bought me a little gift bible when I was baptised, confirmed and given holy communion. Then, I think N has an old children's bible as well. None of them are looked at. Since my confirmation they've sat on my bookshelf feeling lonely. I couldn't tell you which versions they are.

  5. I have not actually gone around the house and counted. But from memory, we have at least 12 Bibles in our home. We have mostly NIVs, there is at least one New American Standard,and we have one or two New King James. We have two Living Bibles. We have several Gideon New Testaments -- I believe those are either NIV or NKJ. We have one Bible that also has pictures that my older son carries and that we read to him. We have 3 Toddler Bibles which are really mostly Bible story books and around 3 children's prayer books. (I did not count those.) Also, my husband has a Bible app on his iPhone.

    Two of our bibles are geared to a certain group. (one to students; one to women) These were gifts. I wouldn't really buy them for myself. However, I get why some people like them. My women's study bible has very nice devotionals on subjects close to women's issues.

    We do not use/read/study them all. We have our favorite 3 or 4. I have one that is easily carried in my purse which is nice to carry to chuch. But I enjoy reading my larger one more. It has more references and a better concordance in the back.

    Many of our Bibles were given to us to acknowledge accomplishments in our life. Each of us has the Bible we received at our baptism, when we graduated high school, and I have one from when I moved out to go to boarding school. I think I even got one after I got married.

    Jason uses his iPhone app a lot more than his Bible especially when he is traveling.

  6. I primarily use a NIV Bible, but I have a couple of other versions - A New Century Version (Kind of a paraphrase) and The Message both of which are easy, beautiful reading but not what I turn to for serious study. Maybe I also have a KJV hiding around the house somewhere, but I couldn't tell you where.

    If someone feels inspired by a super-specialized version of the bible, then I'm all for it. Everyone is different.

  7. The bibles are spread all over the house so I don't feel like counting them, but I know for a fact that there are more than four :-). If I had to guess, I would say there are 10. KJV and NIV are the only two translations we have.

    As for types of bibles, I think that only two of them are standard, no-frills bibles. All the others are devotional or study bibles. The devotional bibles are in all flavors: teen bible for my eldest daughter, Men of Color bible for my husband, marriage devotional for me, and passage-a-day for the middle schoolers. We even have The Bible Experience, the audio bible recorded by various black celebrities. I don't use any of the written ones much right now because the print is too small for me. I use because I can enlarge the font.

  8. I am a Catholic, technically, but I am much more into spirituality and a blending of ideas than just one path. I, like Gilbert in Eat Pray Love (a book I loved), believe there is more than one pathway to God. I love The Tao Te Ching as much as the Bible. With that said, I do own 2 Bibles. One is a Catholic Bible, with the Apocrypha added (Protestants took this out). The other is a Protestant Bible called The Holy Encounter Bible that I love for the easy readability and for the extras it has.

    Also I think that people choose a "Woman's Bible" or a "Men's Bible" or a "Teen Bible" for the Bible studies it has included that pertain to each subgroup.

  9. Hope you're enjoying Rapture Ready! :) I have a Women's Devotional NIV, a Life Application Study bible, I know my dh has two or three bibles, and we own bibles in French and Norwegian (we speak French and I've been reading this bible lately, but the Norwegian one I found in a thrift store and thought it was awesome, because my family by heritage is Norwegian).

    So we have quite a few bibles around here. More if you count my ds's Precious Moments bible and the kiddie bibles floating here and there...

  10. Hmmm--I don't know what NIV is so I'll have to look it up. We don't have any Bibles in our house but I had a few growing up. They're at my mom's house. All are King James--like Janssen, I grew up Mormon. So I also had a Book of Mormon. Haven't practiced in over 10 years, though.

    Definitely have more dictionaries, although with the Internet most don't get used anymore. My favorite is held together with boxing tape.

    Ok, forgot I'm not blogging yet. And it's almost midnight. Going to bed!

  11. I generally prefer the King James version of the Bible mostly because that is what I was raised on. I would guess that we have 5 or 6 complete Bibles of various versions. Then there are several New Testaments (in assorted languages), Catholic Missals, Books of Common Prayer, compilations, etc. Too scattered to do an actual count.

    Dictionaries? Good question.


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