Last week I ordered a new Bible, which arrived that Saturday. My latest Bible is tattered, stained with coffee (blood in a place or two), ripped pages, and inked up from manual notation.
I’m looking forward to learning this new book. I’ll have to make new notes and see which side of the page “key” scriptures are located on. After all, Acts 2:38 is supposed to be on the left side of the page, right column, at the bottom of the last paragraph. Now, it’s…well…it’s just not in the same place. Still, the wording is still the same, and the message of baptism has lost no importance.
I do not look forward to the new things about it though. My last Bible opened to Isaiah. That is naturally where it parted itself and I became accustomed to leafing to my destination from there. Where must I begin now? And, the pages do not seem loose, but bundled. The pages are so clean, I do not want to mistakenly leave new wear on the replacement of the worn. Also, it just feels different.
However, I had to get something new. I had to replace that which was going to fall apart before it did. How embarrassing to have had the binding fall out completely. Or, a section might have come loose, and I could lose everything from the epistles to the maps! The change had to happen. I must learn those new things. I am sure it will be even better than before. I know the book itself means nothing, just ink on a page. The part that matters? Nothing has changed about God’s Word or the power it will convey. Just my representation of It.
And now I can metaphorically feel Jesus giving me the side-eye about being so stuck on something so physical. Of the Pharisees He said, “You blind fools! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that has made the gold sacred?” (Matthew 23:17) Leather (goat though it be), paper and ink are not the Word of God. I must have Him speak though my life, my actions. “We are the only Bible the careless world will read. We are the sinner’s gospel, we are the scoffers’ creed. We are the Lord’s last message, given in deed and word. What if the type is crooked? What if the print is blurred?” (Sacred Selections #512)