Wednesday, November 14, 2012

An Unmarked Bible

Posted by Lisa Laree to Beer Lahai Roi

In a rather unusual sequence of events, I have become the owner of 3 new Bibles in about the last 6 weeks.

One was given to me, one was purchased on something of a lark (it was $5), and one was a replacement for the old warhorse Bible in the upper right that has been my go-to study companion for the past 27 1/2 years but has, due to ignorance on my part for the first ten years or so, deteriorated to the point that I needed to retire it with honors.

I may talk later about my thoughts on the translations, as they are all different (the study Bibles are 1984 NIVs, the very small Bible is a 2011 NIV and the one in the lower right is a 2001 ESV), but for now I thought I'd just talk a bit about having three unmarked texts before me.

A Bible, for me, isn't just a nice read on a rainy day; it is a feast to consume and digest.  I've written before about the marking system I use to highlight and emphasize as I read and study; it is one revelation after another preserved for future reference.  All four Bibles are open to my favorite verse - Romans 12:2 - and you can see how the years of study have transformed my old Bible, while the new ones are, by and large, waiting for the notation of whatever new - or renewed - revelation comes as I study them (I noticed that I have already  marked Romans 12:2 in the little Bible).

I am carrying the new study Bible to teach from; it is awkward as I'm not yet familiar with its quirks and text patterns, and the notches on the sides of the pages are something I'm going to have to get used to handling, and it's NOT marked so I have to rely on my memory of text references instead of cheating by  looking for the passage by its marking, but it is the text that our lesson material is based on so it is the better choice for the classroom.

And it is such a quality volume; leather cover, fine paper...and, believe it or not, it smells fabulous.  I even passed it around in class tonight so my junior high girls could experience the fragrance.

But  it is the unmarked path through the Word that is intriguing;  I have learned from past study that a slight difference in wording may open up a new aspect of a passage that I had not seen before.  Or simply because I have not marked the verse in one way, I may see it slightly differently.  Either way, I am anticipating some rich study time as I blaze the trails ahead.

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