New Year, New Bible

Posted: November 2, 2009 in Uncategorized

I have a custom.  Well, I’ve been doing it for four years, so…is that a custom?  Tradition?  A habit is 21 times, right?  So this is definitely not a habit.

Anyway, my custom is this:  every November I choose a brand spankin’ new Bible with which to ring in the new year.  Oh, goodness, I can hear the cries of outrage now:  “But I could NEVER replace my dear, beloved Bible!”  And I used to agree with you so I totally know your reasons:

  • Your pages are highlighted.
  • You’ve gotten acquainted with the lay-of-the-land and it would be hard to start with a totally blank canvass.
  • How would you ever FIND anything in a brand new Bible?
  • You love the Precious Moments  bride and groom on the front cover.
  • Switching to a new Bible would be unfaithfulness on the scale of switching to a new mom just because you like her ravioli better.

I know, I totally know.  I was there, too.  I had the same wonderful, faithful Bible for 15 years.  It was dog-eared and marked and mushed and penciled and….loved.  But  then I discovered that I wasn’t reading my Bible every day, I was reading what I had already read.  The previous highlighting I had done made me feel like I had already “been there, read that”, and was keeping me from reading with fresh vision.

So, I bought a whole new Bible.  I picked the one that looked the coolest to me.  It arrived on December 6 and I couldn’t wait even one day before breaking it in.  And I hated it.  I really did.  It was new and unfamiliar…like visiting the grandma you love in the hospital you hate.  It was icky.  But I knew I wanted fresh and I was out of money to spend on new Bibles, so I kept at it.

Fast forward one year and it was time to pick the new Bible and I felt like I couldn’t…possibly…part…with that wonderful, beautiful, perfect-for-me Bible.

Bottom line:  I LOVE this system.  I love starting with a fresh Bible and a fresh tranlsation every single December (that’s my Bible fiscal year!)  And so, after much shopping and agonizing and researching…here is the Bible I’m going to be forming an intimate relationship with come December 2000 (ooo..I have goose bumps right now!):

ESV Bible

Yep.  The ESV Study Bible in “cordovan” (that was the name of one of my dad’s shoe polish colors) and black.  Beautiful. The ESV Study Bible is relatively new and highly respected. Please feast your eyes on the number of study notes included with just the FIRST verse of Genesis:

ESV InsideOh goodness.  Be still my little theology-loving heart.

It’s been good for me to get really familiar with the nuances of different translations – so far, I’ve read the NKJV, the Message, the Amplified – and this is my second go-round with ESV.  I often hear the question:  what do you do with all those Bibles?”   Answer:  I still use them.  I have my Bibles all stacked up next to my chair and I cross reference all the time.  But the other answer is: I’m saving them for my kids and grandkids.  Seriously, I have Bibles picked out for each kid to get when I die and I sometimes end my quiet time by writing a little note to him/her on the inside cover or the first blank pages.  I can’t think of any way I’d rather have them remember me.

My question for you is:  How long have you had your Bible and do you think you would ever be able to switch to a new one? No right or wrong answer…just curious as to how we all roll.

Loving His Word and His words,



  1. Shandra says:

    “Awesome timing!” is the only outcry you will hear from me! My Precious Moments Bride and Groom Bible seems so completely inappropriate these days AND what was left of my current Bible of choice broke free from the tattered bindings and went flying down the driveway yesterday.
    I think Someone is trying to tell me something….and I am rolling on..perhaps The Message Bible? Thanks Bo

  2. bolovesjoe says:

    Ha! Shandra, I so dearly loved that comment! Now, I know the choice of Bibles is very personal, but I would like to skooch my way into your decision-making process for a moment and say that if you’re considering reading The Message this year, I HIGHLY recommend Conversations: The Message with its Translator. Oh, I ADORE this Bible…it’s filled with Eugene Peterson’s commentary and it’s like having this brilliant-but-warm Bible scholar/friend looking over your shoulder when you read and telling you all the cool stuff he’s discovered through years of study. I am admittedly a total Peterson fan and not everyone is, but goodness, I love this Bible! If you DO choose that one, it’s often included in the “Fab Friday” (or something like that) specials at

    That’s all. You may now return to making your own decisions. 🙂

  3. Hey Bo…I haven’t commented in a while and I can tell because I had to re-enter all my info to leave a comment!

    I completely agree and perhaps I should copy this post and give it to my beloved husband because he lovingly mocks me for my love of different Bibles and translations…in fact last night I was looking at an ESV that I have still in the “cart”…I do hope you ordered yours from Westminster Books as they offer all the ESV at really great prices…

    I feel the same about much marked Bibles…I retired my much loved NIV about 4-5 years ago and it was like an extension of my hand…if I couldn’t remember where a scripture exactly was I knew what side of the page it was on and how far down…that kind of stuff.

    Currently I am using a NIV Inductive Study Bible which I will continue to use for church and Bible studies…it has such large print and huge margins for writing notes…LOVE IT!

    But I believe that an ESV is calling my name for my personal study…

    One last thing, I read on a blog last year about a woman that every year for 20 years she bought a new one year Bible and read through the Bible each year complete with marks and notes, etc…and she had a shelf that housed each volume…it was like a shelf of her journey with the Lord and on year 21 she decided to go back to year one…re-read it using that Bible to see where God had taken her all those years ago and to record where He was taking her in the year to come…very cool I thought!



  4. Funny, I was just noticing how I tend to gravitate towards the already read and underlined passages, and skip those that are in-between. And so many were underlined during a different season of my life. In each new season, God will speak differently, and I wouldn’t want to miss out on what He’s saying because I wont read between the underlines!!

    Bo, not promoting my blog, but come read something wonderful. God healed me from a sickness and I am so amazed!

    Blessings to you,

  5. Oh, Bo- my Grandfather used to read his Bible through every month… when they were beyond reading he put them on a shelf. Now each of us grand-kids have one of his Bibles…and my Grandmother (his wife) now reads a Bible through each year for one of her grand-kids. She reads and prays for them as she goes through the Bible. I had a hard time getting rid of my Bible, too… but it was literally getting a little smelly. I mean- it was beyond dogeared. So, it sits on the shelf for some future grandchild to revel in as I haul my new Archeological Study Bible off the shelf every morning. You go, girl! xoxo

  6. Ann Dunagan says:

    I like that idea of wearing out a new Bible every year – to pass on to our descendants!!!

    How cool would that be???

    By the way, we’ve got some Dunagan-romance in the works – and if you want to learn more, check out our big-kid’s facebook. It’s quite exciting, and it really feels like God is at work . . . we’re praying for favor and wisdom and direction.

    Also, I just loaded a new article – entitled “Daring Daughters and Dirty Feet” – about raising our girls to passionately love Jesus and to be willing to do great (and even dangerous) exploits for God. Christi is in the midst of writing her college senior paper about international human trafficking and healing from horrendous sexual abuse. She’s also preparing to co-lead an ORU mission team to work with rescued girls in Cambodia.

    It’s what that beautiful Bible is all about – living the light of God’s amazing WORD – in a very dark WORLD!!!

    love you!

  7. bolovesjoe says:

    Ann – I just read your article and I loved it! I suspect you and I were commenting on each other’s blogs at the same time. 🙂 I will surely and certainly check out the romance situation! Your kids are treasure…pure and simple, and I love when God is in the mix of it all. I keep being reminded that He’s not just great, He’s good…especially when we give Him our kids.

    Tori & Megan – awesome insight…Tori, I love the “smelly Bible” comment and will remember it always. Megan, I will definitely check out your blog! Sounds exciting!

    Helen – oh, just so good to hear from you. So, so good. Much love from Bend to Portland and me to you.

    Love you friends!

  8. ELizabeth McColl says:

    I like this idea but not sure how i feel about buying more bibles. Being knee deep in Greek and Hebrew I do pull out my Greek NT several times a week….Have you thought of that one?

    Just wondering what you do with the Bibles that you have bought….the ones that you are able to part with as the new one comes along….
    …the birth of the new of Bible a year also coincided with another birthday….

    Always good to read your posts. I am going to try the pork (in bacon fat) at the weekend…


  9. […] year, I admitted to this odd behavior and I got some support and some You’re Nuts.  But I’m okay with that because I’ve […]

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