Bet you didn’t think those words would ever be used to describe me. I sure didn’t ever see that one coming!
But, a recent commenter on my blog basically accused me of being just that, and for what reason? Not liking one of the books I reviewed–The American Patriot’s Bible. I still stand by that review (and the fact that I was, in fact, not trying to “spin” it into something else), and I still think that book is a terrible misuse, and perhaps even abuse, of Scripture. But, my anger at being labeled in such a fashion got me thinking about that Bible, and about that genre of Bibles, and I came to a realization about myself that I wasn’t really aware of before.
I don’t really like the whole devotional Bible/themed Bible thing.
A good study Bible, that I love. Cross-references, chain-references, concordance, word studies. I think these things are great, because they are strictly about the words written in the Bible, not about how they make us feel, not about us at all. Just about the Word of God. And that’s what a Bible should be. Doesn’t the Word of God stand on it’s own, without narrative from us?
I don’t mind devotional books, either. Now, if I am to be honest, I will say that I think a lot of the current ones out there are too feel-good and trite, but there are also some good ones, that force the reader to really think about the Scripture, about why it was written, who it was written for, and what it means for us today. Hey, I even own (and use!) a few such books!
But, I just don’t think that kind of man-made narrative belongs directly in the Bible. In it’s own book to be used alongside, fine. But leave the Bible to be just that–the Bible. Not the Bible plus.
I guess I just realized why any of the devotional Bibles I ever received sat unread on the bookshelf, while my good old Concordia Self-Study Bible has been used, highlighted, and somewhat dog-eared over time. Interesting. I like when I learn something new about myself!