In the last few years, I have become more intentional about buying more American-made products. But I had never given much thought to where my Bibles are made. Until now. I stumbled across this eye-opening post (albeit a little dated…2011), about how a large percentage of Bibles are now made in China, by a company that apparently does not support line up with my Christians values.
I took at look at the last 4 Bibles I have purchased (a NLT, MEV, and 2 KJVs) and found that two were printed in the U.S., one in Italy, and one in Korea (I’m assuming, and hoping, that means South Korea).
If you want me to recommend a Bible Publisher, I am a huge fan of the Trinitarian Bible Society (TBS), based in the UK, and whose Bibles are printed in the Netherlands. They only produce King James Version Bibles, but that is not a problem for me since that is the translation I prefer for my daily Bible reading.
TBS Bibles are the best combination of quality and value. They are not quite at the same level of quality as Cambridge, Allan, or Schuyler, which are the highest quality Bibles on the planet. But they are much higher quality than the vast majority of Bibles you will find at Walmart or your local Christian bookstore, and at remarkably low prices (a calfskin Bible for only $43!).
Another great thing about TBS is that they are not a corporation that views the Bible as product to sale. Unfortunately, most Bibles are published primarily to make money. TBS is a ministry whose primary goal is the distribution of the Word of God. This is why their prices are so low.
I personally own three Bibles that I have had rebound, two by Diego Caloca in California and one by Leonard’s in Indiana. I’m increasingly asked about this subject and thought it would be good to provide a list of Bible rebinding specialists. By providing this list, I am not personally endorsing all their work. As mentioned I have only used Deigo Caloca and Leonard’s, and were pleased with their work. That said, I know of other pastors and Christians who have used some of these other companies and have been pleased with their work as well.
From Memorial Day to Independence Day my patriotism swells, and for the past few years I have, therefore, found Summer to be a great season to reflect on our nation’s history by reading books in the American History genre, particularly works related to American military history.
Why not join me this year in some American History reading goals for this summer? I challenge you to join me. I’ve picked out a five books I plan to read this summer.
Have you ever been robbed? A dear couple in our congregation recently had their apartment broken into, and much was stolen: computers, jewelry, credit cards, etc. I’ve never had that happen to me.
My car was broken into years ago; all that was taken was some loose change. But a couple of years ago, through identity theft, Lacey and I funded someone’s Christmas… over $800 of electronics at a Radio Shack in California! Fortunately, Discover believed us when we said we didn’t Christmas shop at that Radio Shack on the West Coast and removed the charges from our bill. All it ended up costing us was the hassle of getting new credit cards.
How should we react when we get robbed? If it ever happens to me again. I hope I respond the way noted Bible scholar Matthew Henry did after he was robbed. Henry was mugged once when he was traveling on foot, the thieves getting away with his wallet. Later, as he reflected on his experience, he wrote in his journal:
“Let me be thankful first, because I was never robbed before; second, because, although they took my wallet, they did not take my life; third, because, although they took my all, it was not much; and fourth, because, it was I who was robbed, not I who robbed.”
We recently watched the sci-fi drama Interstellar starring Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chasten, and Michael Caine. (**Spoiler Alert**) Sometime in the not-so-distant future, Earth is on the verge of becoming inhabitable. The human race will die unless someone can figure out how to colonize another planet. In the process of searching for a potential planet to colonize, Matthew McConaughey’s character, Cooper, enters a black hole. Expecting to perish, instead he finds himself in a tesseract. Inside the tesseract, Cooper is somehow on the other side of his daughter’s bedroom bookshelves. He is able to peek through the bookshelf and see different time frames of his daughter’s life in that room. Amazingly, he is also able to cross the space-time continuum and actually cause books to fall off the shelf. Using Morse code, he is able to communicate to her via a wristwatch lying on the bookshelf, a watch he gave her prior to leaving on his space journey. Through Morse code he delivers to her quantum data collected from the black hole. This data provides the solution to a gravitational equation that is the key to successfully saving the human race from extinction.
How does this relate to the eminent author C. S. Lewis and 2 Peter 3.18?
When Cooper is in the tesseract, he is able to see into, and even communicate, with his daughter, at various times through her life. He is able to see history not as a progression of sequential events, but, in essence, all at once. He even sees himself in the room (think Marty McFly seeing himself in Back to the Future II). At first, Cooper thinks that he has been aided by some five-dimensional alien beings which are obviously more intelligent and advanced than humans. Eventually, though, he realizes that it is not aliens, but a more evolved humanity that has learned to master the space-time continuum.
Consider these concepts from Interstellar with what C. S. Lewis wrote back in the 1940s, as found in the book Mere Christianity:
“We tend to assume that the whole universe and God Himself are always moving on from past to future just as we do. But many learned men do not agree with that. It was the Theologians who first started the idea that some things are not in Time at all: later the Philosophers took it over: and now some of the scientists are doing the same.”
Lewis is addressing the very principle on which much of the movie Interstellar is dependent: it is possible to be outside of time as we know and experience it. The difference is that Interstellar envisions a God-less, evolved humanity being the ones who will experience and master the implications of such an eternal view. Lewis, instead, believes God is the One dwelling outside of time. Lewis uses the concept of God hearing and answering prayers as an example of how He stands outside of time:
“His life does not consist of moments following one another. If a million people are praying to Him at ten-thirty tonight, He need not listen to them all in that one little snippet which we call ten-thirty. Ten-thirty – and every other moment from the beginning of the world – is always Present for Him. If you like to put it that way, He has all eternity in which to listen to the split second of the prayer put up by a pilot as his plane crashes in flames.”
How does this impact our prayer lives?
“He has infinite attention to spare for each one of us… You are as much alone with Him as if you were the only being He had ever created.”
Is your brain hurting yet? If Lewis is correct, then his theory enables us also to think about how God seems to be so more patient in dealing with the things we think He should rushing to fix. In other words, it gives us a clue as to why God is sometimes slow to give us the answers to our prayers. After all, as 2 Peter 3.8 says, “But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.”
God is awesome and beyond our comprehension! His thoughts are higher than our thoughts and His ways higher than our ways!
I recently did a personal Bible study on walking with God. Using a concordance, I found 62 Scriptures that really spoke to me directly on the subject. Over the last few weeks I narrowed the list down to 12 favorite Scriptures on the subject, which I hope to put to memory:
And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people. – Leviticus 26.12
For the Lord is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly. – Psalm 84.11
Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me. – Psalm 119.133
Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee. – Psalm 143.8
Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not on thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. – Proverbs 3.5-6
Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. Turn not to the right hand nor to the left; remove thy foot from evil. – Proverbs 4.25-27
The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him. – Proverbs 20.7
And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. – Ezekiel 36.27
The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. – Habakkuk 3.19
For we walk by faith, not by sight. – 2 Corinthians 5.7
This I say then, walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. – Galatians 5.16
I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. – 3 John 4