When friends tell me it’s hard to pick a new Bible because there are so many choices, I say “Poppycock!”
Then they say, “Why am I friends with you?”
And I say, “Because when I become a famous Christian I’ll take you as my guest to the Dove Awards.”
And then they say, “Seriously, why am I friends with you?”
Then I say, “Ahh fiddlesticks!” And the whole thing kind of spins out of control from there with me continuing to yell old timey swear words and them continuing to question the validity of our friendship. But, I stand by that initial “poppycock” because picking out a new Bible isn’t difficult. You go to the store and buy one or you liberate the one that’s in the drawer of your bedside table at a hotel. Two steps and you’re done. That’s even easier than that Plain White T’s song that Atlanta radio stations are playing approximately 92 times a day right now.
And to prove my point, I went to a local Christian book store and came up with the “9 questions you need to ask before you buy a Bible.”
Here they are:
1. Do you like to read your Bible while at the same time being invisible to the naked eye?
What you thought I was going to start with NIV vs. KJV? That’s too easy, let’s get into the real issues: How often do you plan on reading your Bible in the woods while being completely camoflauged? Because if you’re like me, and you want to get out in the woods, cover yourself in mud like Arnold in “Predator” and cling motionless to a tree while reading Habakkuk you’re going to need a Bible that is enrobed in Camo. Fortunately I saw one called “Mossy Oak Brand Camo Holy Bible.” I agree, it’s a little weird that the word “Brand” got top billing over the word Bible, but you wouldn’t want someone confusing this Bible with one of the other camo manufacturers.
2. Do you want a Bible that would make sense in the movie “Red Dawn?”
I thought the Mossy Oaks Bible was tough until I heard a Bible on another shelf giggling at it’s girly ways. I’m of course talking about the Outdoor Bible. It’s waterproof, snow proof, sleet proof, hail proof. (I guess I could have just said waterproof because all those other things are made of water.) And if your question is, “Yeah, but does it come with a free burlap bag?” The answer my grizzled friend is yes, yes it does. Best of all on the front it says that it’s perfect for “Camping, Hunting, Boating, Soldiers, Missions.” Is it me or does that list of activities get progressively more dangerous as it goes on? I kind of expected them to say after missions that the Outdoor Bible was “perfect for hunting the world’s most deadly prey. Man.”
3. Do you care about the sex of your Bible?
Yikes, I meant the “gender” of your Bible. Do you care if you get a lady Bible or a dude Bible? There are options you know. The easiest way to tell the difference is by color. Lady Bibles all come in pink and dude Bibles all don’t. Plus the name’s are different too. Lady Bibles are named pleasant, like “True Identity” and “Hugs Bible for Women.” Dude Bibles all have names that sound a little red bully, like “Strive.”. (And don’t just assume because you’re a dude you buy a Dude Bible. As latin sensation Bryan Adams sang, “To really love a woman, you read her Bible.”)
4. How skinny do you want your Bible to be?
We’ve given Bibles some serious body image issues. Go ahead and join the skinny Bible mania but please make sure you know exactly how skinny you want that word of God to be. Some Bibles promise thinness but you can tell they haven’t really worked their core out as hard as they should. Trust me, you can tell. Here are the options I found: ultrathin, trimline, thinline, ultraslim and compact text. Me personally? I’m waiting for the ultratrinslim Diet Rock Star edition.
5. Do you care about color?
If the answer is no, then get the straight up black, gray or brown editions. Expect a little more flair from your Word of God? How about Camel and Chocolate? Too much flair? How about a calming orchid plum. Of course if you want to show your support of Stuff Christians Like, you can always get a Bible in Razzleberry. I’m not kidding, this is real and this is real awesome.
6. How big do you want the print?
If you’ve got bad eyesight or just prefer to have it seem like everyone in the Bible is yelling at you, “MY NAME IS RUTH!” fear not because you’ve got some options. I have to admit I initially misread one version I saw as “Giant Panda.” It’s actually “Giant Print” although for a second I thought to myself, “Finally, Wycliffe Bible Translators have translated a version of the Bible for the Giant Pandas.” And I felt pretty good about recommending that option to you until I saw that there was a version called “Super Giant Print.” That kind of feels like naming the Bible, “Awesome Awesome” or “Mr. Mister” but maybe I’m wrong. The downside to the Super Giant version however is that it’s 19,000 pages long, weighs slightly more than a Kia and comes with a moving dolley to get it into your car.
7. Are you an airmen?
I know, I know, I’m hitting all the important questions right now. I’m kind of on a streak. But there’s actually something called “The Airman’s Bible” and it offers a “special prayer and devotional section for Air Force personnel.” Do the Marines have their own Bible? The Coast Guard? My assumption is that it’s got all the passages about us having our strength renewed like the eagle highlighted with a little note that says, “See, right there. That’s God talking to us. Beat Navy!”
8. Do you want it illustrated?
I’m not talking Frank Miller Sin City style, although he alone could do justice to some of the violence in the Old Testament, but do you want pictures? The store I went to had two different illustrated options which were pretty much the same thing anyway: The Thomas Kinkade Edition and the Manga Edition. Please tell me that somewhere out there a publisher is combining those two options and doing a “Mangkade” edition of the Bible. There would still be thatched roofs and idyllic brooks that babble about, but they’d be crawling with Ninjas that caused horizontal racing stripes of awesomeness when they leapt through the air to clear out the lenders from the temple. Oh man, this thing practically writes itself. Baker, Thomas Nelson, Zondervan? The world is waiting for Mangkade.
9. Do you want Max Lucado to read it to you?
I’m kidding, that I’m aware there’s not a Max Lucado audio version of the Bible available. But you can buy the Max Lucado version of the Bible or the John Maxwell version or the John MacArthur version. (I just realized that John Maxwell is kind of the nexus between “Max Lucado and John MacArther.” Interesting.) If you dig those three guys you can get their Bible. I doubt Zondervan will ever give me my own version of the Bible but maybe they’ll take me up on my proposal to do a version of “The Shack” starring Shaquille O’Neal. I’d call it “the Shaq.” I think 1,987 other Christians have already realized that The Shack sounds like Shaq, but my idea is different because instead of God being a woman, NBA star Larry Johnson, who used to dress up like his grandma in commercials for Converse sneakers, would be in it. And Shawn Kemp, the reign man would be in it too but only because he’s out of work and very available. And the soundtrack would be done by Terence Trent D’Arby. Wow, two free gold ideas in one post. Mangkade and the Shaq. Why don’t I have a multi-book deal and pants made of hollowed out diamonds stuffed with gold yet?
Hopefully in addition to learning something, you’ve found that it’s a lot easier to pick a new Bible then people try to say it is. Sure, if you search on Amazon for Bibles there are literally 493,743 different options available, but with the help of this list you’ll be able to cut that result set down to 460,000, maybe even 450,000 in no time.
How did you pick your Bible?