Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Rise of "Specialty" Bibles

Are many kinds of Bibles reaching different "markets" necessary? Has the specialty Bible market gone too far? We have moved far beyond generic study Bibles to God's Word for men, women, teens, truckers, cowboys, busy families (what family is not busy?), Bibles designed as comics, etc.

Despite the glut of Bible versions and unique packages marketed to certain demographics, why do Western Christians still come across as biblically illiterate? How can we do a better job of helping people internalize and know the Bible without turning it into a product or reducing it to a widget for sale?


benitosuave said...

Let people get a taste for its delight. Reading the Bible is what you "should" do. People view it in the same way that if you find a suitcase full of money you, "should" try to return it.

That is not how the scriptures are! The scriptures are awesome! We've just got to communicate their value!

david said...

I doubt if most Christians truly believe that the Bible is inspired. I mean belief in the sense that one affirms a proposition as true, and then consequently integrates it into one's worldview and lifestyle.

We often encounter language used to describe the Bible (infallible, inerrant, inspired); however, why then wouldn't one determine to intensely study and understand this document that God inspired? So for me the problem is unapplied theology. Many Christians may affirm that the Bible is God-breathed, but they have not integrated that belief and its implications into their worldview and lifestyle.

I think study Bibles are a great tool, especially for getting essential background information that helps you interpret the author. I'm not much for study notes that simply spiritualize every passage though.

The key is helping people understand how little they really believe when it comes down to it. Every day I have to remind myself of even the most basic things about God, because naturally I tend to live from a secular worldview while professing Christianity with my mouth.

Robert Velarde said...

Thanks for the comments. David, I definitely see a valuable role in certain study Bibles. For instance, it's nice to see the availability of an Apologetics Study Bible. However, I do think the specialty Bible market has in many respects gotten out of hand.