Sheila's Books
Click on the covers to read more or order autographed copies!







My Webrings



Crazy Hip Blog Mamas Members!





Photobucket


Photobucket





Medical Billing
Medical Billing



Advertising
For ALL Your Graphic Needs

Dine Without Whine - A Family 

Friendly Weekly Menu Plan
The Marketing of Bibles
In my adult life I have had three Bibles. I started with one I had when I was 16. It was a NKJV study Bible, and I used it constantly. I underlined verses and coloured verses and wrote in the margins. I could find anything in that Bible.


NKJV Bible

NKJV2


But eventually I just didn't want NKJV anymore, and I switched to an NIV study Bible. I used that briefly, for about three years, before switching to the Bible I have now, an NRSV which comes--this is the best part, and really why I bought it--with huge margins all around so that you can make lots of notes. I believe in marking up my Bible. It's how I know what I've already read, and what I've already thought, and I find my notes useful when I read again.


RSV2

RSV1


Most people, I find, do only have a few Bibles because we get attached and it's hard to part with them. That's your whole history of your spiritual journey in one book! How could you start fresh? What do you do? Move all your notes over?

And yet, even though we feel that way about Bibles once we're adults, we don't expect to feel that way when we're children or teens. Bibles are marketed with the assumption that kids will buy a new one at each new stage in their lives. They'll have an easy one with pictures, and then a slightly harder version, and then they'll go through several different teen Bibles before they reach adulthood.

I think this is done more for the marketing of Bibles than it is for the spiritual health of children. I do believe in having young children who can read--let's say 7-9--read from an easier version, like the New Living or the TNIV. But once they're reading novels, I don't see why we don't just let kids graduate to the Bible that they will start using in their spiritual faith. I did at 16, and I could have done so at a younger age. Pick the version that you like to read and memorize from, and buy that for your 10-11 year olds. Or save it until they're 12 and make it into a big birthday present that's meaningful.

I was reminded of the importance of this recently when my daughter showed me a teen Bible that she won for free (as in we didn't pay good money for it). It's a lovely Bible, pink and brown, that's very attractive. But what we didn't bargain for was what came inside of it.


PinkBible


There were quizzes about "My Favourite Date" or "What I Look for in a Boyfriend". I can't tell you them all now because in disgust Rebecca ripped them out. Why is a Bible encouraging young teens to think about dating? She thought it was stupid. (You can read her thoughts here).

But that's the problem with Bibles marketed to a specific segment of the population. Bibles marketed to teens will include dating quizzes. Bibles marketed to children will include little devotionals or anecdotes about school or about what to do when parents fight and other stuff that really doesn't belong in a Bible. They're all done as sidebars, so they're not part of the text or anything, but they're still there, staring at you, as you read through Proverbs. Becca tore out all the dating quizzes, but other stuff is still there.


PinkBible2

Pinkbible3


I have no problem with sidebars that list the miracles of Jesus or the parables of Jesus or anything like that. I find such things helpful study aids. But sidebars in any Bible--whether for children or teens or women--that are more quiz based or devotional based I find strange. It's not that I'm against devotions; it's just that those sidebars usually give a particular slant to the story or passage that you're reading, and I'd rather let God's Holy Spirit talk to me at that time. If I want to read a devotional, I'll get a separate devotional, thank you very much.

I know that companies just need to make money, and hence they're marketing Bibles like this. And I do believe that everyone should have their own Bible so that they can make their own notes in it.

But I would just caution you before you buy your next Bible or you or a family member or friend: what do you want your Bible for? If you just want something to use as a study aid, then you don't need one specifically for women or teens or kids or fishermen or moms or golfers or anything. You just want a Bible with margins for leaving notes and with the occasional map or chart.

And such a Bible is good regardless of gender, age, class, nationality. It speaks to everyone. After all, that's what it was written for. Maybe it's time we got back to that!

P.S. to any Bible companies reading this: Please make more Bibles with big margins for notes. Thank you.


Share/Bookmark
 

Labels: ,

17 Comments:

At 5:24 PM , Blogger Katy-Anne said…

That's also why there's always a new Bible version coming out...it's a marketing strategy. Part of, but by no means all of the many reasons why we are KJV only. Kids can memorize and learn to read it just fine. You will find that none of these so-called "teen Bibles" with dating quizzes and stuff, in KJV, that's for sure.

 

At 5:36 PM , Blogger kkaci said…

This comment has been removed by the author.

 

At 5:37 PM , Blogger kkaci said…

I SO agree. The last Bible I bought was a woman's study Bible. I can't use it! I am so distracted by the sidebars and the "what to do if ..." paragraphs that I have never been able to successfully just study God's word from it. I am using my original NASB again!

 

At 6:28 PM , Blogger Amy said…

My favorite, most well-used bible was an NIV bible that I got at an FCA convention. I have notes EVERYWHERE in that Bible!

One Bible I really want but just can't pay the money for is an Archaeological Study Bible. This is pretty much it (except I don't want large print): http://www.booksamillion.com/product/9780310940845?id=4832071702571

I LOVE history, and when I was a little girl my favorite thing to do was go through the maps in the back of my 1st Bible (and NKJV) to see where Jesus and his disciples had been. I love historical anything so the archaeological aspect greatly appealed.

But. I don't need that type of Bible, obviously. I wouldn't have minded advice on relationships from a teen bible as a teenager, but putting so much focus on it is a little strange.

 

At 6:44 PM , Anonymous Bonnie said…

My little girl just started kindergarten today and part of her school supply list is to have her own KJV bible, no large print or pictures. At first I was a little worried that this version would be overwhelming to her, but then again, if she can learn to use it well, she will have a great basis of understanding Gods word and that is what is important. We still have her precious moments bible at home and it will always be her first, but maybe, just maybe, she will have one and only bible that she studies and learns from. We shall see. Great and thought provoking post as always.

 

At 6:46 PM , Blogger Llama Momma said…

My boys LOVE the "Adventure Bible," marketed to kids. It includes interesting historical facts, animal facts, and life application stuff.

To see an 8-year old choose the bible for his "quiet reading time" for school is an awesome thing.

Everyone else is marketing to my kids...why NOT bibles?

No complaints for this mom. :-)

 

At 6:51 PM , Blogger Michelle said…

I love this post. My friend and I were researching the difference between the KJV and the NIV. We ended up at a site that explained (in simple English) the benefits and negatives about numerous bible translations/paraphrases. I have an NIRV for my daughter who is 7, but plan on getting her a NKJV when she is in her teens. I think that devotions are fine, but there is a time and place for them.

PS: I'm with you about large margins.

 

At 7:03 PM , Anonymous Heather said…

@Amy,

We have friends who use the Archaeological Study Bible and also love it. They just both recently got a new one, because there was no more room to take notes ;) They got a new kind, not sure what though. And actually went back to their old Bibles.

@ Llama Mama, I have heard good things about the Adventure Bibles. At what age did you start using them with your kids. My son is starting kindergarten and starting to read and I am trying to decide what kind of Bible to get him, now that he is older, and has graduated from the story book Bibles.

As for me, I have several Bibles. One that I use during Church, one I use for Bible study, and one I use for the Mom's group I belong to. All different versions.

Heather

 

At 10:33 PM , Blogger Renee said…

I like using a parallel Bible because a Hebrew scholar once told me that the best way to get the meaning of the original is to see all the different ways it is translated; by comparing them, you will get the clearest translation.

 

At 9:13 AM , Blogger LWH said…

Can I ask for specifics on your bible with the large margins (as in, the ISBN number?) I love to make notes as I study scripture, and I need a new bible. I'd love to find that one!

 

At 2:54 PM , Blogger Llama Momma said…

@Heather -- about a year ago we got the bibles. I'm embarrassed to admit the boys had to ask. I just hadn't thought about it. We read scripture as a family, and one night, one of the boys said, "When could I have a bible, you know, to just read?"

And so we ordered the Adventure Bibles! So, second grade.

 

At 4:52 PM , Blogger Sheila said…

After all that talk about Bibles, I am sitting in the Syracuse airport to go away, and it just dawned on me that I forgot mine!!!! Aahhhhhh!!! I hate that.

And so I can't give you the ISBN, because I just went to get it to write it for you, and realized it's not here. Phooey.

It's interesting the different versions everyone uses. My girls tend to like the NIV. I still like the KJV for the Psalms, because it feels more like poetry. And I memorized so much in KJV as a child!

I think the main thing for kids is to buy a Bible they will read and enjoy. For some that means lots of pictures. For others it can mean a "grown up" looking bible they'll keep. That's what I had. But the important thing, I think, is to get something your children will READ.

For teens, I think it's important to encourage them to do devotions and relate to God as a person, and not just a teen with teen problems. We pigeon hole teenagers too much, and don't give them credit for what they can actually handle!

 

At 12:33 PM , OpenID americanfamilynow said…

I TOTALLY agree with you! And I'm glad your daughter saw through the marketing scheme. Have you heard of the new "green" bible? It's sick!

On a more positive note, I have been reading The Child's Story Bible by Catherine F. Vos to my 2 and 3 year olds, but it's still mostly above their heads so I know I'll be reading it for some years to come. But I also intend to expose them to an "adult" Bible, probably the NIV but we'll see, because I see no need for them to use multiple Bibles. We do have a few versions at home, so perhaps reading The Word in different languages might help to understand it, but to have marketed Bibles is just plain stupid!

 

At 12:33 PM , OpenID americanfamilynow said…

I TOTALLY agree with you! And I'm glad your daughter saw through the marketing scheme. Have you heard of the new "green" bible? It's sick!

On a more positive note, I have been reading The Child's Story Bible by Catherine F. Vos to my 2 and 3 year olds, but it's still mostly above their heads so I know I'll be reading it for some years to come. But I also intend to expose them to an "adult" Bible, probably the NIV but we'll see, because I see no need for them to use multiple Bibles. We do have a few versions at home, so perhaps reading The Word in different languages might help to understand it, but to have marketed Bibles is just plain stupid!

 

At 11:40 PM , Blogger Jen said…

My husband got me the Legacy Bible a while ago for this very reason....large margins. This is one thing I want to pass onto my children! They will always know exactly how God was speaking to me through certain passages.

 

At 1:28 PM , Blogger LWH said…

I just found this post bookmarked and have been meaning to check back to see if you would be kind enough to post the ISBN number for your bible with the large margins. I'm trying to find one to start the year with (reading the entire bible in a year program) and most of the ones at the book store are sealed, so I can't open them and look before purchasing! Thank you!

 

At 2:03 PM , Blogger Sheila said…

LWH--

Sure! Here it is. It was published in Great Britain, and it's the NRSV: 0-521-50777-4 Hard back.

That's what it says on the title page. Hope that helps!

 
Post a Comment
<< Home
 


About Me

Name: Sheila

Home: Belleville, Ontario, Canada

About Me: I'm a Christian author of a bunch of books, and a frequent speaker to women's groups and marriage conferences. Best of all, I love homeschooling my daughters, Rebecca and Katie. And I love to knit. Preferably simultaneously.

See my complete profile

Follow This Blog:

 Subscribe to To Love, Honor and Vacuum

Follow on Twitter:
Follow on Facebook:


Important Links
Previous Posts


Categories
Popular Archived Posts
Archives
Christian Blogs
Mom Blogs
Marriage/Intimacy Blogs
Blogs For Younger/Not Yet Married Readers
Housework Blogs
Cooking/Homemaking Blogs
Writing Links
Credits
Blog Design by Christi Gifford www.ArtDesignsbyChristi.com

Images from www.istockphoto.com

Related Posts with Thumbnails