I recently switched over from the 1984 NIV Bible to the 2011 edition/translation of the NIV Bible. The translation is different. I’ve written about it before. It’s a hard transition to make but a necessary one. Things are changing. Things are updating. And at my new church we use the TNIV which is very close to the 2011 NIV. And so I wanted to preach from as close of a same translation as possible for what people were reading.
But it’s been hard to switch out Bibles. I’ve had my green bonded leather Bible since 2004. It was a gift from my wonderful wife. She even wrote my name in it. I’ve written the births of my two kiddos in the front of the book. I’ve poured over Scripture repeatedly, marking up the pages with pen and highlighter alike. I can find passages in my green Bile like nobodies business. I have it memorized where my favorite passages are. I know it quite well.
And I’m not used to my new Bible yet. It’s not as marked up. It’s not as well read. the pages are crisp and new. The pages aren’t ripped. There are hardly any markings in it at all. Right now I’m reading through Romans and working at highlighting and marking passages that mean something to me. Yet it’s not the same right now. When I read through my green Bible, I even put dates down that meant something to me when I read it. And when I re-read that passage, the date would come back to mind and the memory would be fresh again.
I haven’t built up those memories with my new Bible yet. It’s like starting up with a new friend while remembering your old friend. There are fond memories of me and my green Bible. Taking it with me to preach in for the first time. Taking it with me to do visits in the hospital to hurting people. Pouring through it looking for wisdom from the book of Proverbs during a struggling time in my life. Reading through the pages looking for inspiring passages to preach from.
My brown Bible doesn’t have that. It’s not as familiar. The verses are in different places than where they once were. The pages aren’t marked up like they should be.
Given time, they will. Given time they will be well worn and well known. The pages will speak of new histories and memories. The pages will speak of times of pouring through looking for wisdom, for guidance, for direction. The pages will speak to me in new ways, different from my green Bible.
The words are a bit different at times. The type font is a bit different too. The ancient words of scripture are forever true though. It doesn’t matter if it’s the 1984 version or the 2011, Scripture stays true regardless. It is what I look for. God’s word. God’s words to me. God’s words from throughout the ages found amongst these pages.
And so I study God’s word. I focus on the words that are written. The truths inside of them fresh and new. It’s a hard adjustment that I have to make, but it’s one I’m willing to do so.
I’m looking forward to marking up my new brown bible. I’m looking forward to making a new friend amongst the pages of the ancient words. It’ll take time, maybe another 9 years, but I will mark it up and know it well, maybe even better this time around.