Here’s the latest in another attempt to create a special interest Bible. This time it comes wrapped in a red, white, and blue cover. The perfect gift for the 4th of July.
I’ve heard of the Green Bible, the good old Scofield Reference Bible, the Criswell Study Bible, and NIV study Bible. There’s the KJV and New KJV, plus the Cabbage Patch gospel series if you’re into a really contemporary interpretation. There’s a Bible for any Scriptural taste, and most people have several copies of them sitting on the shelf collecting dust. I’m not sure where this patriotic Bible will fit in, but many will I’m sure pick up a copy.
My only comment about this version along with other study Bibles is that we ought to let the Bible speak for itself rather than highlight particular passages that prove whatever point the editors are trying to make. In the case, I have problems with the implication that the Bible is an American book rather than God’s holy word that has transformed the entire world with its message. I don’t need color-coded photos and quotes of former presidents telling me the virtues of this text, and I saw some of these on the website. It’s an attractive work, but it seems to have the singular purpose of extoling the virtue of America being a Christian nation.
Wrapping the Word of God in an American flag or any flag for that matter is blasphemous. The Bible is not a patriotic book; it is a book of faith for all people. And Jesus is not an American, he’s the Son of God. I’m particularly sensitive to how this impacts our missions efforts, and I don’t think this latest edition of the Bible helps us out. It might make us feel better about being Americans, but I doubt if that’s the purpose of God’s word. This might make for a good marketing strategy, but it’s a poor missions strategy.
The prophet Isaiah records “the grass withers and flowers fade, but the word of our God lasts forever.” That means it will last far longer than any nation will exist on this earth. I hope that our country lasts a very, very long time. I love our country and am particularly thankful for our freedoms this 4th of July weekend. But, I think this latest effort while perhaps well-intended appears to put more value on being an American patriot than being a follower of Jesus Christ.