It seems odd to me that this should happen when these particularly copies are dear for family reasons that go along with the more obvious importance of Scripture. But I've been focused on other forms lately. When I write this blog I rely heavily on https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/ where I can search for scripture in many and delightful ways. I have a Bible that is organized to read the Bible in a year with passages from Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms and Proverbs every day with a couple of observations by noted theologians. I have one that will take me through front to back to start when this one is done.
There are no shortages of Bibles around here and I am more grateful than I can say. In most of history there were very few Bibles anywhere (a young Martin Luther had to go to a library to ready a copy changed to a desk) and oral learning was the primary way to study the Bible. I would have been SOOOOO frustrated because oral learning is my poorest learning modality, followed by one of the poorest capacities to memorize of anyone I have ever met.
So my Kindle Bible and computer access and many paper copies of Bibles and books about Bibles are all so great a blessing for me.
But no matter what form it takes or how available it is, I have learned that dusting a Bible does not do me much good. I have to read it. And I can't just read it to justify what I want to believe. I can't just read it so I can be a smarty-pants in a group Bible study. I can't just read it because I like the sound of King James English. I have done all those things and found them not worth a daily visit.
But slowly I began to trust that God would bless me if I overcame my frustration with reading The Word and just began exploring, reading with wonder, reading with curiosity, reading with a willingness to accept that no theologian, no translator, no interpreter of scripture has ever gotten it completely, perfectly "right" because there is not a single human bean who is that smart (not that we don't think we are that smart sometimes!) Then I learned that I could pray the scripture. For me this involves two different but complimentary approaches:
(1) I can ask with confidence for the blessing of the Holy Spirit of God that I might read with wisdom, with discernment, with confidence that my heart can be shielded from running of the rails into false ideas and dangerous interpretations. Passages in scripture that spoke of the dangers of listening to folks who taught 'false doctrine' kind of became too strong in my heart so that fear was larger than faith. I was so glad to be free to read scripture with confidence that God was bigger than my limits and again be able to balance the joy of learning and growing with the kind of humility of heart that constantly asks to be corrected when veering too far afield.
(2) I can take a section of scripture and pray that the truth of that scripture is true for me or for someone I am praying for. For instance if I am praying for someone who has asked for pray support as they decide about a career opportunity that is being considered I might pray, "Almighty God, your beloved child Marcia, needs to work as You know. She has two companies who have made offers and she does not know which is best. She has used the gifts you have given her of academic ability and her good people skills to consider each and she feels great uncertainty. Lord, with humble hearts we ask you to guide her to the place where you would have her be, the place where she will be able to live fully and grow in you. We remember that in James 1 verse 5 we read, "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God who gives to all generously and without reproach and it will be given to her" so that is what we are doing. Lord, we are thanking You for this promise that we read in James and ask you to open Marcia's heart to lead her to the job You want her to have, the job where You already know the blessings and challenges that will be apart of the job, the people whose lives she will touch in the job, the growth she will experience in the job. Thank you for your generosity in all matters, but particularly in the loving plans you have for Marcia in this matter. AMEN"
Yes, that Bible is a source of so many blessings.