I’m a creature of habit. I really don’t mind change all that much. However, when something works for me, it’s really hard for me to try to change and do something different. This couldn’t be any truer than when it comes to my Scofield Study Bible. My mother gave me this Bible six years ago for my birthday. I’ve had Bibles given to me before as gifts all through my years, but this was given to me when I got back in church and began my ministry.
My grandmother and my mother both have always used Scofield Study Bibles. And when mom asked me what type of Bible I wanted I knew I wanted a King James version, black bonded leather Scofield. And it’s exactly what I got. It’s been my main Bible since that day back in May 2005.
Even with all it’s flaws I still can’t get away from it. I noticed a few months after I had it that I didn’t have a full concordance! It goes all the way to ‘S’ and then skips over to the map index. It drove me crazy for years! Every time I would go to search for ‘truth’ or some other word that started with T through Z in the concordance it would come up short. After awhile I started to dig that about it. It gave my Bible character, it gave us some history together.
So why the Scofield? Why not the Thompson Chain? Well I think the major deciding points for me was that the two women who shaped me in growing up and who were the spiritual leaders in their homes always used the Scofield. And obviously it’s what I’ve always used, and I’ve never had the need to try the Thompson. I’ve looked through the Thompson Chain several times, and I just don’t get the cross reference system, whereas the Scofield just seemed easier. Scofield’s footnotes are incredible, despite his views on the trinity.
This past Christmas my wife did something very special for me. My Bible was falling apart at the seams. The pages were starting to come out of the binding and the bonded leather and cover began to crack. So Ashley had me find someone who could rebind and recover my Scofield. Ace BookBinding was incredible with what they did to my Bible. I sent them my Bible and they gave me several options of leather, color(or collar as I like to say it), and many other great options. I got a black calf skin cover and they rebound my worn out and tattered Bible. It’s like a brand new Bible! I thought about just getting a new Scofield to replace mine instead of rebinding it, but I just didn’t have the heart to lay my trusty friend on the shelf. I don’t regret my choice.
Trust me I’ve tried other Bibles. I bought one of those hip slim calf skin Bibles that all the preachers were carrying, but I seemed to miss the study system. I bought an ESV Study Bible which was incredible, and still is. I just couldn’t bring myself to carry the family Bible like size of the ESV to church, plus it was hardback. I may try one of the newer ESV personal size study Bibles that now come in leather. I tried a Dake’s Study Bible, but the font and notes took up all the space. I just keep coming back to my sidekick; the Scofield Study Bible.
Before my mom bought me the Scofield Bible for my birthday I asked to borrow her burgundy soft leather Scofield. For several weeks I took that and read it. It was at a time when I was really struggling with my calling. I felt like God could call guys who were at Bible college who were dying to preach, and I was just a nobody who didn’t even know how to read a Bible. (I’ll write about my struggles with reading the Bible I had early on in a later post.) I was just really confused on why God would call me to preach. And one day I opened my mom’s Scofield and on the inside blank white page was this saying; “God doesn’t call the qualified, but He qualifies the called.” I’m tearing up just remembering the emotions that I felt as I read that. It was there all along, something my mother heard preached years before, but a young man would read that years later and receive a Word from the LORD.
When I opened up my first Scofield Bible, I wrote that saying before I did anything else. It was a reminder of what God spoke to me, and it’s engraved on my heart. When I struggled with my calling I would turn to that white page and read those words. This is why I can’t put this Bible down.
The coffee stains, the ripped pages, the ink that’s bled through, the smeared notes, the missing pages to a concordance, all of that makes it my Bible. The places I’ve been with it, the pulpits that it’s graced, the preacher’s who have borrowed it, the dinner tables it’s been at during home Bible studies, the tears that have been shed on it, the sermon titles that impacted me, all of those great thoughts I thought I had, that’s why I love my Scofield Bible.
What type of Bible do you like to use?