I was ordained as a minister at Pleasant Hope Baptist Church in Silver Creek, GA back in March of 2004. My pastor at the time, Mike Jones, had already asked me what version of the Bible I would like to receive at the ordination service. We were new to full time ministry, serving as state missionaries in Kentucky, and I had recently been introduced to the English Standard Version (ESV) by Michael Spencer. Mike Jones presented me with a thinline ESV, bound in black, which I carried on a regular basis for the next nine years in Kentucky. I preached from it in chapel, led BCM, taught Sunday and preached as pulpit supply as well as reading through it from cover to cover a few times. We “came home” in 2012 and visited a few churches before joining Trinity in Calhoun, where I was soon active in Sunday School, helping with church youth, preaching on a regular basis and eventually leading men’s ministry (still referred to as Brotherhood in some areas). After 15 years of regular use my trusty Thinline was looking worse for wear, the spine held together with some very distinguished looking black duct tape if I say so myself.
In my role as pastor at Unity Baptist, I don’t really carry a Bible with me to church. I have a large ESV Study Bible, this one given to me by Michael Spencer, on the desk in my office. My NKJV Study Bible, a large hardcover from the Billy Graham Training Center, stays on the pulpit. I have several reference and study Bibles in my office as well. If I go to a Bible study, men’s meeting or the occasional preaching opportunity outside of my church I found myself carrying a Bible that was literally on the verge of falling apart (were it not for the duct tape) with more than one coffee stain on various pages. I decided it was time to buy a Bible. I ordered a compact, rather than a thinline, from CDB that advertised itself as large print. I found the 8 pt. type a little harder to read than my thinline which was not a large print edition. The price was not unreasonable but after paying shipping costs returning it would mean paying to ship it back and then paying shipping and handling fees again for a replacement, all of which would equal the price of a Bible. I wouldn’t be using it very often, between the Bibles I have at church and doing most of my study and sermon prep online. Big fan of Bible Gateway if you hadn’t noticed. So I kept the impossible font size compact for use as needed, when necessary. That was about one year ago.
My wife knew all about the ordeal I had gone through and decided to quietly order a nice Bible and surprise me for my birthday/Christmas this year. Without realizing she gave me a compact ESV with the same 8 pt. large print that I had bought a year earlier. The color and styling were different on the outside but on the inside it was identical. Not willing to give up as easily as I had she tried again and last week presented me with a belated Christmas present, a large print ESV Thinline with my name on the cover. The large print Thinline is 10 pt. font and I am pleased to report it is much easier to read than 8. It is bound in brown and cordovan Trutone leather rather than the black leather cover I have chosen or been given in the past. I took it out, looked at it, put it back in the box and have yet to take it anywhere but I will, soon. If I got 15 good years out of a Bible with regular use this one should last 20 or 30 no problem.
UPDATE: There is now a part 2.