GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN
Underlined passages, highlighted words, coffee spills, prayers written in the front, and torn pages - these are all the marks of a well-worn, well-read and well-used Bible. Many who carry such Bibles are admired and respected as the most pious and most devout of all Christians.
"There's the older gentlemen at our church and he's got notes written all inside his Bible." Said Alan Herth, a member of Second Avenue Baptist Church in Grand Rapids. "His Bible is literally falling apart from use. I'm just ashamed to open my Bible around him. I read mine and all that, but I just don't have that much stuff written in it."
Many Christians like Herth have found themselves wrestling with a sense of spiritual inferiority when faced with the worn and torn pages of another believer's Bible.
To help ease this strain Zondervan Publishing now has plans to release a new Serious Scholar's Bible this fall.
"We are excited about this new product." Said Richard LaMont, the Bible's editor. "If you can buy jeans that look like they're old and worn, and if you can buy brand new furniture that looks like it's an antique already, why shouldn't you be able to buy a Bible that looks like it's already been read through 100 times?"
The Serious Scholar's Bible will feature a deluxe pre-worn antique leather binding with browned and frayed paper edges. On the inside front and back covers there will be multiple Bible verses printed to look as if they have been written by hand along with numerous quotes from the church Fathers, G.K. Chesterton, Charles Stanley, Norman Vincent Peale and the book The Prayer of Jabez. Each page of the Bible will include at least one marked passage of Scripture with some books containing large highlighted and noted sections.
"We even have notes and markings on the hard and obscure like Leviticus, 2 Chronicles and Nahum to really give the appearance of deep and profound study." Said LaMont. "Of course, Romans is highly marked along with the gospels, and Revelation includes many hand written charts, graphs and time lines that will really impress anyone who happens to glance at your open Bible."
The Serious Scholar's Bible will be available in black or brown leather with the choice of either a hard or soft cover at a price of $59.99.