That is the number of Bibles I currently own.
I have kept telling myself I will one day catalog my library, having some free time I thought why not today? That being decided, I determined I would begin with the Bibles assuming it would be the easier place to begin. Now that I am finished with the Bibles I am rather shocked at the amount that I own as I now have a number before me.
In an unconscious attempt at self-justification immediately the thought came to my mind that I have given away at least as many Bibles as I now possess, possibly even more. (And I hope to continue to do so.)
But, forty-six! This does not include the manifold electronic versions that I have via PC programs installed on my computer; Logos, E-Sword, WordSearch, Blue Letter Bible. Plus there are multiple internet browser based Bibles available. Also, I have just as many, or more on my android tablet and my android phone, not to mention a couple complete audio Bibles as well…
If you are curious as to the contents of the list of the physical Bibles, the 46, here they are:
1526 Tyndale NT , 1599 Geneva Bible Patriot’s Edition, 1611 King James, Cambridge Concord King James, Local Church Note Takers King James, Bibli Hebraica Stuttgartensia, Delitzsch Hebrew Gospels, KJV Key word Study, KJV Expositors, KJV Defined, KJV Life Application, KJV Chronological Life Application, Various other KJV x5, New King James x2, ESV Pocket Bible, ESV Study Bible, ESV MacArthur Study Bible, ESV Reformation Study Bible, Various other ESV x2, NASB Open Bible, 12 volume Interpreters Bible, The Living Bible, NET Bible First Edition, Amplified Bible, MEV Bible, Complete Jewish Bible, Interlinear (KJV/NASB), Interlinear (Greek/KJV), 1922 James Moffatt, 1901 ASV, NRSV, HCSB, 1984 NIV, 1961 Oxford New English Bible, Good News Bible x 2 (1 hard, 1 paper), Dake KJV x2, 1978 Picture Bible, 2010 Action Bible
I post the list so that you might perhaps find there to be some justification in the many tomes. Some are gifts (which I cherish), others are strictly for reference, and some are just curiosities. But, does this excuse my owning so many?
I am somewhat concerned here. I do not announce this list with a sense of pride as in, “look at what I have”; in fact I wonder if this is a cause for concern of judgment.
The declaration could indeed be made, “LOOK at what YOU have” and then “What did you do with it?”
God has blessed me with an incredible library (still not cataloged) of many volumes, He has given to me several sets of commentaries, concordances, dictionaries and lexicons; complete sets on Theology and history; many individual books covering the Bible and its topics several times over: from the Puritans, to the present; Genesis to Revelation- all for edification and learning. And for His loving kindness I am grateful and so appreciative. But what of the responsibility that comes with this availability?
Please do not hear me saying I have this great collection of Bibles and books “look at me, see how great I am”- no. I know there are many, many, MANY people who have much nicer collections and in greater quantity than I do. So please, let there be no boasting of physical possessions heard in this as it is just not there. The rather, I am wondering if there is a potential for harm in the collection itself.
Again I must ask myself, “What have I done with it?”
Ultimately the very same question might be asked also of the man who only has one Bible. It is not an unreasonable question, nor would it be unfair.
You see, some of the commentaries I own were written by men who only had that one Bible. Even more so, the early church turned the world upside down with only parts and pieces- letters gradually brought together to form the whole of that one Bible which most of us possess. We can further see the effect of just parts and pieces of this Bible even today in the extremely persecuted countries where the hidden church might only have a few pages and yet the effect of what they have causes them to respond in such a way that the Word of God spreads like wildfire, even where it is illegal!
So again, whilst I sit here in my study pecking away at my computer in the midst of this library of recorded knowledge the question resounds: WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH IT?
Is it enough? Is the response equal to the gift given?
I love the Word of God. It thrills me!
It feeds me and frees me.
The Word sustains me, delivers me and guides me.
It is through this Word that I was given ears to hear the Gospel of God, which is the power of SALVATION. I am armed with all this knowledge, built up, strengthened, enlightened to the error of sin and its terrible penalty- all due to this one Bible.
Just as I feel I am going to be held to a greater accountability for this library- this knowledge, I believe that this generation will be held accountable for our response considering the access we have to the Word of God.
I pray that God raise up workers to the field. I pray that God find me willing and suitable for that work. It is my prayer that this library He has blessed me with be a stronghold from whence once strengthened, men proceed onward to battle, rather than a Gideon hiding place to steal away and winnow wheat.
It is my prayer indeed that God put it in all our hearts that have open access to His Word to go forth and turn the wicked world once more upside-down.