Archive for the ‘Bibles’ Category

Some New Bibles

In A Christian Life, Bibles, The Pastor's Blog on June 19, 2009 at 1:20 AM

While at the Florida Campmeeting last week, I found some great bargains at the bookstore, and would like to share them with you. One of the joys of each campmeeting is fellowship to be had as people gather around the book tables and other booths which are set up inside the tabernacle. There is plenty to see, and much to browse through.

Along with the Pathway Press bookstore, various ministries are represented, giving attendees valuable information about programs and opportunities for involvement. Some of the booths deal with missions, women’s ministries, feeding programs, media and evangelism. There is an excitement as people gather around these booths to exchange information and ideas.

This year I found a burgundy Thompson Chain bible bound in Morocco leather – 502BG. Looking on the inside, I noticed the bible was produced in 1988, so it has been on the shelf for a long time. The box looked like it was run over by a truck, but the bible is in pristine condition. It’s a little bit larger than my old Thompson Chain which was given to me in 1977 by the people of the church where I came to Christ as Savior. Bethel Full Gospel Church in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, maintains a special place in my heart to this day.

Another find was a Nelson hand-bound premium calfskin leather NKJV UltraSlim bible. I got a red/black and a solid black edition. These are well-made bibles similar to the Signature Series, but not close to being as polished. There’s nothing like the soft cover of a Nelson Signature Series; these two just don’t make the grade, but should be good for daily use for a long time to come.

There’s nothing at the bookstore that quite compares to either my R. L. Allan and Sons Chocolate Brown or Tan ESV1 editions, but these three bibles were great deals and will definitely be used. Who knows, they might end up as gifts, which would be a great use for them. I want them to be used – bibles aren’t much good if they just lie around gathering dust.


Five Most Popular Posts

In Bibles, Computing, The Pastor's Blog on April 17, 2009 at 8:06 AM

Just curious – what are your five most popular posts? I’m not referring to the most comments, just the top five posts hit-wise. Nothing scientific here at all; this idea comes from an observation on my own blog.

The subject matter on this blog is eclectic; there are topics that cover a variety of categories of interest to me, and, hopefully, you. They are:

  • Family
  • A Christian Life
  • Bibles
  • Computing
  • Goals
  • Politics
  • Sermons
  • Sports

This is at about 7:40 this morning. I’ll start the discussion.

  1. Simply Mepis Keeps Getting Better – This post was about Mepis Linux making improvements as it moved forward in the testing cycle.
  2. Simply Mepis 8 Is Looking Good – Another post about Simply Mepis in the beta testing cycle. Warren Woodford was doing a fine job.
  3. Linux – Is It For You? – This post is about the concept of the Linux operating system. Is it suitable for your needs? In all likelihood, the answer is a resounding “yes”, but there are some who just don’t even want to try. Sad, but true.
  4. Chocolate Brown Allan and Sons ESV1 Bible – This post is about probably one of the most well-made bibles on the planet. R. L. Allan and Sons crafts quality bibles in Glasgow, Scotland. There are a few pictures, but you have to hold one of these masterpieces to appreciate the craftsmanship.
  5. Simply Mepis 8 Is Finally Here – This post is about Mepis 8 going gold and my experiences installing it on my computers. I must say, this version is rock solid and a breeze to set up. You should give it a try.

Now, lets get the fingers typing and share your most popular posts.

Chocolate Brown Allan & Sons ESV1 Bible

In A Christian Life, Bibles on February 10, 2009 at 7:51 PM


There have been so many people write about their experiences in opening their first high-end Bible from R. L. Allan and Sons from Glasgow, Scotland. In case you’re wondering, this is another post about one of the fine offerings from that venerable old book binder, which has been producing quality craftsmanship since 1863.

My first encounter with high-end Bibles was about six years ago at our Florida Camp Meeting. I found a great little Nelson Signature Series Reference Edition, which, sadly, they have chosen not to produce any more. Now, the company still makes a slim line version, but that just doesn’t agree very well with my older eyes. It would certainly be nice if Nelson would produce more of the reference editions like the one I have. Hint! Hint! I had no idea at the time what a wonderfully crafted Bible was in my possession.

Several months ago I found Mark Bertrand’s excellent blog, Bible Design & Binding, and have been fascinated with quality high-end Bibles ever since. Mark has quite a talent for reviewing Bibles of all sorts, combining text with graphics to produce highly informative posts. I will warn anyone who wants to venture over to Mark’s site – it is dangerous. The way he describes the Bibles he chooses to review makes you want to get at least one of each. That’s what I call dangerous!

My choice in Bibles has been the old King James Version ever since I can remember. Thankfully, that’s not the only one I read; there are plenty of versions to choose from. In fact, there are four which interest me quite a bit. My post, Other Than the KJV?, lists the ones I prefer above others I’ve seen.

After spending some time at Mark’s blog, a version new to me began to pique my interest, so it was off to do some studying on the matter. Mark introduced me to the English Standard Version, and I am grateful beyond words. It is now the version of choice for my daily Bible reading (here and here), and has become the one I preach from most often. Thank you, Mark, and others on his blog who made a positive impression on me.

One of my church members came to the parsonage on Christmas morning, 2008, and handed me a gift. It was in the shape of a book, and I had some suspicions, which were true. She had bought me a tan Allan’s ESV1 from the sole US distributor, Actually, you can buy Allan bibles from either the site mentioned here or directly from the publisher at Allan’s Either way, you’ll be getting the finest craftsmanship available today. That tan is absolutely beautiful.


If you had smello-vision, you would be able to get a sense of what the goatskin leather smells like. You need to be able to hold this bible in your hands in order to feel how soft and pliable it is. The only other Bible I’ve seen that comes close is the Nelson Signature Series.

A friend blessed me so I was able to order the new chocolate brown ESV1 directly from Scotland last week. It took less than a week to get here, and came in the mail today. That’s fast in anyone’s book. I took some unpacking photos of the new brown Bible, and would like to share them with you. Honestly, I didn’t know about the colored ribbons at first, but now that the Bible is here in front of me, it is easy to concede Allan’s choice is more than satisfactory. BTW, the ribbon colors are brown, green and purple. This makes marking passages easier, IMHO.


What about you? Do you own any quality-bound Bibles? Do you have any Allan’s? Once you get your hands on one of them, you’ll know what quality workmanship means. The Bibles they produce should last many, many years, and quite likely can be handed down to other generations.

Now, this post can’t be only about craftsmanship and colors. The main objective is to have a Bible you will read and enjoy. Read its pages to learn about the love of God, the forgiveness of God and the healing power of God. Meditate on His eternal Word for life’s instructions and for daily encouragement. God’s Word will absolutely change your life for the better if you will ask the Lord to help you understand it; you must then walk in that revelation – you must live according to what the Lord reveals to you.

Read what David wrote as he looked out into the stars one night thousands of years ago:

Psalm 19:1-3 ESV
1 The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
2 Day to day pours out speech,
and night to night reveals knowledge.
3 There is no speech, nor are there words,
whose voice is not heard.

After looking at the stats for top posts, I have come to the conclusion people are more interested in Linux than this finely crafted bible. Of the top six posts, this is number five. This is not a scientific exercise, just an observation. Actually, I am quite pleased this post is getting the attention it is. Thanks for stopping by to look.

Now, there’s one more thing before you go, so please bear with me for a moment of your time. Would you please take the following poll?

I hope you end up with one of these well-made bibles and you put it to good use.

No More Christmas Plays – PC Gone Mad!

In A Christian Life, Bibles, Computing, Family, The Pastor's Blog on December 16, 2008 at 9:16 PM

My wife and I just got home a few minutes ago after seeing our granddaughter’s 5th grade Christmas program. Wait a minute, that’s not exactly right. We saw our granddaughter’s holiday program. Mind you, both the director and kids did an exceptional job, and should be commended for all the hard work they put into the program. Here is where political correctness has gone completely mad, and I don’t think it’s right. Did I mention the fact they all did a phenomenal job?

After the program, my wife signed up to purchase one of the DVDs which will be made available in a day or so; we can hardly wait to get our hands on it so we can watch in a more comfortable environment. We’re old and need to be able to sit on the couch and not a hard bench. The old part was a joke, as I’m really not old.

I got to talk with Mrs. Band Director for a few minutes, and passed along our delight in the program. After a short while, I could no longer contain myself, and made my observation clear. “Political correctness has ruined this country,” was my reply. I bemoaned the fact I heard very little about “Christmas” in what I thought was supposed to be a Christmas program. Mrs. Band Director informed me the school is not allowed to have a Christmas program and that only a holiday program is permissible. Now, I know things are pretty bad, but this is just too much.

What was the excuse? “There are lots of different faiths attending the school, and we don’t want to offend anyone,” was the answer I was given. Oh, my! We have certainly fallen a long way from the tree, IMHO. Without trying to be insensitive, I believe it would be easy to do just that right about now. We are never going to please everyone, and if someone is offended by the words “Christmas program”, then perhaps they need to find another place to live. At the very least, be tolerant of the vast majority of Americans who claim to want a Christmas program.

Political correctness waters down reality. In other words, in order to be all things to everyone and make sure no one is left out, Christmas programs have been replaced with holiday programs. The janitor in the school is no longer called by that name. They are now “sanitation engineers.” Political correctness dictates teachers can no longer use red as a means of indicating an incorrect response on a test; a different color has to be used so the child won’t feel so bad.

Bottom line is this: if you are offended by having a Christmas program, then stay at home during the night of the presentation. The handful of people should in way dictate the name and tenor of the Christmas program. Political correctness has certainly gone overboard, and should be buried. Please, let the children and parents enjoy a Christmas program.

Hidden Treasures

In A Christian Life, Bibles, The Pastor's Blog on November 16, 2008 at 5:32 PM

While shuffling through some paperwork at my parents’ home last week, an old March 10, 1969 issue of the Church of God Evangel showed up. My, how things have changed over the years. Here’s a little blurb from the Evangel site:

Don’t miss a single issue of the Evangel, the official journal of the Church of God, Cleveland, Tennessee. Join the thousands who look forward to their monthly copy of this dynamic, full-color, 32-page magazine. First published on March 1, 1910, this award-winning publication continues to bless its readers generation after generation.

evangel-1969-cambridge-bibleThere was something quite interesting in that issue; something I had not seen before. Right there on page 18 is an advertisement for a new Cambridge Bible. Now, I would love to own one of those Bibles, but I just don’t know where to look. Looking at the pricing scheme lets me know the one for me would cost a whopping $14.25, including red letter, and thumb indexing. What a bargain. You can barely get a box the Bible comes in now for that price.

Here’s a description for those interested:

Printed on fine India paper in unsurpassed Cameo type for effortless reading. Contains many reading ‘helps’ – center references, self-pronunciation, Concordance, 8 colored maps and gazetteer.

Size: 5 1/4″ x 7 1/2″, 7/8″ thick

Another treasure in that Evangel is found on page 17. This is a feature entitled By His Stripes, Testimonies of Healing. There are several stories of God’s amazing grace in healing the sick, and they still speak of the power of God to affect the lives of those who believe.

I also found some other booklets that contain treasures which I hope to explore during the course of the next several weeks. There are several pamphlets written in the 1920s and 1930s which are in my possession now; these are treasures to me, and I hope to spend some time doing some serious reading.

What about you? Have you found any hidden treasures lately? You may not know it, but the Word of God contains more hidden treasure than your mind can comprehend. There are stories in God’s Word for every situation in life, and you can find rest in the pages of that wonderful book. If you want lasting, hidden treasure, turn to the Word of God, and you will find more than your wildest dreams could ever imagine.

How Many Bibles Do You Own?

In Bibles on September 11, 2008 at 12:51 AM

It’s a simple question, really. I would like to know how many Bibles you own, and what your favorite translation is. I suppose the questions can be linked to my posts entitled Bibles – What Are They For? and Other Than the KJV? Please chime in on this; it should be an interesting topic.

Cambridge Bible – RCD 287 – Presentation Reference Edition – Update

In Bibles on August 11, 2008 at 1:06 PM

img_0020Imagine my delight when the parsonage doorbell rang. My mind told me a certain package from Baker Publishing Group was due to arrive at the beginning of the week, and, sure enough, it did. My Cambridge RCD 287 was being replaced by an upgrade – the RCD 283 Presentation Bible. The UPS driver dropped off some Sunday School literature, too. Two packages with one ring is always a good bargain, it seems.

In a previous episode, I presented a short, and obviously unprofessional review of a Cambridge RCD 287 Presentation Bible in burgundy calfskin. On the whole, I really liked that Bible, but there were just too many shortcomings for me to hang on to it. Apparently, quality was not top priority at Cambridge University Press at the time my Bible was published. A company that has been around as long as that fine establishment should be more meticulous about quality and company image, IMHO.

Upon opening the package, I was greeted with the new box Cambridge now uses. If you have read my post regarding my Cambridge text-only Bible, you understand my dislike of the new boxes; it’s a minor point, though. My preference is for the older King’s College slipcase boxes.

One thing that was immediately apparent has to do with the gold imprint on the spine and front cover. On the RCD 287, the imprint was significantly marred and blurry; on my replacement it is sharp and crisp. That’s certainly a nice improvement. I’m thinking quality control has begun waking up, and more pleasant surprises are on the way.

Here’s what’s on the box: KJV – Presentation Reference Bible with Concordance and Dictionary  Black French Morocco KJ673:XRI

  • thumb-indexed
  • red-letter text
  • India paper
  • presentation page
  • family record
  • pronunciation marks
  • Translator’s preface
  • 16 pages of maps
  • two ribbon markers
  • gold edges
This Bible seems to be put together better than the one it replaced. The lining looks good, and, just like before, seems to be attached to the leather binding quite well. There is some left over glue just above the head and tail bands, but that is easily remedied with some rubbing. Not a big deal there at all. I do see some thread sticking out; again, it’s only minor.
img_0024The text in this Bible seems to be much sharper than the RCD 287, and looks bolder, too. Keep in mind, I’ve only had the Bible in my hands a few times for a in order to get a general feel for quality. Looks good so for. From the “published by” page: Typeset in Antique Old Style No 3, 10/11pt. Produced by Cambridge University Press. Printed in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Bound in the United Kingdom at the University Press, Cambridge” I really like this type style and size as it makes reading enjoyable for someone who needs the larger text. Great job, Cambridge.

There were issues with text block quality in the RCD 287, but they seem to have been addressed in this new Bible. Just glancing through both testaments shows a consistent dark, clear and sharp print. Now, this is a wonderful upgrade. To me, nothing distracts more than having to strain to read the Word of God. So far, I have not encountered one place needing some extra ink. For as much as this Bible costs, this quality should be standard equipment. I have seen no stray marks or incomplete letters. Impressive!

The two ribbon bookmarks are a welcome addition, but three would have been far better. The material is just the right width and length and matches the black leather quite well. This time, the ribbons are aligned perfectly and look quite good. Why there aren’t three markers remains a mystery, but one day publishers may see the need to help the consumer with this minor upgrade.

My overall impression with this Bible is quite good. I wish I had a camera to show you what I’m talking about, but there just isn’t one at the moment. My advice for those who would like to see this Bible up close and personal, would be to go to a book store to see if the owner would be willing to order a copy for the store. If so, you could certainly take a peek. This is a very nice Bible, but I would have preferred a couple more enhancements. Goatskin or ultra-soft calfskin (like the Nelson Signature Series) and three ribbon markers should be standard, and at the same price as this one, BTW.

What does Baker Publishing do with Bibles that have been returned for replacement. I was told they are sent to University Press in order to evaluate what went wrong. I think that’s a pretty good way to get feedback. Personally, I would rather have been given the opportunity to keep the old Bible at a seriously discounted price (free) along with the replacement, but that didn’t happen.

Again, Baker Publishing’s customer service is wonderful. Jessica Bolks came through for me in a big way. Thank you, Baker Publishing.

Bible Software for Linux

In Bibles, Computing on July 31, 2008 at 10:28 PM

Linux is my operating system of choice, but there is a very real shortage of native Linux programs in the Bible study genre. There a few very capable Linux packages, but it seems to me Windows has the market share of exceptional programs for those people who rely on Bible study software. All hope is not lost, though, and there is possible some relief for this software void on the horizon, but nothing is definitive at the moment.

My needs are pretty basic, and there are a couple of Bible software packages installed on my computers. These are not my favorite ones, but they certainly get the job done. There is a wonderful little package called BibleTime for use in KDE. It really is a pretty slick program, but isn’t nearly as polished as my favorite program, the Dake Reference Library (DRL), which is a Windows program built on the WordSearch engine.

is pretty straightforward, and gives me the ability to cut and paste into my word processor of choice, OpenOffice Writer. The version I’m using is 1.6.5, but there has been a new release, which just fixes some bugs. If you use Linux with KDE, you might find this is a very acceptable program for basic Bible study.

Here’s a list of the modules I’ve got running:

  • KJV – King James Version
  • ESV – English Standard Version
  • RNKJV – Restored Name King James Version


  • Clarke – Adam Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible
  • MHCC – Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
  • Personal – Personal Commentary. This is a place for me to take notes on any verse.
  • RWP – Robertson’s Word Pictures
  • TSK – Treasury of Scripture Knowledge


  • Easton’s – Easton’s Bible Dictionary
  • ISBE – Internation Standard Bible Encyclopedia
  • KJVD – King James Dictionary
  • Nave – Nave’s Topical Bible
  • StrongsGreek – Strong’s Greek Bible Dictionary
  • StrongsHebrew – Strong’s Hebrew Bible Dictionary
  • TCR – Thompson Chain Topics
  • Torrey – R. A. Torrey’s New Topical Textbook

There is an enormous amount of material which is free for the asking, provided you are not prohibited by the country you call home. I just looked at the Crosswire remote library, and was pleasantly surprised to see what has been included in the new updates. There is now a book section with many well-known works, so I will be installing some more material shortly. Actually, the marerial you can use is constantly changing, and I can’t seem to find the ESV any more. Better hang on to what I’ve got!

There is a wonderful tool for Linux called WINE, which allows a person to run native Windows programs in the Linux environment. While I believe this should be unnecessary, there are some programs that are Windows-only. There is no doubt BibleTime is quite useful, but just doesn’t do what my favorite Bible study program, DRL can. With WINE, I have a great Windows program running on my laptop computer called e-Sword. It’s a very nice program with more modules than I need, and works quite well in Linux. Now, why its creator, Rick Meyers, hasn’t ported it to the superior Linux platform is quite beyond me.
e-Sword Home

I am patiently awaiting the day when those who produce Bible study software will embrace the value and stability of the Linux platform. If the intention is to spread the Word of God, then why not use every means available? I personally know several people who would be thrilled to have good, sound alternatives to Windows offerings. Now, understand, I am very grateful for what is available in Linux, but would like more choices. Linux is steadily growing, and software companies need to include us in their plans. President Randy Beck of WordSearch, are you listening?

Cambridge Large Print KJV 83 Black Text Only Bible – Update 2

In Bibles on July 28, 2008 at 6:07 PM

After much anticipation, my replacement showed up at the parsonage today.  it didn’t take long for me to unwrap the package and look inside. Before going any further, let me say, once again, how impressed I am with customer service at Baker Publishing.  The shipping tab was picked up by them, so no money came out of my pockets, and that’s the way customer service should work, IMHO.


The first thing I saw after opening the package was an invoice, carton contents sheet and another package return receipt for the Cambridge Presentation Bible that will be exchanged soon. My, they are efficient.

I have to tell you, the new Cambridge boxes used now just aren’t as nice as the ones they supplied before. I really like the King’s College slipcase boxes Bibles used to be packaged in. For a reason only they know, we are now given a clam shell case, which is efficient, but not as nice as the old. This is a minor point, to be sure, but there you go – personal preference.

I’m a little confused about the numbering on the box, too. The ISBN 978-0-521-50880-3 is the same for this new Bible and the one it replaced. The old Bible was black French Morocco #83, while this one is burgundy French Morocco #KJ653:T. Baker’s site denotes KJ83. The only difference I can tell is in the color of the leather cover.

img_0031The text on my replacement is just as sharp as the first one, and appears to be put together better. There seems to have been more attention to details, and I am certainly grateful. I am pleased with the lining and corner areas, which is why the black Bible had to be returned. Obviously, I haven’t had time to read every page, but it looks like this one is a definite keeper. Good job, Cambridge and Baker Publishing.

A Bible that sits on a shelf is not much good; it must be read, studied and ingested. The very life it has must be taken in by those who are blessed to read its pages. Just before typing this post, I had completed today’s reading. If you would like to know more about this subject, you can browse through Bibles – What Are They For?. Thank God for His wonderful Word!

The ESV and my iPod Classic

In Bibles, Computing on July 19, 2008 at 11:57 PM

Technology is wonderful and useful in more ways than this post can effectively address.  I did something today I have wanted to do for quite a while, but just didn’t take the time to tackle the task.  Now that it’s done, I’m wondering why it took me so long to take care of business.

Now that you’re interest has been piqued, I will continue with the story. There has to be some background, first, though.  Last year, our Pastoral Covenant Group (PCG) met for our annual retreat, and one of the pastors was watching some teaching videos on an iPod Classic 80GB.  That was very interesting to me, as I had never used one of those devices before, and the thought of putting videos on a portable device like the one he showed me was intriguing.

iPod Classic Silver 80GB

My wife bought me one for Christmas, and I immediately booted into M$ Windows in order to use iTunes.  Honestly, I didn’t know any better; I was under the impression you either had to use iTunes in Windows or Mac in order to populate this new Classic. Well, I quickly grew weary of booting into an inferior operating system just to put music on my iPod Classic.  In case you’re wondering, my operating system (OS) of choice is Linux, and Simply Mepis in particular.

Here’s where the story gets interesting.  Not long after booting back into the safe confines of my Linux OS, I decided it was time to add some more music and videos to my shiny new iPod Classic.  Well, I plugged it, and opened an application that should have handled the task with relative ease – Amarok.  The link for Amarok takes you to a wonderful article about basically the same situation as the one I’m writing about. The problem is, Apple added a checksum to the database so you have to either use iTunes for Windows or Apple, as I previously pointed out. Linux is great, though, and Softpedia has an article explaining the problem and includes some answers, too.

I managed to blow up my iTunes database several times while in Linux before Apple’s insidious behavior was discovered by me.  Others in the Linux community had already run into the problem and had begun to vigorously pursue a resolution.  It wasn’t long until the solution was found, as the article at Softpedia explains.  To make a longer story short, I installed a few packages in my Linux machine, and now I am happy to report yet another reason to stay away from M$ Windows.

Now that you know my iPod Classic 80GB works in Linux, let me get on with the rest of the story. Mark Bertrand at the Bible Design & Binding Blog writes about high-end Bibles, and has several articles about the English Standard Version (ESV).  I had never heard of that version until reading Mark’s excellent blog.  After doing some research and reading several passages for myself, I began to be quite taken by the beauty of this new version.  BTW, I’m looking to acquire an ESV made by what some people consider to be the finest publisher on the planet, R. L. Allan and Sons, in Glasgow, Scotland.  If you want to buy the Bible in the US, the sole distributor is

While browsing today, I came across In case you don’t already know, it offers the ESV as a download so you can put on your iPod.  The site offers versions for Windows or Mac, so I chose Windows and followed the instructions.  It wasn’t long before the ESV NT was put on my Classic, and I began to enjoy reading this wonderful version of God’s Holy Word.  For further reading pleasure, you could see Mark Bertrand’s article about The ESV on an Apple iPhone.  Enjoy.