We may not think about it much, but a Bible might be the most important purchase a Christian makes. The Scroll Resource Center at First Free Rockford can help you sort through innumerable choices.
BibleGateway.com lists 61 different English translations of either the Bible or the New Testament. Then, publishers offer multiple editions of the same translation. It adds up to hundreds of options. At The Scroll, you can “test drive” more than a dozen different Bibles in the three translations recommended by First Free: New International Version, English Standard Version and Christian Standard Bible.
There are Bibles for note takers. Study Bibles with extensive notes about meaning and context. Life Application Bibles. Recovery Bibles. Men’s, women’s and kids’ Bibles. A Bible where every passage is rainbow-color-coded according to a dozen themes. Large-print Bibles. HUGE-print Bibles. Hard-cover, soft-cover, pleather-bound, leather-bound. Bibles that fit in your pocket. Others so heavy they might hurt your back.
Scroll manager Sue Nelson touts the value of changing Bibles every few years. She used the New Living Translation for years. Now she’s hooked on the Christian Standard Bible — which both she and Pastor Luke Uran recommend as the best combination of accurate and easy to read.
“At first it was very awkward,” Sue says, “because some of the passages that I knew, they would use different wording and I’d think, hmm, is this accurate? And then the more I read it, it made me think, and to pay attention. It prevents you from becoming so familiar with a passage that you don’t really read it anymore.”
When people are unsure which version to use, Sue tells them to take a verse they’ve been studying recently, or maybe one that a pastor was preaching on, then look up that verse in different versions.
“See which one speaks to you most,” she says.
Then, use your other senses. Is it comfortable to hold? Is the text easy for you to read? After all, you’re going to be spending a lot of time with this book.
“To me, a Bible is a very personal purchase,” Sue says. “If it doesn’t feel inviting and good in your hand, you’re not going to pick it up and use it. It’s going to feel like drudgery. It’s going to remind you of a textbook and have negative connotations.
“Satan wants to keep us from reading the Word of God, because this is what’s going to change our life. So he’s going to use anything and everything, whether it’s something as simple as the way it feels, the way it smells or the print size and font.”
The Scroll sells all Bibles and other resources at 35 percent off the suggested retail price.
“We are here to help people affordably get things and encourage them,” Sue says. The Scroll is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays; Wednesday evenings; and Sunday mornings. Sue also is glad to meet someone by appointment. Just email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the church office at 815-877-7046.