A While We’re At It in this month’s edition of The Public Square, the popular column at the end of First Things:

Intelligent and entertaining are two adjectives that go together far too rarely, but they belong in company when speaking of our contributing writer Alan Jacobs. He has in this issue a marvelous essay on the publication of The Green Bible, a specialty edition for the environmentally conscious, with the Bible’s earth-friendly words printed, naturally, in green.

Specialty Bibles are a successful sideline in the book-publishing trade. The only one missing from the group seems to be a Pastor’s Bible, but perhaps we have simply missed it. Announcements of three new ones did catch our attention, however, though the first doesn’t seem to be targeted at any particular specialty group, except the overwhelmed. The Expanded Bible New Testament promises to provide study aids and resources “right within the text of the Bible.” Readers are relieved of the cumbersome troubles involved in switching between Bible and commentary or Bible and dictionary or Bible and reference work defining ambiguous words or phrases. Now, thanks to the expansion, the cumbersome stuff is on the same page as the text.

Meanwhile, The Outdoor Bible: Sportsman Edition comes with a camouflage-colored cover. The highlighted lettering in the text relates scriptural references to hunting and fishing and the like. The sales blurb tells us that, in 2000, 15 million hunting licenses were purchased, along with 30 million fishing permits. The Outdoor Bible apparently should not be confused with the older Sportsman’s Bible, which, though lacking the camouflage cover, gives Christian encouragement to hunters.

Finally, there’s The American Patriot’s Bible, a book that promises to link passages of Scripture to pivotal moments in the history of the United States. Whether such linkages are intended to reveal prophetic fulfillment, we can’t say. But one suspects it is several times more entertaining than The Bible Code and probably far less laborious in decoding.

[Rating: 12/100]

More on: Bibles, Books (Other)

Articles by Joseph Bottum

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