Late this morning I was at the bookstore picking up Priscilla Shirer’s book, And We Are Changed. It had been recommended to me over and over and I finally decided I would break down, spend the money on the book and read it. It is not disappointing me and is definitely worth the $16.00 price tag. (Honestly I can’t remember the last time I spent that much for a book.)
While I was there I started browsing their selection of Bibles. I don’t *need* one by any means, but I would like to have one to slip in my purse. I just want a small, thin Bible with cross references, on the column side of the page or center column references, I don’t care. I just want the cross references in there. I wasn’t even being picky about the version. I only knew I didn’t want King James. I have nothing at all against the King James Version, I grew up on it, cut my spiritual teeth on it, but I don’t want that version as one I’m going to study.
Because it’s hard for me to understand what they are saying. Okay, it’s out there. I don’t understand King James, so I’d like to go with another version. (Please don’t tell me King James is the most accurate because in all cases, it simply isn’t. At times, believe it or don’t but the NIV..the bastion of “bad Bibles” in some circles, is actually more accurate.)
I didn’t find any. I found some I liked but they all lacked the cross-references. I found one I thought might work, one I might be able to over look the lack of cross references, but when I saw it was Large Print, and when I glanced at the print again, I didn’t know it was large print (which can’t be good) I decided to forgo the whole new Bible purchase.
I was just looking at Christianbook.com, thinking surely they have a wider selection and they might have what I’m looking for. Imagine my immense surprise when I found a Bible priced over $100.00. A Bible you hold in your hands, you turn pages, you underline, color in, highlight, write in the margins, not a Bible on cd, for your ipod, ipad, or mp3 player. It wasn’t edged in gold. Over $100.
I found Bibles for over $89. The median price seems to be $60.00. Sixty dollars for a Bible! The thin ones I am looking for, run around $30. Thirty dollars for a thin book I want to shove in my purse. The Priscilla Shirer book I bought has about 200 pages, is 6″ x 9″ and is between 1/2-3/4 inch thick. And it was priced at $14.99.
Fourteen dollars and ninety-nine cents.
I just did some checking and a publisher can pay an author 96% royalty and still make money. Now, Christian publishers might not pay that much, but let’s say they did. On that $14.99 book I bought, Priscilla would receive $14.39, or all but $.60 of the purchase price. And Moody publishers pockets that $.60 per book.
But Priscilla is still only charging $14.99 for a book she sweat out with God. She toiled over to bring to completion. I would imagine she ate, drank, and slept this book until it was safely at the publisher and maybe even not until it was on the store shelves so I could pick it up.
Who wrote the Bible? God. Are publishers sending God a hefty royalty check? I doubt it. Yet someone is making a boat load of money off a book they didn’t write.
I know it is a popular thing to have your name on a study Bible. We have the “Case For Christ Lee Strobel Study Bible”, the “John MacArthur Study Bible”, Charles Stanley and Chuck Swindoll have a study Bible, as does Warren Wiersbe and Joyce Meyers. We have “The Matthew Henry Study Bible” and others. Just spend a few minutes searching “Study Bibles”. It will amaze you.
Why on earth are we so quick to put OUR name on GOD’S BOOK? I know they wrote the notes and expect to be paid. But why are we so willing to pay so much more for a Bible with notes by MERE MEN than we are willing to pay for the books they write? There is no way I would pay $60-100.00 for a book. No way.
So why should I pay that for a Bible?
And why are men who put THEIR name on GOD’S WORD, paid so much more for their THOUGHTS? I don’t get it. I don’t understand it. But mostly I don’t like it.
And that doesn’t work for me Wednesday.