That old Scofield [Study Bible] was literally read to tatters by then—covers absolutely gone, spine vanished away, glue-backing visible and all curled up, stitching coming apart, the prefatory material destroyed all the way up to Genesis 1 and the concordance vanished past the entry for “sin.” But as a poor grad student, I had no money for a quality re-bind.
Sometime later, I was flown out by Masters College for a 3-day interview/grilling process. The culmination was, of course, being ushered in to Dr. [John] MacArthur’s private study, which is where he asked me his one question: “Can I see your Bible?”
I thought he would be horrified, because it looked like it had been through a typhoon— it looked unloved and neglected. Something from a dumpster. It was unbound, with stringy mess and paper debris hanging out. I was so embarrassed. I thought he would chastise me and recommend I get a new study Bible if I was serious about the Word.
However he flipped through it and handed it to his wife and said, “If your Bible is falling apart, you probably aren’t.” And I was basically hired on the spot.
My two cents
This is a good story and I’m glad that Grant Horner won the job. I’d like to see a picture of that Bible, if he still has it.
I guess I have a while to go before I can reach that level though—my Bibles are still intact, and now I feel a tad guilty for it. Maybe if I had only the one (physical Bible) it would have been worn out by now. The closest I can get is with a spare King James Version; it’s a mass market paperback owned by a longtime churchgoer who had little interest in reading the Bible. I asked him what version he read, and he said “St. James”. A few weeks later, he gave that Bible to me. A few pages at the back of it are just starting to come loose.
When it comes to damaged Bibles, I wonder if there’s a point where people feel compelled to throw them in the bin, but I would feel kind of guilty for throwing any of my Bibles away, if you know what I mean.
Back to Grant Horner, it’ll be interesting to see if his scenario could happen 100 years from now, or whether most Bible reading will be digital. In my case, I have about 10 (physical) Bibles, but over the years, my reading has been increasingly done on the internet or on my Kindle. I think one reason for that is the ability to copy/paste verses.
Horner, G. (n.d). Professor Grant Horner’s Bible-Reading SYSTEM. Available: http://www.challies.com/sites/all/files/attachments/professor-grant-horners-bible-reading-system.pdf. Last accessed 21st Mar 2013.