the seventh bible (bibles xvi)
Moving from the world of junior to the world of youth was momentous. Just as they were needed the most, opportunities for a social life within the church community boomed, foremost among them was Fellowship, a gathering after church on Sunday nights for snacks and games and sometimes watching some of the Smothers Brothers.
But crossing the threshold into youth also carried a recognition that knowledge should be used to make appropriate decisions and that the bible was the source of trusted knowledge. That’s when my parents gave me the Scofield Reference bible, my study bible. This was the bible of serious scholars, teachers and students of the bible who searched and shared it by means of expository evangelism.
The Oxford Scofield, as it is called by users, is equipped with the most comprehensive system of cross references. It was the "hyperlink" long before the micro-chip. Ministers joked about getting off topic by chasing down cross references through the gospels, the epistles, the histories and all the prophets, major and minor.
And physically, it is a wonderful tool. It’s cover is soft, flexible, easily held in one hand. And every edition the one with standard 9 pt. type, or a larger edition, like my mother’s, with 12+ pt. type, every edition has the same pagination. In a main hall of a bible conference, it was not unusual to hear hundreds of pages turn in unison with the preacher as the chosen scripture wrapped from the bottom of page 1201 to the top of page 1202.
And as a study bible it was with me whenever I worked a passage with a teacher, a preacher, and many of the greatest inscribed my Oxford Scofield. including may parents.
Inscription: Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. Proverbs 3:5-7