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An Old New Standard Reference

May 22, 2018

When I was in 7th grade, an adult I greatly admired gave me this advice:

Everything that’s new is not good

and then he added,

And everything that’s good is not new.

I nodded like I understood.

Time went by.

I finally realized what he’d said, and what he’d meant.

His words floated back to me last evening when shelving this book:

Which had won this award:

As you can see from the first picture, it’s a very well-worn Bible. Somebody spent quite a bit of time with it.

What’s not evident is it’s size; it’s an Altar Table Bible, intended for use up front in a sanctuary. And yet, again, whoever had it before it and I crossed paths had read and re-read and studied and aged it well.

Then there’s the Award. This fascinates me: “The Only Genuine Bible to receive…” seems to indicate there were “Non-Genuine” Bibles in that 1936 competition in Dallas. Beyond being a straight line in a comedy bit, what’s that mean?

Put all that together and I again hear Dr. Howard Lange telling 7th-grade me that Everything that’s new is not good and everything that’s good is not new.

Or as someone said long before him, “There is nothing new under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 1:9)

Or as was sung on a LP by some obscure-probably-even-back-then band that was in an embarrassingly gi-normous record collection I loved once upon a time,

“What am I living, what am I giving, for?”

“Listen, my son, it’s all been done before.”

I shelved that big, Award Winning Genuine Bible last evening.

But it’s still with me.

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