A few days ago I asked my friend Mike to “Google” God Bless the USA Bible and read an article about the forthcoming Bible. After he did, we discussed this new edition of the Bible. He said, “I don’t see anything wrong with it, Roger.” Our conversation has caused me to think about the specialty bible by Hugh Kirkpatrick. which can be pre-ordered for $49.99, and it will include a copy of the Bill of Rights, the U.S. Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the Pledge of Allegiance, and the chorus of God Bless the USA. as written and performed by Lee Greenwood. release is scheduled to correspond with the twenty-year anniversary of September 11, 2001, and will use the King James Version.
This edition of the Bible is not the first to be issued in a specialty version or in a newer format or translation. Over the years Bibles have been printed that are designed for certain interest groups such as NASCAR fans or “easy to read” translations, or Bibles that have resources especially for women, men, or children. There are “journaling Bibles” that have additional margins for personal notes. There is even a Parallel Bible that has a column in the KJV translation beside a column in the NIV translation. I even have one titled The Other Bible, Ancient Alternative Scripture and have examined many editions marketed as specific studies, such as the Jimmy Swagart Study Bible.
Hugh Kirkpatrick and Lee Greenwood and all the others involved in this new venture are entitled to publish a new edition of the Bible. The folks who have already pre-ordered a copy are also free to do as they have. But I carry a caution when I read about a Bible that is aimed at any specialty group. Perhaps a Bible edited for a specific group, such as men, is of greater help than a pure NIV, KJV, or other edited ones and if one of these printed Bibles helps anyone be a better Christian, then that is good.
However! I wonder how the God Bless the USA Bible, by itself, will help any purchaser be a better citizen or better Christian? Does a purchaser think that having a Bible with the Pledge of Allegiance between the same covers as Paul’s Letters to the Corinthians will make him or her better at either? Also, there is the danger of a confusion taking place between country and Christ.
This new version of the Bible by Kirkpatrick is less than he says because the intent preys on a certain political outlook. To print a Bible with documents for civil authority is nothing but a ploy to get purchasers to think that they are now better patriots and citizens when in fact they may be less because of such arrogance.
But the best comment on editions of the Bible is the one made by Pastor G. Bowers one Sunday when he was preaching about the need for Christians to read, study, and follow the Written Word: “It makes no difference what translation you have if you don’t read it.”