Biblical Lust

In this sex-charged world, you probably have in mind what this entry is going to be about.  But you’re wrong.  I’m going to talk a little bit about my temptation of “biblical lust” — that is the overwhelming compulsion to be taken by the design and substance of the book itself.  Not the contents, necessarily, but the book.

A little while ago, I pre-ordered the new ESV Study Bible from Amazon.  Expecting to see it sometime in early November, I was pleasantly suprised yesterday to hear the horn of the UPS driver (yes, he honks as he’s driving up — quite handy, actually), and to find a package from Amazon containing the Bible.

This book is huge, and contains an amazing wealth of resources.  Lists, themes, diagrams, maps, drawings everywhere.  Articles by theologically conservative evangelicals, all edited by J.I. Packer of Knowing God fame.  (Knowing God is in my opinion one of the best readable theology primers ever written.)  Wonderful material, and I hope it will be a great resource for me.

But in spite of all this, I found myself once again disappointed by Crossway’s inferior publishing standards.  The inside margins are too small, the pages are scrunched up in the binding so they don’t all lay flat, and the book is oddly proportioned.  Annoyingly so.  And I remembered back to Joel’s bonded leather ESV, and that I thought the quality on that was shoddy too.  So I went online to see if anybody else had complaints about Crossway’s bindings.

Google led me to the Bible Design & Binding blog, where I found myself captivated by reviews and ample photos (Bible porn?) of supple goatskin bindings, clean layouts, and well-proportioned margins.  I found links to the pinnacles of British Bible publishing and Bibles priced in the hundreds of pounds.

Don’t know yet if I’m buying a Bible — I’m considering a Cambridge Pitt Minion edition of the ESV or NIV, or an R. L. Allan version of the same (ESV, NIV) at the moment — but I’m certainly drooling.  And what I have to do is turn this “lust” for the trappings of the book into a committed “love” for the Word inside it.  Still working on it…

Update: I succombed and ordered a Cambridge Pitt Minion ESV Black Goatskin from Amazon.  Ships in 2 to 4 weeks, so says Amazon.  Can I wait that long?  (Is it here yet?)


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