Decline of The Family Bible
Then, in the 1980’s… the economically booming “Reagan Years”, the “Me Decade”… something happened. That rich tradition of proudly displaying a very large Bible in the Christian Home just fell out of favor. Sure, we still had the hand-sized Bible that we take to church and back home, which we kept on the nightstand, or on a shelf. But the unapologetically huge display Bible… the beloved Family Bible… the one that was the centerpiece of the living room or den… disappeared from the American Home. Why did Family Bibles disappear?
Do You Remember Family Bibles?
Do you have such a Family Bible displayed visibly in your home, signifying the Christ-centered focus of your home, and functioning as a silent witness that “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord”? Or do you just have the conveniently hand-sized Bible that you take the church and rest on the shelf through the week?
Bringing Back The Family Bible
Choosing The Best Family Bible
Family Bibles as Family Heirlooms
History’s First Family Bible
The Geneva Bible was produced by English Protestant refugees, fleeing the rule of Catholic Queen “Bloody Mary”, and living in Geneva (Switzerland). They produced a special English language Bible translation which was the first to use numbered verses, and the first to use plain Roman typeface, and the first to add commentary notes to the scriptures. It was intended to be a “Home Schooler’s Bible”, making it the quintessential Family Bible that was the progenitor of all Family Bibles in the English language which came after it.
Illustrated Family Bibles
A better example of an illustrated Family Bible of centuries gone by would be the 1846 Illuminated Bible. Featuring more than 1,600 woodcut illustrations, it was the most elaborately illustrated Bible ever printed up until that time. Like nearly all the Family Bibles of its day, the Illuminated Bible was a King James Version. The illustrations helped to keep the interest of children who were learning to read the Bible, and adults also appreciated the finely detailed images which complimented the scriptural readings on each page.