Copyright © 2002, 2008, 2015 by Larry G. Overton
The Bible I am holding in my hands in this picture (which is also the banner picture for the “My Faith” section of my website) has a great deal of significance for me. This significance is due in part to the type and age of this particular Bible. However, its significance to me is mainly personal and sentimental.
This Bible is an early edition of a study Bible published by the John A. Dickson Publishing Company. This New Analytical Indexed Bible was published in 1931. The publisher used the King James Version as the text of Scripture. However, concerning the text of the KJV, the publisher addressed “inaccuracies in the renderings of this version” in the Preface of this Bible.
That there are many inaccuracies in the renderings of this version is commonly understood. To overcome this defect in a great many instances, and insure the reading of more exact translations, the corrections are placed in brackets in the text, and not in the margin.
This Bible belonged to my grandfather, Richard Overton. Granddad preferred to read the King James Version of the Bible. However, though he loved the KJV, Granddad was no advocate of King James Onlyism. His copy of the KJV, this Bible pictured now on my web site, was one that recognized that this old version contained some inaccurate renderings. Granddad chose a Bible that placed corrections (renderings contained in the American Standard Version) at his fingertips as he read through the Word.
My grandfather had this Bible for four decades, and he wore it out. The cover was in bad condition, the binding loose. When Granddad passed away June 19, 1974, I offered to have his Bible repaired and rebound for my grandmother, Minnie Overton. She entrusted it to me, and I had it rebound to look as much as possible like the original binding: genuine black leather, with the following words imprinted on the spine: “Holy Bible · New Analytical Indexed · Dickson.” I also had her name imprinted on the front cover.
The front free end page has my grandfather’s signature, and underneath it, in my grandmother’s handwriting, “Larry had this Bible rebound for me Xmas 1974 – M.O.” And underneath that, also in her handwriting, is the following statement of faith:
The Bible has many writers and many translations but only one author – God.
For the next eleven years, this was my grandmother’s Bible. When she passed away (I was serving on the mission field of Papua New Guinea at the time), this Bible passed to my father, Harlan Gene Overton. Unfortunately, he died of lymphoma just four short years later.
And so this Bible has come to be mine. In the world’s estimation of things, this is just an old Bible that might possibly sell on eBay for fifty bucks, if that. But to me it is a treasured possession, a piece of family history dating back 84 years.
So years ago I wrote this article and featured this Bible as part of my logo on my website. And when my wife was helping me post pictures to my new site, I didn’t have to think too long about using this Bible for the visual. So thanks, Granddad, Grandma and Dad. “As the twig is bent…”