The holidays are upon us, and if you haven’t decided on a Christmas gift yet, there’s still time to give the ultimate reason-for-the-season gift: a leather-bound King James Bible. As you reflect on a difficult year and prepare yourself for further challenges ahead, you can give an exceedingly thoughtful and meaningful gift that will help a loved one recommit to Bible study. Of course, as a book that has been in circulation for centuries, you have a wealth of options when it comes to translations, print styles, and durability. Here are some considerations when gifting a Bible, whether it’s for Christmas, a birthday, a Confirmation, or whenever the moment is right.
The Right Translation
Since the first King James Version was published in 1611, theologians and translators have worked to interpret and perfect the Scripture for English-speaking audiences. Translating from ancient Hebrew and Greek is challenging and has led to ambiguities and differences across translations. There’s no one “right” translation, but we can say that the elegance and tradition of the KJV arguably makes it the preeminent edition of the Bible, translated the way it was meant to be read. However, if you fear a younger reader may struggle with some of the antiquated aspects of the language, perhaps a newer translation may be appropriate.
When dealing with a book as voluminous as the Bible, you’ll need to find the right balance of legibility to portability—a Bible you can carry with you will necessarily be set in small type, but it be rather difficult to read on a plane or train. Consider your recipient’s eyesight: will they be able to read this Bible at the size its type is set in? Might they appreciate a large-print Bible at the expense of portability? For older relatives and friends, a large-print KJV Bible that stays comfortably at home may be your best choice.
Growing up, you got so many Christmas gifts through the years that either fell apart or were soon forgotten. Take this into consideration when gifting a Bible. Bibles come in all forms, including paperback, hardcover, and e-book. Paperbacks and e-books have their place, but the heft and gravitas of a leather-bound edition of the King James Bible make it a truly worthy gift, one that will add an accent of distinction to any room it’s in and that will last for years and years. If you believe the ideal gift is one you would be happy to receive but couldn’t justify purchasing for yourself, then the leather-bound KJV can certainly fit those criteria.