And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:” Ephesians 6:17

One day my wife and I were in a local Christian bookstore looking for a special gift for a dear friend of hers. Every city in the country has one or more of these bookstores. They are more than just ‘bookstores’ because they carry a host of other items as well. Some are nation-wide chain stores and some are of the “mom and pop” variety. There are calendars, posters, bookmarks, cups, and plaques with inspirational sayings on them. Bible study guides and Christian novels for the adults. Veggie Tales videos for the kids. Everything is always neat, arranged by topics on the shelves. One section in the back of the store contained nothing but Christian videos and music CDs. Along two corner walls is a section that always draws my attention – the shelves of Bibles.

There are many Bibles sitting on those shelves just waiting there for someone to take them home. You will find pocket-sized New Testament paperbacks and full-sized family Bibles on the shelves. And there are many translations and versions of the Bible:

  • King James Bibles
  • NIV Bibles
  • ESV Bibles
  • The Message
  • children’s Bibles
  • teen’s Bibles
  • graduate Bibles
  • men’s Bibles
  • bride’s Bibles
  • women’s Bible
  • large print Bible
  • Biblias españolas (Spanish Bibles)
  • Ayisyen Bib (Haitian Bibles)

Along with different versions of the Bible you will find various formats for your use:

  • soft cover Bibles
  • hard cover Bibles
  • paperback Bibles

Regardless of size, version, or translation they all shared one thing: gilded edges. Except for paperbacks as a rule.

All the pages on the Bibles had gilded edges. Gilded edges. It’s the shiny finish which us created by applying gold leaf or powder to the edges of the Bible’s pages. Except paperbacks, few of those with gilded edges. Almost all Bible printers use this edging to show the value of the words on the pages within. I’ve only seen gold, silver, and red gilded edges and I’m sure there may be other colors out there. Available on the Internet Bibles  with different colored page edging. Some such as blue mixed in with gold for a distinctive look.

The early Egyptians gilded wood and metal objects, many have been excavated by archeologists. These finds on display in many museums. Some ancient Greek statues were made of gold for the clothing and ivory for the flesh. These were sheets of gold over wood so they are not considered to be true gilding. The ceiling of the Propylaea in Greece was gilded. The process of fire-gilding metals dates at least to the 4th century BC. Silver-gilt led the way over gilt-bronze in Europe but China embraces gilt-bronze over silver. The Chinese perfected a process of gilding porcelain. The Chinese processed were adopted by potters in France and other European countries. Before long the process of gilding was applied to many books including the Holy Bible.

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Floyd Larck (0 Posts)

Writing For An Audience of One
About the author:
Floyd Larck lives in Bushnell Florida with his wife Debbie, their lovebird named Peaches and a cockatiel named P.J. and several chickens. Floyd is an amateur radio operator (KK3Q) and has been writing for six years.
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