The Abide Bible, marked by unique artwork, thought-provoking notes and stimulating articles, was donated to every Taylor University student, staff and faculty member this fall.
This Bible project began three years ago when Thomas Nelson Bibles reached out to Phil Collins, the co-executive director of the Taylor University center for scripture engagement. They had taken notice of some articles published on Bible Gateway regarding scripture engagement and wanted to create a Bible that would actively help readers connect with God through the word.
The Abide Bible name comes from the verse John 15:4 which says, “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.”
What distinguishes the Abide Bible from others are the notes inside. In contrast to many study Bibles, the Abide Bible contains five different types of notes that reach beyond the general context and background of the scripture.
The types of notes — Contemplate, Journal, Picture It, Pray, and Scripture — exist to help readers engage with the passages in a more holistic way.
“Just because you know information in the Bible doesn’t mean that you’ve reflected on it, meditated on it and have made it a part of who you are,” Collins said. “So, we want to teach people how to do it.”
Taylor University Chair of Biblical Studies Greg MaGee contributed seven articles to the Bible that provide framework and background for the scripture engagement. In the midst of a global pandemic MaGee said that we are presented with an opportunity to form new habits that can foster spiritual growth. He added that this resource will prove helpful in personal studies as well as in a Bible study as it brings the strengths of Bible focus and spiritual growth.
The idea for the Bible to be distributed to campus came up in a meeting between Collins, special assistant to the President Ron Sutherland and Campus Pastor Jon Cavanagh. Sutherland saw value in the students, faculty and staff owning their own copies, and Collins was able to connect this cause to a donor.
The Bibles distributed around campus are unique to Taylor, containing a few extra pages that the rest of the copies around the world do not have.
It is because of an anonymous family’s donation that each member of Taylor University is being blessed with an Abide Bible.
Senior computer science major Kendall Miyakawa noted that the Bible was a very generous gift, and that it has a lot of potential to be helpful for spiritual guidance and growth. He plans to use the Bible throughout the rest of college and post-graduation to study scripture.
“Whenever we can apply God’s truth to our lives in ways that personalize the word to our journey, that brings new ways of enriching our worship, that deepens our discipleship and improves our knowledge of and connection to Scripture, we ought to be excited,” Sutherland said. “God’s word is alive and speaks into all seasons of life, the current climate even more so as we see our need for Him continue to grow.”