The American Patriot’s Bible: Caveat Emptor

APB.jpgLee, Richard G., ed.

The American Patriot’s Bible: The Word of God and the Shaping of America.

Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2009. Pp. x + 1620. Hardcover. $39.99.

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I’ve read a few reviews that extol this Bible as a great study Bible and other reviews that condemn it for not being a very good study Bible at all; the problem is that The American Patriot’s Bible is NOT a study Bible in any way, shape, or form!  After examining various larges passages throughout both the Old and New Testaments, I haven’t found a single note that could possibly help me to understand the Bible any better.  Nothing about the languages underlying the Bible (other than the standard NKJV notes) and certainly nothing on the cultural contexts in which the various Biblical books were set.  But I can’t really get upset about that because like I said, this isn’t a study Bible.  It’s not supposed to help me understand the Bible better; it’s only supposed to show me how the Bible and God have helped to shape America.  On that front I’ve come across a few tidbits that I think are rather well done.  I’ve also come across some that aren’t so well done.  I’ll save all that for my full review.  But again, let me offer a caveat: this is NOT a study Bible.  If you were thinking about purchasing this based on your belief that it was then you need to reconsider.  Go with the NLTSB or the ESVSB instead.


8 thoughts on “The American Patriot’s Bible: Caveat Emptor

  1. I glanced at this yesterday while out to the movies. That it is not a standard study bible was my immediate impression, as well.

    Other observations:
    1. Pretty; maybe too pretty. Too many bibles these days beginning to look like art books. Maybe that the Baptist in me.

    2. The basic hardback is one HEAVY book. This thing is gonna sit on shelves for reference, not be regularly carried around. Maybe that was the designers intent.

    3. There’s a certain natural hubris in “Bible and God have helped shape America”. I’m sure the eyes of faith could make a similar book for Russia, for example. The underlying assumptions open a big can of worms.

    4. NKJV: My pastor uses that translation, and I like the NT textual notes, but mostly my reaction to it is still WHY?

  2. Chuck: What movie(s) did you see?

    (1) That’s definitely the Baptist in you. I very much like the direction that Bible printing has gone. It all started with the Archeological Study Bible…

    (2) Yeah, I think so. This doesn’t seem intended for carrying around. I think that’s what pocket Bibles are made for, no?

    (3) Indeed similar books or Bibles could be made for other countries. I wouldn’t have a problem with that.

    (4) I prefer the regular KJV (1769 of course!) but the NKJV is okay I guess. I use it when it’s convenient (i.e., the closest thing to me).

  3. Nick:

    Movies seen were: Star Trek (very fun) and Wolverine (ehhh).

    Books bought: “Perspectives on Spirit Baptism” and “A Wesleyan Spiritual Reader”.

    1. I’m a Baptist, and I’m sticking to it. Unless I don’t.

    2. Well, Karl “People beside you got bibles? They ain’t Catholics” Keating aside, there is a class of bible larger than pocket editions but still light enough to carry around for reading. They are what people usually think of when they think “Bible”. The APB ain’t one of those.

    4. Now, Nick, it’s KJV 1611, except you might as well get a Tyndale NT and be done. For the original languages folk, it would be interesting to see which manuscripts (OT/NT) they would prefer.

  4. Chuck: I liked them both. I preffered Star Trek but Wolverine was probably the best of all the X-Men movies imo (1 was great, 2 was alright, and 3 was ehhh).

  5. Hey Nick,
    My brother-in-law is an American Patriot, “God Bless our Troops,” Bush supporting kinda guy. He is a Christian, but only goes to church when he and my sister go visit his parents house (because there is a cowboy church nearby). I’m pretty confident that he rarely reads the Bible…

    As opposed as I am to the concept of this Bible…do you think this would be one that might get him interested?

  6. Ranger: I honestly don’t know. If he’s a Bush supporting kind of guy then the full page photo/article of Barack Obama might turn him off to this Bible.

  7. Hi Ranger: Celucien Joseph has a pretty good response to this book. From what he writes I’d say your brother’n’law would love it. It would demonstrate how the Bible justifies everything he believes in – it as good as blesses to troops and Bush as well. I’m not sure it’s the sort of book that is good for his religious education or spiritual well being though, from the sound of it. Have a look at the review:


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