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I have a sad thing to report this morning. The first TNIV Reference Bible many of us probably ever saw is being retired from active duty.

If you’re like me and have been reading the biblioblogs for several years, you probably first saw a real TNIV Reference Bible on Rick Mansfield’s “This Lamp” blog (which he now calls the “Classic This Lamp”) in this post. You see that picture of an open TNIV RB at the top? That is the one I am referring to.

Rick was very pleased with the TNIV RB, and used the one pictured quite heavily for a good year or more in his teaching job and at church. When Zondervan came out with the same Bible with the Renaissance Fine Leather cover, he ordered one for himself, and when it arrived he e-mailed yours truly and asked if I would be interested in having his original bonded-leather version for my very own. And of course I couldn’t pass it up, even though I could have bought a brand new one for about $25.

When it arrived at my home, I could see it had been used. I had no illusions that it would be in like-new condition. I was just pleased and honored that Rick thought of me when he was looking for a home for what had been arguably his #1 Bible for quite a while. Rick kind of apologized for his notes that he likes to write in his Bibles, probably knowing that I almost never write in my Bibles. But it took me quite a while before I found one, and really I have only seen a handful of notes in this Bible during the year or so that I have owned it. The Bible appeared used, but was really in pretty good condition. I figured I would be able to use it for several years of average use.

In recent months I have tried to use it more, to see if I could get used to the slightly smallish font and the odd (to my eyes at the time) single column format. Well, my eyes did get used to both, and I recently have found myself really enjoying using this Bible. In fact, you will notice that in my previous post about my struggle with the WordPress themes, I praised this theme because it reminds me of the inside of the TNIV RB!

I noticed when I examined this Bible when it first arrived, that it appeared to have been dropped, probably accidentally, either sometime while Rick had it, or had been roughly handled by the Postal Employees. The text block was kind of hanging down, not properly aligned with the cover the way it should have been. But it was still certainly usable. I should also add that I also accidentally dropped it a couple times, and noticed a bit of deterioration each time it happened. (Please be careful. Dropping Bibles just isn’t good for them!)

Well, last night as I was preparing for bed, I had been reading from this Bible; I had finished Romans and had read 1 Corinthians chapter 1, and I laid the Bible on the bed while I put on my pajamas. When I picked it up again to put it in its place for the night, I felt something give way, and I looked and saw that the text block had fallen away completely, along the front of the Bible where it attaches to the cover. It was then that I knew I could no longer use this Bible regularly as I had been doing.

So I have decided that this first TNIV Reference Bible that I had ever seen must now be retired from active duty.

At least I also have a TNIV XL which also was graciously given to me by another blogger, so I am not TNIV-less! Unfortunately the XL is a thinline, with red-letter and thumb indexing. But I can certainly live with that if I have to. It’s better than having no TNIV!

I keep hoping that someone will run a big sale on the Renaissance Leather TNIV RB so I can get one for next-to-nothing. 😉 Or I may just go with my TNIV XL until the start of publication of the new NIV 2011. And when they come out with that Bible, I hope Zondervan will seriously consider making one very much like the TNIV RB! It’s a good one!