I while ago, we were searching for a Bible for our niece and nephew who were baptised a few months ago, and could not find a good one. The closest I came was a lovely one with beautiful illustrations, text that’s not dumbed down but still accessible to a 4 year old…but it’s Jewish. Not a problem, except that it’s missing the NT, in which much of the  foundation for Christian baptism lies! I guess we could have just highlighted the passage through the Red Sea.

princess_bibleBut what I did find is the perfect gift in the “well, i don’t know….but I suppose if it gets them reading the Bible it’s OK” category….Princess bibles! The perfect gift for every little girl who wants to be God’s princess:

Girls long to be loved and adored, and give their heart to their hero. God is that hero! The characteristics focused on in this Bible storybook will help your little girl blossom into the princess she was created to be. Virtues to create beauty such as compassion, sharing, and truth are highlighted in fun and engaging ways. The perfect format for girls to learn about their destiny as a daughter of their King…(Amazon)

Suffice to say I registered the supreme consumer protest and refused to buy it for my purple-loving niece, far be it from me to damn the Princess Bible to hell and back, if only because numerous people will come out of the woodwork to testify to it’s life-changing effects. One might get quite exercised about the package the word of God comes in, but that’s not a good idea, given smelly, long-haired prophets et al. A princess bible is just the logical extension of religious products that buy into our sense of identity to sell themselves to us. Think surfer bibles, youth bibles, couple bibles, singles bibles, family bibles, Veggie Tales-branded bibles, award bibles etc. But as the medium is the message, a critical view on packaging is needed.

When does the packaging of the Bible become a distraction from its content? My short answer is that if the packaging means you don’t feel you can scribble, tear, smudge and otherwise scruffify your Bible in your efforts to read and understand it, then it’s a distraction.