Originally, people called Calvinists "the people of the book" because of the unflagging attention those original "protestants" paid to the Bible itself. When I was a boy in Christian school, I learned that for centuries those dirty, rotten Roman papists had conspired to keep The Word hidden away from ordinary people lest they discover the truth about what God really desired of them.
Along came the Reformation, and, after some occasional bloodletting, everyone got a look. Along came the Reformation, and everyone got a Bible. America can think what it wants about its own Calvinist past, but we'd have no Harvard if it weren't for Puritans, who wanted their children to read. No one else who came to these shores was as determinedly pro-education, but then Calvinists had cause--the children had to learn to read because they had to learn to read the Word.
Catholics created visual delights--pictures, paintings, images. Calvinists swept them all away. Puritan meeting houses were bare naked cubicles because all that mattered was the Book.
That may be why the Schaaps have so many, at least six or seven versions--including one that has four different translations in separate columns spread across the page. We've got a Men's Bible and a Student's Bible, three or four KJVs and several NIVs, as well as a newer NIV some people mercilessly condemned for its covert feminism. There's my graduation-from-Christian-School Bible, and two graduation Bibles that belong to my wife--white (for girls), zippered, including color pictures. We've got ancient Dutch bibles, my father's tattered Bible, and my grandpa's Bible, and a half shelf full of our own.
If your flag wears out, you give it to a Boy Scout. They fold it legally or morally or properly, then burn it in some kind of ritual only Boy Scouts perform, I guess. But what do you do with old Bibles? You can't just toss 'em, can you? I can't.
But we've got to lighten the load. We're slimming down. We're moving out of an big old house and not going to buy something bigger. I can't throw 'em away. I can't sell them. I can't even give 'em away--how would that look, after all? Sheesh. Can you imagine what people would say? What's going on here?--the Schaaps don't need their Bible?
Here's what I'm thinking. The people who bought our place are Christians too, a really nice young couple, who can always use an extra half-dozen.
I'll just leave 'em some. That's what I'll do. Besides, they're "people of the book" too.