/**/

Biddy Chambers’ Bible–A Scofield Reference

Someone recently asked me about Biddy Chambers’ Bible.

I’d forgotten all about it.

(So you won’t find it discussed–her Bible–in Mrs. Oswald Chambers.)

As it happens, I’ve seen Biddy’s Bible, paged through it, took photos and marveled, at Wheaton College‘s Special Collections Library.Biddy Chambers' Bible, Scofield Reference Bible, Mrs. Oswald Chambers, Bible notes, Bible commentary notes, writing in your Bible

No surprise, she wore it out.

What version was Biddy Chambers’ Bible?

Wheaton has a copy of her 1909 Scofield Reference Bible.

First published in 1909, the Scofield version was the first Bible that included annotations and cross references.

Today, comments are commonplace, but at the time it was a revolutionary idea.

Using the King James Version, American Bible student Cyrus Scofield organized it.  He sought to explain Bible passages for students, not be controversial. His version, however, did popularize dispensationalism, particularly among fundamentalists.

In the photo below, you can see two sections of Biddy’s worn out Bible.

She owned an earlier Bible before the Scofield, of course, but this is the one we still have and in it she wrote notes.

 

Biddy Chambers' Bible, Scofield Reference Bible, Mrs. Oswald Chambers, Bible notes, Bible commentary notes, writing in your Bible

 

What kind of notes were in Biddy Chambers’ Bible?

Ah, there’s an interesting question.

All sorts.

Biddy actively engaged with the Scriptures. On one page she wrote:

“I wish and pray the Lord would harden my face and make me to learn to go with my face against the storm.”

Biddy wrote many of her notes in simplified shorthand, or a mixture of the two. It certainly preserved her privacy.

Biddy Chambers' Bible, Scofield Reference Bible, Mrs. Oswald Chambers, Bible notes, Bible commentary notes, writing in your Bible

Writing in your Bible

While many people write notes in their Bible to mark meaningful dates or verses, I’m not one of them.

I realized years ago that if I underlined passages, I tended to read them and neglect the rest.

The notes were a distraction.

Biddy didn’t do that often, but it was interesting to see where she responded to Hebrews 12, three different years:

Biddy Chambers' Bible, Scofield Reference Bible, Mrs. Oswald Chambers, Bible notes, Bible commentary notes, writing in your Bible

The dates were March 1-2, 1915, some time in 1917 and June 1933.

All of those periods were a time when Biddy chose to make a deliberate decision–as to how she would react.

The Bible passage from the Scofield Reference Bible is familiar to most Bible students.

“The walk and worship of the believer-priest. IV. Jesus the example. 1 WHEREFORE seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run- with patience the race that is set before us, 2 Looking unto Jesus the author and ‘finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Scofield Reference Bible, 1909).”

In March 1915, Biddy and Oswald concluded (after much prayer) that Oswald should apply to the YMCA to be a chaplain.

Biddy’s note didn’t indicate when in 1917 this passage was meaningful to her, but she did underline in her note “run patience the race.”

In June 1933, she was dealing with her mother’s slow decline and changes at work in her publication practices–including My Utmost for His Highest being published in the United States for the first time.

What did the notes in Biddy Chambers’ Bible mean?

Only she knew–and it should be kept that way.

What about you? What types of things do you write in your Bible?

Tweetables

Examining Biddy Chambers’ Bible. Click to Tweet

What kind of Bible did Biddy Chambers own–and write in? Click to Tweet

(I’ll be writing about Oswald Chambers’ Bible next week.)

 

Leave a comment

1 Comment

  1. This was so interesting. What an intimate privilege to look through her personal notes.

    Reply

Thoughts? Reactions? Lurker?

%d bloggers like this: