I can’t remember when I first realized that it was a coveted item.  I think, like many traditions in our world, it was passed along to me in story.  I think the story went something like this . . .


Jim Rayburn and all the patriarchs of Young Life used this bible.  Bob Mitchell, Tom Raley, Harry MacDonald, Bill Starr, Doug Burleigh, and Bob Reeverts.  They ALL had a J.B. Phillips bible.  All of the speaking that took place at clubs and summer camps – a Phillips bible was in hand.  Start looking, and you’ll see!


So, I did.  Sure enough, it was true.  I not only saw all these giants in Young Life holding a Phillips bible, but if they didn’t have it on them, I asked.  Everytime there was not just an affirmative response, but rather, a revered response when talking about their “Cookbook” bible.  Some of them said it was “tucked into a special place.”  Others talked about only speaking from it, and not traveling with it.


One thing was sure – it was special.


In my 20’s I had a habit of stopping at all used bookstores.  I can still remember all the bookstores from Salem to Portland and all around the Oregon Coast.  I would walk through the front door and ask for the “religious” section.  9 times out of 10 it would be a “whiff.”  Every once in a while I would see that colorful bridge of the “cookbook” and what a day that was!


Today, there is no need to travel to used bookstores.  Although, it is still very “Charlie – Wonka – Golden- Ticket – Like” to stop at a used book store. Today, with Ebay, Craigslist, and the like, I never don’t have a supply on hand to give as gifts.


There are MANY types of J.B. Phillips bibles.  Here are the ones that you should look for:


The Cookbook:

The Leather Bound:


This is from the “Casebeer Collection”

The Mini-Phillips:

Remember this key point . . . the publisher MacMillan is not the correct bible.  The publisher Bles is the correct bible.  Many a “newbie” has made that mistake early on.


Three examples from my collection — Leather slip cover, mini with slip cover, and the infamous — “Cookbook”

One week from today, anyone who is signed up to receive this Blog via email will be put into the “drawing pool” to receive one of two Cookbook bibles I have on hand.  Sign-up to receive the blog in email form and you are in the pool.  Two bibles will be sent out next Thursday! 


Have a great day, and happy hunting!




6 thoughts on “COOKBOOK, LEATHER, SLIPCOVER — #phillipsbible

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