June 22, 2010

You Can't Judge a Book By Its Cover

I like to keep a small Bible for carrying in my purse and taking with us to worship.  With nine Bibles going back and forth and on outings, it can get quite cumbersome to take everyone's full size along for the ride.  I've had my little pocket Bible for quite a number of years now but all the back and forth and being tossed about in the family church bag has taken its toll.  A good bit of Genesis has disappeared along with most of the book of Revelation.

About a year ago, I started searching for a new one.  As the pages have disappeared, so my vision has faded in the last ten years or so.  I find it just about impossible to read the tiny print of my compact any longer.  I wanted one that was small enough to travel with me with big enough print that I could actually read it.  Not too much to ask, is it???

About a month ago, my dad came to Bible study with a new Bible he had found on a recent shopping expedition.  After a year of searching, here was exactly what I had been looking for.  Hooray for me!  Right then and there Allen pulled out his blackberry and searched Amazon.  He came up with the same edition with this beautiful cover.

Well, Allen liked mine so much, and his travel Bible was not in very good shape either, so for Father's Day, I ordered him this beautiful Men's version.

Now, let me put in a little plug for why I love Amazon.com.  I ordered this Bible last Monday around 4:00.  Tuesday morning, when I got up at 6 am, it was already in our front door!  Plus, we are members of Amazon Prime so we don't pay a penny extra for that super fast shipping.  And the customer service is superb.  When ever I need to return or exchange something, them email me a shipping label and the UPS man stops to pick it up.  Easy as that!  For a girl who hates shopping, that's a deal.  By the way, in case you were wondering, their prices are usually competitive or less than other online shopping sources, too.  But that's not the point of this post.

So, here's the deal.  It arrived looking like this.  Note that both the spine and the slip case are marked KJV/King James Version.  I wanted to get it wrapped and tucked away before Allen got home so I quickly flipped to the dedication page, wrote and inscription and wrapped it up for safe keeping.  

On Father's Day, he was thrilled to see his new Bible and put it with our bag we take to church. As we settled into the preaching, he turned to the first verse Pastor was reading.  Hebrews 11:8.  "By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went." 

Then to the second.  Genesis 12:1 " Now the LORD had said to Abram:  Get out of your country,  From your family And from your father’s house, To a land that I will show you."

By the time we got to Genesis 12:3 Allen started looking at me funny.  Then he picked up Samuel's Bible and looked up the verse we had just read.  It was different then what was in his Bible. 

And that's when he flipped to the title page and saw this. 

He tapped me and showed me what it said.  I instantly felt awful thinking I must have ordered the wrong one.  Then I picked it up and started looking at it and saw clearly that the the cover said King James Version.  I began to assume that it must have said something about it in the description and I was in a hurry and missed it.  After all that "new" is an awfully small word. 

It was driving me nuts, so as soon as we got in from lunch, I went to Amazon and checked it out.  Nothing about it being New King James.  In fact, it clearly stated all over the title and description that it was the King James Version. 

I sent an email to Amazon explaining the situation and asking for an exchange for the correct Bible.  That was four o'clock Sunday evening.  In the meantime, I figured they were going to tell me that it was only available in the New King James Version, so I popped over to the Thomas Nelson website to see if there was something similar available.

What I found was only one Bible that had that cover and it clearly was listed as a King James Bible.  I called Allen in to look, just to confirm that I wasn't losing my mind.  He suggested writing the company and asking them about it.  So I did.  I typed an email to Nelson and explained the whole thing, again.  And here's what happened.

Monday morning, UPS shows up to pick up the first Bible for return to Amazon.  The only catch is no one had emailed back to say if I could still exchange it since I had already inscribed it.  I explained the situation to my friendly UPS carrier, yes we are on a first name basis on account of the fact that I hate to shop.  ☺   He said, no big deal.  Hang on to the package and he would stop back on Tuesday when it was all straightened out.

A little while later, a carrier arrived with a new Bible from Amazon.  Now how do you like that?  Less than 24 hours later they have sent some one to pick up the old one and delivered me a new one!  A whole lot more pleasant than waiting in line at a return counter for some unfriendly sales person to handle the exchange for me.  I opened the package and it looked identical to the first one except for the title page.

 After comparing a number of verses, we were all convinced it was the correct edition.

Oh, and just so Amazon doesn't get a bad wrap.  I said they didn't email me back, but they had.  It went to Allen's email address since the account is in his name.  Which he didn't check until Monday evening.  Sure enough, if the reply didn't come in Sunday evening.  They said to send the first Bible back for a refund.

Monday afternoon, my telephone rings and who do you think it is calling?  A very friendly woman with a deep southern drawl calling from Thomas Nelson Publishers in Nashville, Tennessee.  Well, they were so interested in this Bible she said.  It sounded as if the wrong title page was put in it.  I explained that no, we had compared many verses with our King James Bible and indeed it was definitely not a King James Bible.  

Well, she said, they would like to have it so they could check it out and find out what happened.  Would I be kind enough to send it to them.  They would gladly send Allen another Bible for his trouble.  The only catch she said is that edition is on back order, as are all the other editions in that type of soft leather cover.  Would it be alright to send a plain genuine leather instead?

Now, note let's examine that for a minute.  Amazon had only 2 copies available when I placed that order.  As far as I can figure, we know had their last two remaining copies in our hands.  Thomas Nelson had none available as they had all been sold.  That means that a large number of these Bibles were in circulation and no one had noticed the error before now.  I will spare you the commentary on that, but think about it for a minute.

Anyway,  I was more than willing to send it to her, the only catch being that Amazon was waiting for the return in order to credit my account for the second copy.  Which brings me back to Amazon.  Allen had a pleasant phone call with a young gentleman at customer service, who after hearing the whole story, assured us that they trusted we were telling the truth and that we should return the Bible to the publisher.  Amazon would gladly refund our account.

All that is summed up like this... Amazon and Thomas Nelson are both delightful companies to do business with.  And there is truth in the old cliche we heard growing up:  You truly can not judge a book by its cover.


  1. wow, quite the order, but glad it got straightened out decently!

  2. I meant to say, quite the ordeal.. not order :) (the heat must be getting to me) :)

  3. I am so glad yall got it all worked out :). Now on to something else.
    I Love your blog look.
    Ok time and time again I am always doing someone elses blog,and never seem to be too happy with mine :(

  4. Why does life always get so complicated when I should be simple? Is God just giving a little exercise in patience?


  5. Beautiful ending to a beautiful heartfelt gift that turned into quite an adventure. I just love the extra twists and turns GOD allows in our lives.

  6. I think it was great of them to do so! Like in "Life with Father": "don't yo see dear? if we return the bulldog for $15 and but the $15 dollar suit...it won't cost you anything!"-KK

  7. It makes my heart happy that you really care about the particular Bible version that you read- and that it's a conservative translation! Blessings!