A couple of weeks ago I was watching the Dove Awards and they had a tribute to Bill Gaither. Shortly after I received an email from Bozeman media offering to let me review the Gaither Homecoming Bible! I was also going to have the opportunity to speak with Gloria, Bill’s wife! I knew that the boys’ great grandma would be so happy about this.
As soon as I received the Bible, I knew it was going to be a gift the boys would give to their Grandma Baker. I received the hard cover edition and it’s absolutely beautiful! It’s the NKJV.
The beginning of the Homecoming Bible has small pictures and bios of all the contributors. I like the pictures because it’s always nice to put a face with a name. I also appreciate Gloria’s introduction about Hymns and Gospels: Why We Need Them. I think we’ve gone far away from them with the recent generations and we lose the beauty of that style of worship.
I love Bibles that are visually beautiful and that’s one of the questions I asked Gloria because I had a feeling she had some input as to the design. I wasn’t wrong in my thinking. Here’s what “extras” are included in the Bible, published by Thomas Nelson:
- 230 devotionals written by Homecoming artists
- 89 articles written by Gloria Gaither
- 75 in-depth looks at some of the most beloved hymns and gospel songs, including many written by Bill & Gloria Gaither
- 20 poems written by Gloria Gaither
- 5 features discussing the importance of music
- A custom Gaither Homecoming Bible Reading Plan
How did you compile your list of contributors?
First, the Gaither Homecoming Bible has been out 6-9 months. The response has been phenomenal. You know how hard it can be to have the artists respond, but not this time. There were a lot of immediate responses saying the word of God is really important to them on a daily, personal, regular basis. Some several different pieces. The assignment was to tell of real life instances where the Word of God tire hit the pavement. And the other thing her view of this, she and Bill talked about this a lot, this generation in between…gens between old people of God who taught hymns, read out of bible story books, instilled word of God in us…are scared to death their kids aren’t going to have like they did. Gloria made sure to put in 20 or so of the Great hymns, Gaither songs, 20 great gospels for this bible. They also updated hymns in present day language.
How long have you been writing poetry? Do you find it to be the same process to write poetry as to write music?
She’s been writing poetry all of her life. Gloria writes it quite often. That’s the interchange between her family, they send poems to each other. At first she said “no” to them adding her poems to the Bible. because they’re not all gospel bent. For example Renascence on page 791, people we work with in Christian ministry you feel like you’re talking Swahili when you’re talking about the Lord. I was so blessed because Gloria read this poem to me!!!!! When everything comes together, it prompts them to seek the Lord. Basically an appeal to people who think they’re Christians.
How did you decide to use the NKJV?
Thomas Nelson had already decided on the version and the NKJV is by far biggest selling translation, and seems most beautiful. She’s been a Christian since 4yrs old after a while you think you know a verse and it slides off you like water off a duck’s back, but you sometimes you don’t realize what it’s really saying. Reading one of the newer translations, gives her the reason to go back to the NKJV.
Saw the tribute to Bill on the Dove Awards and it was really amazing. What did you guys think of the tribute?
It was a tribute to He Touched Me. It propelled them into visibility, into a bigger circle! That was written 50 years ago. They had no idea it would be like way back when they first did the song!
Did you help with the design inside the Bible? It’s such a “warm” Bible. It seems like a bible you want to cuddle up with on a cold night and dive into or to start your morning diving into the word.
She said this will be beautiful and the Word of God is beautiful. Gloria new exactly which designer she wanted to use because she’s worked with him before. It was intentional.
How long was the editing process for the Homecoming Bible?
The editing was a long process. Gloria’s staff worked on all of it. Choice of songs involved a lot of people and pouring over the list seeing who said the same songs several times. They were able to have it done In less than a year, but altogether it was a 3 yr. process. visual medium, thought many of the people would be known better by their faces and their names.
Highlighted singing and music throughout the bible. The role it has throughout the bible was a shocker to Gloria. In green highlights. In gold highlights, see what great writers said about music and their journey. You find many treasures as you thumb through this Bible!
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