According to an article published earlier today on www.FoxNews.com and titled “Elvis Presley's Notes Show He Probably Read This Book of the Bible Most”, the young man who would go on to change the world from the little town of Tupelo, Mississippi apparently read his Bible fairly regularly.
The article reminds us that we should not necessarily be surprised that Elvis’ work was somehow impacted by the Bible. After all, he got his start performing in an Assembly of God Church back there in Tupelo.
What is more, though Elvis was known as the King of Rock n’ Roll, his only Grammy awards were actually for his Gospel music, winning “Best Sacred Performance” in 1967 and “Best Inspirational Performance” in both 1972 and 1974.
In any event, as the title suggests, one Biblical Book in particular seems to have had special appeal for him: the Old Testament Book of Psalms. The museum's lead curator of art and exhibitions, Amy Van Dyke, said she could tell it was "something special to him" by all the notes found in the margins.
According to Van Dyke, "His favorite book, from what it looks like, was the book of Psalms. Because in the book of Psalms there's a lot of notations and writings in there, which makes sense because it's a book of songs. So for a musician, it made a lot of sense. And in the back of that Bible, there's also some writing and some stanzas that he's written in there and poems and other things that really spoke to him."
Dr. Jeffrey Kloha, chief curatorial officer at the museum, further reminds us that it should be no surprise that the “King” spent so much time in the Book of Psalms. “Musicians have always found inspiration in the Psalms," Kloha said. "Like Elvis, J. S. Bach, for example, wrote notes in his Bible throughout the Psalms. This is because the Psalms themselves are intended to be sung, and have been sung in churches and synagogues for centuries.”
If you desire to know more, check out a series called "Lonesome Curator" on www.YouTube.com. Here, the Museum of the Bible staff has been sharing about its treasures while the gates remain closed. For now, though, based on this article, I have a thought or two to share.
To be sure, there are those who believe it is wrong to write notes inside a Bible. In the world where I grew up, this was certainly the case. Some considered it a grievous sin to “mark up” God’s Word.
(Ironically, many of those same people readily filled in the genealogical charts provided in the pages of their family bibles. And if no such charts were there, they eagerly wrote the names and births of their children and grandchildren. Even more ironic, they often gobbled up the notes of C. I. Schofield printed in the margins as if they were as inspired as the very words of Holy Writ they accompanied!)
My own conviction, however, is that it is entirely appropriate to write notes in one’s Bible. I say this for two reasons…
First, because no document in the history of this world is more noteworthy than is the Holy Bible itself! By this I mean that no other written work is more designed to evoke a response from human beings than is the Word of God! And this leads to the second reason.
A Bible filled with notes is a Bible that has been read! More than this, a Bible filled with notes is a Bible with which some reader has had some level of genuine personal interaction! In short, a marked up Bible got read, and got embraced!
Such was clearly the case for a man named Elvis Aaron Presley. Such is the case for yours truly. (I, too, have many “marked up” Bibles!)
The real question is: “Is such the case for you?!” If your own Bible were ever put on display, would it testify to your having read it? More to the point, would it testify to the fact that you interacted with it? That you believed it? And that you believed it enough to put its assertions into practice? In effect, that you tried it and proved its relevance?
Before you answer, remember that whatever your response is, it will be worthy of being noted!
NOTE: The reporter, Caleb Parke, is an associate editor for www.FoxNews.com. He can be followed on Twitter @calebparke.