Arkansas minister, wife create ‘Blue, Red and Gold’ Bible
“Why aren’t the words of God printed in color?” she asked her husband.
Scott Johnson, the preacher for the East Faulkner Church of Christ in El Dorado, Ark., didn’t know, so he searched online.
He learned that the red-letter edition of the Bible, which highlights the words of Christ, was copyrighted and published in 1901. But he found little mention of special treatment for the words of God in Scripture.
That night, the minister said he had an experience akin to God placing the plan for the temple in David’s mind in 1 Samuel.
“I don’t want to call it a vision, but … in my mind was placed this plan,” he said, to color God’s words in blue and the mentions of the Holy Spirit in gold, in Bibles that people could use to better understand the Trinity. “You can’t color the words of the Holy Spirit in gold, or the entire Bible would be gold.”
Scott Johnson got to work. He copyrighted his idea of the BRG (Blue, Red and Gold) Bible. He secured a Microsoft Word version of the King James Bible — the only version in the public domain. Then he began the study-intensive process of adding blue and gold to the red-letter edition. He also added red underlining to messianic prophecies and blue underlining to the words of angels.
“All dialogue of a divine creature is in some type of color,” Johnson said.
It took two years. Recently, WestBow Press, a division of Thomas Nelson, released an e-version of the BRG Bible through Barnes & Noble and Amazon.
The project was not easy — and often made the Johnsons wonder if they were the right people for the job,
Jane Johnson said. “We asked God, ‘Why did you give this to us?’” Jane said. “We’re just these little bitty people on a little bitty farm at a little bitty church.”
The Johnsons live on a 33-acre farm in Bernice, La., about 30 miles south of El Dorado. Despite the challenging nature of the project, Scott and Jane said they’re convinced the coloring of the words will help readers see and understand the Trinity better.
The colors “make it easy to spot elements such as messianic prophecies and the spoken words of God, Jesus Christ and angels,” said Pete Nikolai, director of publishing services at Thomas Nelson. In this way, it “helps busy Bible readers quickly find what they are looking for.”
Sales of the e-Bible will determine whether or not Thomas Nelson prints it.
Scott Johnson’s hours in Bible study and in front of the computer for this project are in some ways his education in divinity: the East Faulkner church is his first paid preaching work. His career was mostly spent as an entrepreneur.
The couple operated a bed and breakfast and a pancake house. Later, they marketed a sweet potato pancake mix, created by Jane.
Scott sums up the unexpected trajectory of his career this way: “I like to say we’ve gone from selling physical bread to providing spiritual bread.”
To see samples of the BRG Bible, go to BRGBible.com or contact Scott Johnson at [email protected].
FeedbackI have known Scott and Jane Johnson for over 40 years and I find this to be a remarkable contribution to the study and comprehension of the Bible. Scott and Jane are strong believers of the Word and the Power of the Holy Spirit and have allowed their lives to be used by God for His purposes and not their own. I am sure this great contribution to enhance the study of the bible will go down in History as a turning point in Bible study, understanding and comprehension and will enable all students to more fully understand the operation of the Holy Spirit in God’s workings.David WhitlockNorth davis Church of Christ, Arlington, TxFort Worth, TX
United StatesMarch, 1 2013Kimberly, thank you for the article that you wrote about the BRG Bible. We are getting a lot of reaction from it and we greatly appreciate your work on the article. I thought the most important part of the article was when you told of me reading the words of God and then you said, she stopped. The power of God’s word does make you stop and ask the questions or reflect and then change your life or the way the Bible looks. Amazing. Thank you.Jane JohnsonEast Faulkner Church of ChristSpearsville, La.
U.S.AFebruary, 28 2013What a great idea. When I first learned of this work it immediately seemed like it could be a blessing to many. I am confident that the BRG Bible will be a useful tool to help any reader as they seek to clearly see the character of God.Mark FarrColumbusColumbus, IN
USAFebruary, 25 2013I’M INTERRESTED IN PURCHASHING THE NEW BRG BIBLE AS SOON AS IT IS FOR SALE.VICKIE WATSONAtlanta Road Church of ChristFlowery Branch, Georgia
USAFebruary, 19 2013Dear Hope, Cardinal Hugo de Sancto Caro divided the Bible into chapters in 1250, William Tyndale translated the Bible into English in 1534, Robert Stevens divided the Bible into verses in 1560, King James created the King James Version of the Bible in 1611, Louis Klopsch printed Jesus’ words in the Bible in Red letter in 1901. Quotation marks were added to the Bible by Thomas Nelson in 1982. All of this for our benefit but yet nothing mentioned in the Bible that it could be done.Scott JohnsonEast FaulknerEl Dorado, AR
USAFebruary, 18 2013Considering how rigid the members of the c of Christ are in their worship of the word and will not consider “adding to or taking from” that word, some might consider this a conflict of interest. After all nothing is mentioned in the Bible that you are allowed to do this.HOPE McKay Ricemy heart and headenfield, ct
usaFebruary, 15 2013I am very, very proud of what Scott & Jane have done for the BRG Bible. I have it on my Kindle & also on my laptop.
It is very useful in knowing who is talking & where it is. I am hopeful that Scott can get it out on paperback & in every church pew.
Thanks again Scott for my BRG Bible. Everyone needs it.Don TannerEast Faulkner Church of ChristEL Dorado, Arkansas
USAFebruary, 14 2013We hope Blue Red and Gold Lettering (BRG Bible) will encourage Bible reading, especially with our younger generation and the new electronic age of Nook, Kindle, Ipad, ect…
Thanks to Bobby Ross and Kim Mauck for their work in sharing this project with the readers of Christian Chronicle!Scott JohnsonEast FaulknerEl dorado, Arkansas
USAFebruary, 14 2013Gaining a fresh perspective on the bible with the use of the Blue, Red, and Gold colors in scripture is excellent and I strongly recommend everyone to obtain a copy of their own.Jason JohnsonQuaker AvenueLubbock, Texas
USAFebruary, 14 2013I want one!
I love this idea!
AND God bless you over and over!
I have recently studying and wanting to study more about angels, the Holy Spirit and this format would be awesome.
You asked why you? Why not? God uses those that He knows can and will get the job done. Yes, there may be a little testing done along the way or has already been done. He has given you a great gift! So happy you used it wisely.
In His Love,
DianeDianeLaurel Church of Christ, Laurel, MDLinthicum, MD
USAFebruary, 13 2013Excellent idea! I pray you get to do this.Jacqeline HendersonMesa Church of ChristMesa, AZ
United StatesFebruary, 13 2013