It may surprise you to find that the “Red Letter Edition Bible” is barely older than many of our grandfathers. The first red letter edition was conceived in 1899 by Louis Klopsch, then editor of The Christian Herald magazine, and it was first published a couple of years later. This style of Bible instantly became popular because, before this color distinction, Jesus’ words were difficult to identify (quotation marks were not to be found in the good ol’ King James).
Opinions are diverse. Even today, some express to me great angst over any unequal attention paid to the red words above those of the rest of the Bible. They said that even the words of Jesus must be interpreted by, or filtered through, the words of the Apostle Paul, even to the point of total negation. Still others teach that Christ’s words deserve supreme attention, more so than any other Bible passages, including the Law written with the finger of God Himself. Who is right?
Now, since my discovery, this dilemma is no harder to solve than any other. I just Think Red Ink. What did Jesus say? He said about His own words (the red words) something no other Prophet, Apostle or modern-day preacher would ever dare say… “My words are Spirit …and they are life.”
It’s only fitting that His written words were to receive special treatment, if only a different color ink. It was, after all, His words that got Him in and out of trouble, healed the broken lives that crossed His path, and it was His words that cursed the unproductive fig tree whose misfortune it was to be called upon to produce food for the Son of God!
I first became fascinated with the red ink when I wrote my first book “The Questions of Jesus.” That undertaking came about when, one day, reading a verse in Job, it seemed the Almighty was tired of listening to whining and being asked, “Why?” I heard the Lord saying, “Put on some pants and be a man. I’m going to ask you some questions and you will answer me!”
The discipline of this study over four years changed me. Situations of daily life I now handled with surprising ease and understanding. I hadn’t been successful with the traditional Christian formulas and procedures of merely modifying my behavior and memorizing scriptures to possess wisdom or find the answers I needed to make my life work properly. That brand of Christianity was never enough to bring about clarity or true and lasting change in my life.
The message of the gospel is bigger than denominational guidelines or doctrines where some aspects of the message of Christ are emphasized and others excluded. My desire is for others to see that the God of the Scriptures and His Son are bigger and more applicable to life than mere words on a page. Ironically, the only tangible way to quantify this truth is through the Scriptures, and more specifically (but not exclusively) the red words.
I now realize if we are to do what Jesus did, live like He lived, talk like He talked, we’re going to have to think like He thought. Therefore, I chose the ministry name Think Red Ink and created the dilemma I strive to rectify with this book; namely, what does it mean to think red ink?
The quest of Don C Harris is to provoke modern Christianity to THINK RED INK.