B: What to do With a Tattered BIBLE

. at . 13 comments

This is clearly not by Bible because this one has a cover.

This is clearly not by Bible because this one has a cover.

Do you have a favourite Bible? Why is it your favourite?  Mine is a bubblegum pink, paperback, NIV Women’s Devotional Bible. I’ve had it for 14 years.

  • The front cover is gone and so are more than a few pages.
  • The spine is held together with grey duct tape. Back then we didn’t have the fancy duct tape colours available today.
  • Scribbled on the inside back cover are verses of encouragement.
  • Verses are underlined (in pencil and various colours of ink) throughout this Bible.
  • Answered prayers are noted, but only in short hand. I can’t remember some of the particulars, but I see that I said “Thank You” to God.
  • Some of my prayers haven’t been answered. And the dates and cryptic requests blink like my laptop cursor waiting for God’s next move.
  • Dates and personal notes on the pages point to low times in my life. These low times were an acrimonious divorce and the decline and death of my mother (who wasn’t even of retirement age).

Clearly this Bible has seen better days. Because of the shape it is in, it would not be of use to anyone. What do you do with a Bible that is cluttered with writing (although meaningful to me), falling apart, and has memories of  traumatic times?

My research indicates that there isn’t a uniform way to respectful dispose of Bibles that are past using.

Some ideas of disposal include the following:

  1. Throw it away.
  2. Bury it under the doorstep of your front door.
  3. Burn it like you would a retired USA flag.
  4. A friend used pages her falling apart Bible in her family scrapbook.

One writer (Wayne Weissenbuehler a former seminary professor, pastor, and bishop} suggests we follow a Jewish practice.

“When Hebrew scrolls of the Scripture that contain the written sacred name of God are no longer usable, they are gathered, placed in a coffin and buried in a cemetery with a liturgy of committal. Why not take a Bible that has become unusable, wrap it in a protective cover and bury it with an appropriate liturgy of committal?” Wayne Weissenbuehler

I still haven’t decided what to do. But I do know the best place for the Bible is in me:  “In my heart I store up your words, so I might not sin against you,” (Psalm 119:11).

But maybe I will have a ceremony. And in addition to burying the Bible, I will pray and discern if there is more that needs to be dealt with and then put to rest like . . .

  • Resentments
  • Unresolved griefs
  • Unforgiveness

Your Turn . . .  What would you do?

Related Posts . . .

  1. 3 Reasons to Read This Bible Storybook (interview with an 11-year-old)
  2. 6 Tips to Consistent Bible Reading
  3. 21 Things I Learned by Reading Individual Bible Books in One Sitting
NOTE: This post is written for the Blogging From A to Z Challenge. There are 22 categories and my category is MI = Miscellaneous.
During the month of April I will post 26 times finishing up posts that have been in my draft fie for at least a year. For a list of all the posts go to the A-Z button on my header.
Today’s letter is B. The topic is Bible.

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A: God’s Love is AMAZING C: Easy to Make CLAY Crosses Using Homemade Dough

13 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Lynete  |  . at .

    I have very old family Bibles stored in my Mother;’s hand carved chest. I been thinking of having someone take photographs of the Bibles (the are at least 150 years old) especially the faded handwritten genealogy in between the 2 testament. The other Bibles (old, but not so old are stored in sturdy cardboard boxes. Maybe this summer will be the summer I will have someone come over and take pictures.

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    • 2. Jeanne Haidary  |  . at .

      I still have the Bible I bought myself with my high school graduation money gifts; the Scofield KJV. I keep it, though some pages are torn, some unglued from the binding, and scribbled in with black marker by one of my kiddos who saw me underlining verses. 🙂 I still remember which side of the page and top or bottom to find certain verses, and though we use NIV now, I memorized most verses in KJV back in the day. I will keep it always-disposing of it will be someone else’s problem.

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    • 3. susan2009  |  . at .

      Lynette, I like the idea of you taking photos of the genealogy. What a treasure to have one that is 150 years old. I hope you do get that done this Summer. I look forward to seeing what you will do with the photos are you are so creative.

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    • 4. susan2009  |  . at .

      Jeanne, I smiled when I read about one of your kiddos writing in your Bible with a marker b/c s/he was mimicking your behaviour.

      What a wonderful use of your graduation money – to buy a Bible.

      I can also remember where to find certain passages in my pink Bible. I get confused when I’m using a newer Bible and just can’t find certain verses as quickly. Shows I need more practice in this new one.

      Jeanne, I will probably let my family deal with my Bibles and others things after I die.

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  • 5. Pamela  |  . at .

    I have an old family Bible. It is in a sealable plastic bag and stored away. My old Bibles have been given away, one burned in a fire, one ruined in a mini flood. A couple, again, are stored away. I cannot seem to willingly let them go, except as a gift to a new Christian who does not have one, if the Bible is in good enough condition. Nowadays, my Bible is on my smartphone…hmmm. I guess that takes care of the tattered, crumbling book. All my highlights, underlinings, notes kept electronically for eternity. Can’t take either version with me, though, eh?

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    • 6. susan2009  |  . at .

      My you’ve had some traumatic times, haven’t you, Pam. None stolen though, eh?

      That is true about having the Bible available on smartphones and other devices. That certainly will take care of tattered, crumbling books.

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  • 7. Joe Owens  |  . at .

    I would probably do what I do now, cram it on the shelf with the other bibles we accumulate but do not use. I am at a loss about what to do with them, but the ones that are useable I will probably pass on to belize where I was part of a mission team last December. They have needs for things we take for granted.

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    • 8. susan2009  |  . at .

      Great idea, Joe, to pass along your usable Bibles when you go to Belize. That reminds me to ask and see if I can bring any when we go to Northern India this summer. And yes, I DO TAKE for granted many items I have and not just my extra Bibles.

      Like

  • 9. sherileec  |  . at .

    I have never seriously considered this question before. I have a shelf of old Bibles, and can’t quite consider getting rid of any of them, even if they’re unusable… but the idea of a ceremony of sorts gives me pause, makes me reconsider.

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    • 10. susan2009  |  . at .

      Sheri, a lot of folks are saying the same thing to me on Facebook and in water-cooler talk. This feels like an emotional topic.
      I also like the idea of a committal ceremony. Seems more respectful that way.

      Like

  • 11. lillian888  |  . at .

    In the Eastern Orthodox Christian Church, we have two methods of disposing of items that have been sanctified. One is to bury the item where no one with walk over it. The other is to burn it. The ashes can be buried according to the first method.

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    • 12. susan2009  |  . at .

      Hi Lillian,
      Thanks for sharing about the Eastern Orthodox Christian Churchs’ method of disposal. That seems very respectful and fitting. Does the clegy do the burning or can anyone do this?

      BTW – I currently live in northern CA too. If you ever come to the Sacramento area, let me know. Maybe we can chat face-to-face.

      Like

    • 13. lillian888  |  . at .

      Anyone can do either method of disposal. Good for you for asking. I’ll remember to mention that next time the subject comes up. You’re in Sacramento? Great! I’m down here near Santa Cruz.

      Like

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