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Should I Throw This Bible Away?

Is it a sin to throw a Bible away?

A long time ago, my friends and I attended a gospel meeting to see an Bible_1elderly evangelist. It was a young crowd, full of saved ex-hippies. We sat in the front row and had our Bibles resting on the carpet underneath our chairs. To our surprise, the preacher noted that in many faith traditions, laying one’s Bible on the ground is irreverent. “People suffered and died to get that Bible into your hands,” said the gruff evangelist. “The least you could do is respect it.”

I’ve been traumatized ever since.

Bible_2Maybe that’s why I’ve got bibles like this one around the house. It’s a Thomas Chain Reference Bible, New International Version. I cut my spiritual teeth on this baby. But now its binding is gone, its pages are torn, and the Book of Hebrews is in shreds. But throw it away? I mean, if there’s something sacrilegious about laying your Bible on the floor, putting it in the trash can has got to be grounds for a lightning strike.

So it’s safely tucked away inside a cabinet in my office where it will collect dust and decay. Not very spiritual, I know. But it beats risking the wrath of God…

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{ 12 comments… add one }
  • Glynn June 25, 2009, 1:30 PM

    I have a goup of my Bibles on a shelf in the basement, and I can'r bear the thought of throwing them awat. One is a KJV given to me when I was 13 and confirmed in the Lutheran Church. Another is a Living Bible, given to me when I became one of those born again types at 21. Then the NASB, which our church in Houston used. Then my first NIV (New Testament) and then the whole NIV, which I fell in love with (and of which one of the translators attended our church in St. Louis). I used that NIV for 25 years until I got the NIV Study bible.

    I couldn't throw these old Bibles away. I go back and look at my underlinings, notes and questions I've written in the margins, and they tell a story. It wouldn't be a sin to throw an old Bible away, but it might be a crime, at least for me.

  • Nicole June 25, 2009, 3:00 PM

    I've got one right beside this keyboard with no covers, torn pages, unbound pages, long gone maps, but it's my favorite, so it stays. Here. By me. Where I am most the time. Sometimes I don't look at it, but it convicts me in silence. Sometimes I hear it whispering to me when I'm mad, sad, bad, or glad. I love this old thing.

  • RJB June 26, 2009, 6:38 PM

    As long as it doenst break the fifth law of Wifery "Thou shall not keep any items that clash with my decore."

    Then I would keep it. What a testiment to the importance of scripture, even in bad repair, its still a treasure.

  • Mark D. June 26, 2009, 8:02 PM

    What a great post. It's okay to dispose of a Bible, although chucking it in a trash can with the milk containers and old People magazines seems inappropriate. I think burying or burning would be okay. Still this should be done with a spirit of reverence. I mean making Bible S'mores doesn't seem very respectful either.

  • Dayle June 28, 2009, 3:33 PM

    When I was 9 yrs old., my dad told me to throw away my last yr's. catechism book. I didn't do it because it didn't feel right. Throwing away something that contained stories and teachings of Jesus. So I asked my priest.

    He told me what would be obvious today. He said that it was okay because Jesus was bigger than any book and since Jesus is the word, you can never really throw his words away.

    I understand the reverance, but we have to be careful not to elevate an inanimate object. That's a rather mild form of idolatry.

    Still, I can't help myself. I never put anything on top of my bible. (such as another book.) I always place it down on a clean surface. And, I can only remember throwing one away.

    However, someone once gave me a Jimmy Swaggart bible and it sits hidden in my office. I can't with good conscience give it away and I don't want to throw it away.

    • Adam December 22, 2009, 1:11 AM

      I have a friend that wants a Jimmy Swaggart Bible (as long as it's not large print), so perhaps you could give it away or sell it with good conscience. You could email me at am146a@lab.icc.edu. Blessings, Adam

  • Jack August 6, 2009, 12:11 AM

    As a former religion addict I will not allow a bible into my house. If someone were to give me one I would dispose of it as quickly as a former alcoholic would a bottle of vodka that was given to him.

    • Gary October 24, 2010, 11:02 AM

      Religion and The Bible are definitely NOT the same thing. I understand breaking the addiction to religion, but dont equate that with getting rid of the Bible. The Bible doesn’t have a religion, even though religions use it to further their own secular purposes. Don’t blame the Bible…..

  • Scott Fillmer August 10, 2010, 5:31 PM

    I just happened to come across your post here when writing my own on the very reason why we should throw away the bible (but you would have to read my reasons why).

    Interesting blog, good luck on the new novel, sounds interesting.

  • Jon Perkins October 9, 2010, 11:32 PM

    Bless your heart. I grew up hearing that to. I grew upp in legalism. I also was taught “Never set anything on top of a Bible cause it shows disrespect.” As I grew in grace the Spirit revealed to me what if something were on top of my Bible? Couldn’t it represent the fact that the Bible/God is the foundation of everything? Satan so eqasily ensnares and gets us wrapped up in intellectual mind mazes which keeps us in our heads and in our own power. To keep it simple I would donate it to a drug rehab or other needy place in the community where it could and would be appreciated. I would pray over it first for God to send it to someone He wants to get it. He will do anything we ask in His name…:)

  • Dave M July 18, 2015, 10:35 AM

    I have seen the using the NIV is not a good idea as the words have been changed, important scripture is missing. Plan on going back to the KJV and sticking with that. Don’t want the NIV in my home anymore and want to dispose of it. What are suggestions?

  • Ken January 21, 2016, 10:53 AM

    What i think in this matter is that, the word of God should remain in your heart, and when you got another new bible i think you should throw the old one away, Cos the the old one is torn, the word in the old is same as the one one in the new, Whe they say don’t throw the word of God away, is when you neglect His word, you have throw His word away.

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