Bible Burning - Part Deux

All these threads on burning Bibles and Korans got me to thinking: What is the most appropriate manner of disposing of a used, worn out Bible - or does it not mater?

I wondered about burning, because I know that burning can be considered an appropriate way of disposing of special things, for example Boy Scouts will burn used, worn-out flags (in a very respectful manner, usually in a ceremonial setting), so could burning be a proper means of disposal for a Bible?

How about the non-Catholic religions that this forum is dedicated to? Do Mormons have any thoughts on this with regard to the Book of Mormon? How about Jews and the Torah?

I tried to think about my own copies of the Bible, and the fact is that I have never disposed of any of my own (except by giving a copy to someone). Some of them are on the verge of falling apart, and I have just retired them to the shelf.

I think the manner in which the books are burned makes all the difference. If someone is doing it carelessly and without respect or in malice then it is different than if someone is disposing of it a certain way to prove a point. But that’s just my opinion.

Keep em don’t burn em. Their value appreciate as they age (just kidding). :wink:

Seriously, the Bibles can be kept for generations - pass them down to your children and their children’s children. You can try to repair the old ones perhaps, but believe me fifty years from now if you are still around you will be glad that you had kept them. :slight_smile:

Maybe, find out if the word ever change or what does it speak to you now and what it did then.

God bless.

Yes. This I know. I have a very old one recording family births from the 1890’s. I don’t use it. I just store it. I have no plans on disposing of it.

I know. You said as much in the OP. It’s wonderful, really. :slight_smile:

Personally, I just don’t have the heart to burn old unused Bibles. So that question must be answered by those who have greater insight into this. One day, when I pass away from this world, I do not mind if all my Bibles will be buried with me but I would rather give them to my children as my one precious legacy to them.

God bless.

I have sometimes cut verses & Bible portions out, to use in scrapbooks, and also in greeting cards.
Neatly cut & carefully glued in place, they can add a spiritual note to an otherwise non-religious project, or message.:shrug:

One of my relatives has a page from a very old Bible. She has it framed in the library of her home…

It is very hard to see burning as respectful in today’s world, where such is a gesture of contempt–not to mention redolent of the Nazi book-burnings!!
And yet, this is the accepted rule…I personally believe that, in today’s climate, that any such burning should be done as discreetly as possible, to avoid scandal…

I’d rather see a bible burned than desecrated, or thrown in the trash.

I have kept all the Bibles I’ve accumulated over my lifetime.

I’m the only Catholic in my family of origin. The rest are Mormon. I do know that when my Mom’s garments were worn out she would cut the symbols out, burn those and bury the remainder in the back yard. I don’t know if that was just her, or if that’s a “normal” thing that Mormons do.


Under Jewish law, a damaged Torah scroll, for example, would be buried in a Jewish cemetery.

Thanks for the response! It’s an interesting subject: how to dispose of sacred books in a reverential way.

On one level, I agree with you…but I don’t think she was desecrating her bible. We need to remember, always, that the ink and the paper is not the bible. The WORDS are. So–though I think that one should treat scriptures (even those books that others believe are scriptures even if we don’t) with respect because of their content and symbology, we should stop short of anything that hints of idolatry.

I’ve told this story before, to make a different point, but I think it works here, too; many years ago I was watching a televangalist ranting away…and he said something that still sends chills down my back as I remember it. “I don’t care if Jesus Himself comes down and tells me that something in this book [the bible] is wrong! I will turn my back upon Him and hold to the book!” I don’t know what chilled me more–his words, or the thunderous “AMEN” that came from the audience.

When we put the physical book in which the bible is found in the ‘worship’ spot, we take a pretty long step toward just that sort of idolatry. It’s one of the reasons I deeply feel that the best treated bible is the one that has the broken spine, the folded leaves, the penned notes and the highlighting, along with sticky notes and doodles. Yes, I have a ‘family bible,’ too…a couple of them, actually, with names and marriage dates. Nobody READS them.

As for Zooey’s idea of cutting and pasting bible verses from old bibles—I’ve done that, though I actually bought paper back bibles specifically for that purpose. :wink: As for having a framed page on the wall—

I’m against that one, but for very different reasons. I’m a bit of a bibliophile, y’see, and the thought of taking a valuable manuscript or old book and selling it off page by page makes my eyes red.

On the other hand, if this is the only way to preserve them, then—why not?

At any rate, nothing we do now can possibly sink to the level of the folks who, after the bible became ‘sorta’ generally available, used them as folk cures: tear this verse out and eat it, and it’s a remedy for consumption.

Boy, do I know too much trivia.

At any rate, I don’t think that the physical manner of disposal matters as much as the intent of the person doing the disposing.

Learn something new every day. Never heard that before.

Yes. I agree. Hence flag-burning on the “muslim street” vs. boy scouts “retiring the colors”.

I know,…fun stuff! I actually have an old “reciept” from my g.g.g grandmother (counting…yep, three 'greats…") who recommended that if controling bleeding from childbirth was a problem, that the midwife should 'rite done vpon gud parchment Luke:43 and 44, and brew a strengthening tea." She went on to say that if that didn’t work, that further action should be taken; the verses should actually be cut from the family bible and used in that tea, along with fresh, not dried, Shepherd’s purse, stirred with a bit of sugar cane.

May have worked, too…though it was probably more the Shepherd’s purse than the Shepherd’s verse…(sorry…)

Yep. Doesn’t much matter what is physically done, if the intent is honor—or dishonor.

That’s an interesting one. I did a similar thing with my brown scapular recently. The string had broken, and since it was a sacramental I didn’t want to just throw it out. So I buried it, next to a statue of Mary. It seemed fitting. I imagine a similar thing could be done with the bible.


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