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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Proper Bible disposal

Consider a burial, complete with liturgy

What's the proper way to dispose of unusable Bibles?

Oh, how I wish this were a problem for us. We have too many Bibles in wonderful mint condition.

Dispose of it as you would any other book. Recycle the paper if you can. It's how the Bible is used and treated when it is working that matters most.


But in this disposable world where everything is printed, used, recycled or trashed and there is little of the sense of the sacred and holy around us, here's another suggestion of how to treat these old servants of God: Follow the practice of our Jewish friends.

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? Don't burn old Bibles because in our day this would signal just the opposite of what we want to say about the Bible.

Weissenbuehler also answers: "Which English translation of the Bible is the most accurate? "


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