How Should I Dispose of a Bible?

“… question from a reader: How do you dispose of a worn-out Bible? Is there a protocol, like with a flag?” - TGC


….though to be honest, I think a lot of the treatment we accord our nation’s flag borders on idolatry. What’s important is not the flab, but the principles our nation was founded on. (hopping off soapbox)

For my part, I do struggle with the notion of throwing away a Bible, and apart from a few destroyed Gideons New Testaments, I don’t remember ever throwing one away. My first Bible from 3rd grade is in good condition on a shelf, my second from college is in my pickup as a “truck Bible”, I’ve given away a few when I realized the small print and KJV Bibles available to the teens/kids at church were simply too hard for them to read, but I’ve never thrown any away. Really, what I’ve found is that if you take care of a Bible, it’ll last a long time, even with regular reading. OK, yes, inexpensive Bibles have the covers rip off, but a bit of packing tape fixes that for a few years, really.

Part of my take is that I think that when I take good care of a Bible, repair it when covers come off, and the like, I’m telling the world that this is a book I value more than others. I’m all for replacing them when they wear out, and I’m all for getting a few good translations for cross reference (I’ve got quite a few myself),.

However, in some circles, there seems to be a culture of getting a new Bible every year or so in the same way that lovers of fashion get a new wardrobe from the latest trends. Others seem to see the need to “taillor” the Scriptures to various stages in life and the like. Somehow that doesn’t seem to communicate the permanence and value of the Scriptures very well. One should not get a Bible this year, and be ready to ditch it in the same way people in the early 1980s were ditching their hip-hugger bell bottom jeans.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

I’ve always tossed old ones into the recycle bin.

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and works in State government.

I pass them on to Goodwill, Salvation Army and Veterans Groups.

I have a book shelf filled with umteen worn out Bible, too tattered to use, but too precious to discard.

G. N. Barkman

Like Bert, I have not thrown away any of my old Bibles. I still have my tattered Bible from elementary school, my tattered Bible from high school, and my tattered Bible from college. I have my tattered Bible that I received shortly after getting married. I am currently on my second Bible since I’ve been married (my wife gave it to me 12 years ago), and its cover is pretty shot. All of these Bibles except the last one are KJV.

In addition to these personal Bibles, I’ve been given or purchased multiple other print Bibles: NASB study Bible, NKJV study Bible, ESV study Bible x2, Parallel NT (w/ 8 English translations), ESV reverse interlinear, GNT (NA28 reader’s edition, UBS4, UBS3), BHS (x2, plus readers edition). When I was ordained, I asked not to receive an “ordination Bible” because I already had so many Bibles. They purchased an expensive ESV preaching Bible for me anyway.

The older Bibles are in a box somewhere in my basement. I can’t throw them away (or burn them). The Greek, Hebrew, and study Bibles are on one of my bookshelves. I gave away my expensive “ordination Bible.” I’ve given multiple ESV Bibles away as well.

I know we are not under the OT anymore, but back then if you wanted to give something to God you would burn it.