Treatment of the Bible

Over on a Focus on the Family sub-site called, “Boundless Line“, there was a posting on the sanctity of the American flag and right treatment it deserves (the link provided is for that post–in case you were wondering).  All in all, it was a decent post and it certainly contained some elements worth pondering.  But then, a rather odd shift occurred with the final line:

And, speaking of etiquette and honoring things, did anybody else’s parents teach them never to place anything on top of the Bible? Just wondering.

I couldn’t help but wonder: 1) is this really where the writer wanted to take this discussion; 2) is this the same silly ” ‘this’ is the ‘that’ ” logic made famous by a certain, unnamed preacher; and 3) is this really an issue at all?  Based on what I read, and based on the comments associated with the post, my answers were: 1) most likely; 2) certainly looks like it; and 3) apparently it is.  

Some of the comments given by some of the readers shaped the reasons for my concern.  But I could not pick which was more troublesome to me: 1) that people believe there is a problem with having something on top of a Bible, or that it is placed on the floor, or that it is written in or highlighted; or 2) that people have actually been taught that this is a problem, and that the one’s teaching it are ardently convinced that it is a problem.

I wonder what such people would think of my “usual”[1] Bible:

Yes, that is the universal solution (i.e., duct tape) holding my Bible together; on the back cover (2nd pic), there are scratches from when I quickly administered the “last rights” to a horsefly one night at summer camp; the stickers on the inside cover (3rd pic) are from two of my “biggest fans” while I was in Children’s Ministry; the pages in Ephesians (4th pic) came loose because the scotch tape failed, which was applied when they fell out the first time; and the writing in the margins (5th pic) is my typical practice while reading–either devotionally or for study.  

As far as “placement” goes, I cannot begin to think of how many times this Bible has ended up on the floor or tossed into a neighboring chair.  There have been several times when this Bible has been buried under other books–either on the floor or on my desk.  On the way to church, this Bible winds up in a compartment found the door panel of my wife’s Mini Cooper.  According to the logic behind some of the comments made in the post, and based on my treatment practices, I am probably one of the most irreverent, disrespectful, in-need-of-serious-repentance, and how-dare-I-call-myself-a-Christian people in the world.  

Honestly, I think it would take so much more for such criticisms to be true.    

_________________________________________

[1] I say “usual” because I have multiple versions that I consult for various reasons; but this one is the one–outside of the Greek NT–that gets the most airtime.  

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One comment

  1. As a librarian, I think it’s great that the text is so thoughtfully studied. According to Ranganathan’s first law of library science, “books are for use.” It’s your own working copy after all. You are “illuminating” your Bible.

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