A Meaningful Way To Dispose Of Unwanted Bibles
Tim Martens carefully unwraps a pair of tattered-looking old books. One is an ancient German Bible, its text printed in fine Gothic script, the other an old Gesangbuch or songbook.
The Duck Lake, Sask. resident believes these worn and frayed tomes, no longer wanted or needed by anyone, deserve to be treated with respect. To that end, he has begun what he calls The Bible Collection Project. He is collecting old Bibles and hymnbooks and storing them, for the time being, in a cabinet in his home.
Books that can be mended or arent too badly damaged can be given to missions, but those that are too worn or damaged are simply stored. When he has accumulated more than he can store, Martens plans to give the old books a respectful burial, offering words of thanksgiving for the role they have played in the faith lives of their owners.
He hopes that what he is doing will fill a need for those who are downsizing and dont know what to do with these volumes. He is working with thrift stores in the area to arrange for collection and pick-up of old Bibles and Gesangbuchs.
An old German Bible, top, and Gesangbuch, once treasured by their owners, are now part of Tim Martens Bible Collection Project.
How Old Is The Bible
Recent analysis of pottery fragments by researchers at Tel Aviv University caused a spate of headlines along the lines of “The Bible is much older than we thought.”
The researchers claim the discovery that inscriptions, dated to around 600 BCE, were written by at least six different authors indicates literacy was more common than previously recognised.
“In other words, the entire army apparatus, from high-ranking officials to humble vice-quartermasters of small desert outposts, was literate,” the study concluded.
“The results indicate that in this remote fort literacy had spread throughout the military hierarchy, down to the quartermaster and probably even below that rank. This implies that an educational infrastructure that could support the composition of literary texts in Judah already existed before the destruction of the first Temple.”
Essentially the study says literacy was widespread earlier than originally thought so the Bible could have been written earlier than had been thought until now. No new evidence from biblical texts themselves can verify this claim and some commentators think the evidence doesn’t support such a sweeping conclusion.
But just how old do we think the Bible is?
Dating the New Testament is relatively uncontroversial and nearly all scholars agree the texts were completed by somewhere in the mid second century.
Conservative theologians have tended to hold to this tradition, although the academic consensus is against them.
Where Can I Donate Old Bibles For Free
Some Christians like to offer old Bibles free of charge at their own yard sales. BibleSenders.org . Bible Senders accepts new, slightly used, recycled, and old Bibles in any language. No Bibles with ripped, torn, loose, or missing pages, please. Donated Bibles will be sent free of charge to anyone who asks.
Recommended Reading: Chronilogical Order Of Bible
The Impact Of Old Bibles
LovePackages ships more than 1000 tons of recycled gospel literature to the mission field every year.
Even if your used Bible is missing some pages or has bent corners, there are people around the world that would treasure a copy of the Gods Word! They are glad to receive your worn-out copy of Scripture.
Plus, LovePackages.org reports that at least 20 people read each piece of literature that they ship abroad. It is being shared because it is so valuable! That means, for each shipping container sent overseas with 1 million pieces of Christmas literature in it, there is potential to reach 20 million people!
And believe it or not, many people all around the world can read English, so your English Bible is still a precious commodity!
So, what if you could reach 20 people whove never read a Bible? What if your old copy of the Bible on the bookshelf could impact the lives of an entire village? Would you send it?
You can read countless testimonies of people who have been transformed by the ministry of LovePackages sending Gods Word overseas.
Pastors who did not have the money to buy even a sample of a Gospel Scripture, do now have access to a lot of literature, Bibles and books that you shipped to us. I cant begin to tell you the great difference it has made. Distributor in Swaziland
What To Do With A Torn Up Bible
If it still bothers you to donate a torn up bible, we invite you to buy a few new ones and send them with your old one. We do very occasionally get a donated bible that is falling to pieces because the binding is completely blown out, and those we recycle.
One way to dispose of an old Bible is to return it to the Earth with a respectful burial. The burial may be as involved as youd like , though a humble burial is just as valid as one with more pomp and circumstance. Cremate the Bible.
Second, if your Bible is too old or damaged for use, you could follow the Jewish practice for retiring aged Torah scrolls. In the Jewish tradition, aged scrolls were generally placed in a cave or buried. Some continue this tradition with their Bibles, burying them with the same respect one would say goodbye to a loved one.
Also Check: What Is The Bible Say About Cremation
Condition Helps Determine Value
Whatever their title and whatever their age, books were, and are, meant to be read. Just think about how people have used and cherished Bibles through the years.
Unless theyre gorgeous display-only works of art, Bibles have typically been heavily used by their owners. In fact, second to antique childrens books, thumbed through by little hands, old Bibles tend to suffer the worst when it comes to their condition.
Bibles are heavily used and often tend to be in poor condition.
The Bible is not only the single most printed book in history but its also the most read. This is primarily why most old Bibles dont stand the test of time in terms of condition as well as other books which tend to sit on the shelf.
Therefore, it stands to reason why condition becomes an important factor in the value of an antique Bible.
How To Donate Used Bibles
Countless Christians cannot afford to purchase a new Bible, so a donated Bible is a valuable gift. Before you throw away an old Bible, prayerfully consider giving it to someone or donating it to a local church or ministry. Some Christians like to offer old Bibles free of charge at their own yard sales.
Recommended Reading: How To Read The New Testament In Chronological Order
The Nature Of God: How God Exists
As we have seen, if one looks at the evidence with an open mind, the evidence declares that God truly does exist. But how? Whats the fundamental nature of God like? How exactly does He exist? Is He personal, or simply an impersonal force? Is He spirit, material, or a combination? In this section we are making a difference for clarity sake between the attributes or perfections of God like love, grace, sovereignty, and the fundamental nature in which God exists as personality, spirit, and triunity. Following this, we will look at the fundamental attributes or perfections of God.
The Personality of God
The Polemic of Gods PersonalityWhat It Protects Us Against
The truth of Gods personality stands opposed to impersonal pantheism and all the impersonal ideas of God as found in many various cults and in the mysticism of todays world, especially as seen in the New Age Movement. New Age thinking says God is the ground of all being, or God is the force, or the planetary consciousness in human beings. Hunt describes New Age thinking as a new openness to one another, to ourselves, to nature, to a universal Force pervading the whole cosmoswhich produces an awakening of unimagined powers of the mind.24
Important to all of this is the fact that God, according to the Bible, is both transcendent and immanent.
Psalm 115:3 But our God is in the heavens He does whatever He pleases.
Definition and Explanation of Personality
Biblical Support for the Personality of God
Here Are More Options For What To Do With Old Bibles
One last tip: In whatever manner you decide to discard or donate that used Bible, be sure to take a moment to check it for papers and notes that may have been inserted over the years. Many people keep sermon notes, family records, and other important documents and references inside the pages of their Bible. You may want to hang on to this information.
Don’t Miss: Why Is Psalm 151 Not In The Bible
Why Donate Old Bibles
Christians all over the world live in places where bibles are difficult to find, and in conditions which make purchasing them impossible. In some international communities, a bible would cost the average villager a years wages. In these places, even pastors and missionaries do not own their own bibles..
From Zimbabwe:One young woman waited and waited, and when everybody else had left, asked if she could have a Bible. She had never ever owned or even touched a Bible in her entire life. She immediately went and knelt down and began thanking the Lord. It was late so Martin just left her there and went home.
The next morning he returned to open the tent and found her still there, still thanking the Lord for her prized treasure, the Bible!
Bibles that sit around on our shelves just collect dust. It can initially seem hard to part with an old bible that has sentimental value, but the reality is that a bible collecting dust is wasted.
It may be easier, in some ways, to take those old bibles and Christian books down the street to a resale storeor to recycle them. But when you consider that one donated bible can fuel an entire churchor a network of churches pastored by the same personoverseas, the extra effort is revealed as a small-but-worthy investment.
How To Donate Your Old Worn Bibles
There are several ways to get your old bibles to us. You can mail them or drop them off at either of our locationsin Illinois or Alabama:
220 Union St Butler, IL 62015
60D South Mountain Dr Decatur, AL 35603
You can also drop-off bible donations at any of our partner locations near you:
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Get Your Free Scriptures A Physical Or Digital Copy
There are a lot of places that you can get a free copy of the Bible, and in many different versions, translations and languages. Its just a matter of figuring out which one you want.
Hopefully whichever Bible you receive will speak to you, and change your life as much as mine has.
Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ. Romans 10:17
If youre looking to make a change, and want to accept Jesus, please check out this post that examines the truth about God, sin, Jesus Christ and our response to Him.
Know of other places to get a Bible for free? Tell us in the comments.
Are 20th Century Bibles Valuable
In short, no.
The most common question we get is from people who have an old Bible published in the 20th century and are curious about what it is worth.
Old Bibles published between 1900-2000 are almost exclusively considered reading material and unless your copy was owned by someone famous, it is not worth further research.
For instance, Elvis Presleys personal Bible, published in 1977, sold for $94,000 at auction in 2012. The exact same Bible, not owned by Elvis Presley, is worth $10 or less.
Also Check: Chronological Order Of Old Testament Books
Use What You Already Have
Valuable Bibles Are Dated 1800 Or Earlier
There are a few rare exceptions, but if you have a Bible published AFTER about 1800, it is most likely worth very little as there were tremendous numbers of Bibles produced during this time.
According to the International Society of Bible Collectors, American Bible publishing experienced somewhat of an explosion just after the end of the Revolutionary War.
If you have an antique Bible published in America in the very early 19th century, it could possibly have some value.
Also Check: What Does The Bible Say About Mental Abuse
Throwing The Bible In The Garbage Simply Doesn’t Feel Right
Many own a Bible and on occasion, it will begin to wear out because of use or old age. In a certain sense this is a good problem to have, as it means the Bible is being used on a regular basis.
However, what is to be done when a Bible is completely worn out and ceases to have any utility? Is it okay to simply throw it in the trash?
Bibles are to be treated with great respect and reverence in the Catholic Church because the words of scripture contain the presence of God.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains, Through all the words of Sacred Scripture, God speaks only one single Word, his one Utterance in whom he expresses himself completely For this reason, the Church has always venerated the Scriptures as she venerates the Lords Body .
This connects the words of Sacred Scripture to the holy Eucharist, where Jesus himself is truly present under the appearances of bread and wine. It makes sense, then, that Catholics can treat the Bible with similar care and attention that the priest handles the consecrated Host at Mass.
At the same time, the physical Bible remains a book and has not been officially consecrated by the Church or set-aside for any liturgical function. It is part of a persons personal property and can be used in a number of ways that are not regulated by the Church. It is primarily the words of scripture that are holy and reveal the presence of God, and not the physical pages.
Tips On Finding The Value Of Antique Bibles
How much is my old Bible worth?
We get this question a lot about antique Bibles, and though the answer isnt in black and white, the bottom line is that the value of an old Bible very often depends on age, condition and rarity.
- How old is it?
- What condition is it in?
- How rare is it?
If your old Bible was published the mid-to-late 19th century, or anytime in the 20th century, its not going to be worth much.
Lets learn about a few points that will make a difference in the value of your antique Bible.
Also Check: Infallible Vs Inerrant
Why Is Reading The Bible So Important
As a Christian I believe its crucial to be constantly in Gods word. Here is why its so important:
- Reading the Bible helps us to know God: The Bible tells us about God, gives us insight into Gods character and answers our questions about who he is, and how he has saved us from sin.
- The Bible helps us to know Gods will for our lives: The message of eternal salvation is vital to the scriptures, but the Bible also reveals a lot more about how God would have us live. We see recorded examples of Biblical figures and how they lived, and we see what pleases God and what doesnt.
- Reading Gods word helps us to see the big picture that God has planned for us: Knowing the scriptures and making them the final authority in your life can help you to live the good life that God has planned for you, and to guard against attacks that the evil one has coming your way.
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work 2 Timothy 3:1617