In other religions like Islam and Judaism, religious texts are considered sacred and there are specific rules of disposing them.
In Christianity however, the Bible as a physical item, is not considered sacred or holy unless it’s been blessed by a priest. It’s just a book like any other; what matters are the words inside, and how you apply them in your life.
That said, most of us hold our Catholic Bibles in reverence. It would be deeply uncomfortable to dispose of it like we do old books, shopping receipts and other trash. It can also send a wrong message if an unbeliever sees you doing it – they might think the Bible is not important.
So how to properly dispose of a Bible? Read on to learn more.
What You'll Learn Today
Is There a Proper Way to Dispose a Bible?
The Catholic Church does not have any specific requirements for disposing of a Bible. The Code of Canon Law says this:
Sacred objects, set aside for divine worship by dedication or blessing, are to be treated with reverence. They are not to be made over to secular or inappropriate use, even though they may belong to private persons.
The important phrase here is, ‘set aside for divine worship by dedication or blessing’. This often applies to objects like rosaries, holy water, or communion bread.
If your Bible has been blessed by a priest, it also falls into this category and should be disposed of reverently. This usually involves respectfully burning or burying it. If you want, you can say a short prayer as you do it, but it’s not necessary.
As for ordinary bibles that have no priestly blessing, the same treatment is recommended. Bury or burn it respectfully.
But don’t worry if you or someone else accidentally threw out a Bible. You’ve not committed a sin.
Can I Donate a Bible?
Donating is one of the best ways to dispose of a Bible, especially if you feel uneasy about burning or burying it.
But make sure the Bible is in good condition and not torn or damaged. Otherwise, it’ll probably go unused or be thrown away wherever you donate it.
Check if your local parish accepts donations. You may also find a local religious organization or library that you can donate the Bible to.
Note, however, that donations are getting harder and harder. Bibles have become cheap mass produced items, making it easier for a lot of people to get one. Many organizations usually have too many of them to donate.
So, in the end, you may just have to dispose of it in other ways.
Is It a Sin To Tear Pages Out of the Bible?
Tearing pages out of the Bible is itself not a sin. Remember the Bible as a physical object is not sacred, unless it’s been blessed by a priest.
What matters is your intention. For instance, if you rip someone’s Bible without their permission to willfully damage it, that’s a sin.
It’s also not good to tear a Bible just to anger someone who may hold the Bible in deep reverence.
But if your intentions are clear, it’s not a sin nor is it blasphemous to tear pages out of the Bible.
Is It a Sin to Burn or Bury a Bible?
No, it is not. In fact, these are the most preferred ways of disposing of an old Bible. Burning or burying it is considered reverential and respectful.
Nothing special happens when you burn or bury a Bible. It’ll simply turn into ashes, though depending on the quality of the cover and paper, it may take longer to burn compared to an ordinary book.
In the case of burying, it’ll slowly decompose over time. I hope it’s all clarified now and you know how to properly dispose of a Bible. Please leave a comment in the section below if you enjoyed this post. Thank you!