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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

What is the proper way to dispose of an old Bible?

“I know there are guidelines for the disposal of an old, damaged flag, but is there a proper way to dispose of an old Bible? While familiar with those for flags, the Newton Falls Public Library staff was unfamiliar with rules for disposing of Bibles.

An online search brought up a wealth of websites, some particular to different faiths and denominations. The Human Condition website has an information paper on the Handling and Disposal of Sacred Texts, Spiritual Writings and Religious Items by CH (COL) Chet Lanious, Director, Center for World Religions of the Chaplain Center and School in Fort Jackson, SC.  It covers items related to Roman Catholics, the various Protestant denominations, Orthodox Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islamic sects. The paper also includes links to religious sites.

Our patron informed us that she was interested in what would pertain to the Methodist Church. The information paper connected us to the United Methodist Church, GBOD’s (The General Board of Discipleship) website. The GBOD developed a service for the disposal of old Bibles and devotional books, written by Daniel T. Benedict, Jr. The service concludes with either the burning or burial of the books. A full copy of the service was made for the patron to share with her congregation.

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