The Best Way to Dispose of Old Bibles

Find old Bibles a new home.
... Images

The Bible is a sacred text to followers of the Jewish and Christian religions. It isn't an item that is carelessly tossed in the trash or cast aside in favor of a new version. If you have an old Bible that you no longer use, there are certain ways to go about disposing of it that maintain the sacred nature of the text without being disrespectful.

1 Unusable Bibles

Bibles that are worn out, ripped, torn or otherwise not usable shouldn't be thrown into the trashcan. The customary way to dispose of Bibles that can't be used any longer is to bury them or burn them. The Catholic faith often burns old Bibles and then buries the ashes in a sacred or safe place. Burning a Bible should be done in private, because the act might be misinterpreted by other Christians. Additional Christian denominations, such as Lutherans, bury an old Bible without burning it first. In the Jewish faith, an old and worn-out Bible is usually buried in a Jewish cemetery.

2 Usable Bibles

A Bible that's in good condition should be given to someone who can use it. Offer the old Bible to your church or a church near your home. Most churches take donations of Bibles to use during worship services, Sunday school or other educational classes. A Christian school might also take the Bible to use in the classroom. Homeless shelters, domestic abuse shelters and other social work offices might also take the Bibles to pass out. If the Bible is very old, a historical society or religious museum might be interested in taking it off your hands to use as an exhibit.

3 Unwanted Bibles

Bibles that you can't find a home for, but no longer want, should be recycled rather than tossed. Recycling is a respectful way to treat the book because the materials can be used to make something new. According to "Record Online," a publication from the American Bible Society, recycling unwanted Bibles is one of the most reverent ways to dispose of them.

4 Considerations

It can be quite difficult to get rid of an old Bible because of its sacred nature. Rest assured that disposing of an old Bible in the proper way isn't sacrilegious, according to "The Lutheran," a publication from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The words and meanings of the Bible are more important than the actual book and it's important to treat a Bible reverently as long as you use it. In the end, that's more important than what eventually happens to it, as long as your part in the process is done with respect to your God.

Sara Ipatenco has taught writing, health and nutrition. She started writing in 2007 and has been published in Teaching Tolerance magazine. Ipatenco holds a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in education, both from the University of Denver.