How to properly dispose of a Bible

I ran across a Bible that I had that had been decimated at some forgotten point in the past. It almost seems like a dog dug into it and ripped it apart. But I am left with a destroyed Bible that I need to get rid of and I wasn't comfortable just tossing it in the trash.

I must give a disclaimer first. We have the liberty to just throw away an old Bible. There is no biblical teaching on the subject. I just wasn't comfortable doing that.

So I did a search on the internet to see what I could find.

Here is what Dear Abby had to say when she was asked the question:

DEAR ABBY: Here's another one for your "never thought I'd be writing to Dear Abby" collection.

I've been reading your column for ages, but I don't recall having seen this topic addressed. I have an old Bible that has seen better days. The pages are tearing and beginning to fall out. I have purchased a new Bible, but I am not sure what to do

with the old one. I don't feel right just throwing it into the garbage.

Is there a proper way to dispose of an old Bible? -- MIKE IN TEXAS

DEAR MIKE: Yes. I consulted the Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, Calif., and was told: Protestants can dispose of an old Bible by giving it to someone or throwing it away if they are comfortable doing so -- the paper and ink are not "holy." However, if the individual is not comfortable with that, it can be given to a Bible bookstore or Bible Book Society for refurbishing or disposal.

Father Joe Moniz at St. Joseph's Church in Torrance, Calif., advised that Catholics can either burn or bury old Bibles.

Persons of other religions should consult their religious authority concerning an accepted manner of disposing of holy books.

Here is a struggle a librarian had with disposing of religious books such as the Bible and the book of Mormon. I found the comments to be particularly insightful.

The Lutheran says to just throw it away.

Ask Moses, a Jewish site, deals with disposing of the Torah (our first five books of the Old Testament). They say the Torah must be buried to dispose of it.

Through this I concluded to take my family on a trip into our yard (although Lindsay has already opted out because of the cold) and dig a hole to bury the Bible. We will say a prayer concerning the Bible being written on our hearts. We will also sing the kid's song, "The B-I-B-L-E". We will literally be able to "stand alone on the word of God". I hope that this will help to emphasize to my children that the words in this book are precious and different than the words in any other book that we have.

I understand that I could just throw it away, but I feel that I would be missing a teachable moment to myself and to my children. Most ceremonies or rituals are instruments of teaching. The problem that happens with them a lot of the time is that they lose their meaning yet the practice of them carries on. There is nothing worse than an empty ritual. I think we as a Christian culture could use a lot more of deliberate, thought out, Christian rituals that are instruments of training ourselves and our children.

Watch out for the potholes.