Pastors and ministry leaders get this question a lot, “What is the proper/correct way to dispose of an old bible?”
It’s not something you really think about until you find yourself with an old, worn bible in one hand and a shiny new one in the other. Or until you inherit a small library and find an old family bible on a shelf. But it’s a good question.
There is Not a Single, Proper Method for Disposing of Old Bibles
It seems like an event that should have some assigned rule or ritual—like disposing of a tattered flag—but it doesn’t. There is no one, ultimately “correct,” way to dispose of an old bible.
On the one hand, as Christians, we respect the word of God in its printed form and we treat our bibles lovingly for what they contain. But while we love and cherish the word of God, we don’t worship the paper it is printed on or the leather than holds it together. (It is not “bad luck” to recycle an old, worn out bible.)
So the answer to, “How should I dispose of an old bible?” or, “What should I do with an extra bible?” is really whatever you deem most respectful.
What is the most respectful way to off-load an old or extra bible? Send it to us.
As you read this, there are countless people all over the world who are praying for a bible of their own, because prayer is the only way they’ll ever get one. What could be more respectful of the word of God than to share it with someone who desperately needs it?
Martin has returned from distributing Bibles to pastors who in turn gave to their evangelism pastors, who then went to bless hospitals, prisons, and schools.
One outstanding testimony was of a young lady named Sera who wanted to burn herself up because she lost her mother and father who passed away in a motor car accident 3 months ago. Then on top of that, her husband walked out on her and left her with 4 children. It was like the gates of hell pounced on her.
The amazing thing is the Bibles that Martin took was at the right time to save this mother of four. They ministered to her and read the Story of Job. She had never heard of it in her entire life. When she heard it, she broke down and wept and wept and then gave her life to JESUS and was a brand new soul and mother.
Options for Disposing of Old Bibles
Let’s look at other popular options:
- Rebind it — If the cover is damaged or a section has come loose from the binding, you can always have it restored. Our culture tends to throw away and replace things that get damaged, but your bible deserves better. If it can be restored, this is a good option.
- Bury it — Many Jewish communities bury damaged, sacred texts as a sign of respect. Some Christians have adopted the practice, however, while it’s easy to see and respect the intention, we don’t recommend it.
We have received countless testimonies over the past 40+ years of lives changed and people, families, and village saved because of one gospel track or one small devotional. How much more can God do with even a damaged bible? Burying it in the ground is, to us, a sad denial to the Church around the world who would gladly dig it up with their own hands if they could.
- Recycle it — It is, after all, paper. Similar to the above, though, we don’t recommend it, as it casually dismisses the potential of even a piece of God’s word.
- Donate it — We’ve seen more old, damaged bibles than most people and we can still say this is the best option!
Common Objections to Donating Old Bibles
There are some common circumstances, questions, and objections that arise when we talk about donating old, worn bibles.
1. But my old bible is in English.
We’ve been sending old, donated English bibles to the mission field for more than 40 years and not once has a distributor or missions partner said, “I really can’t use these because they’re in English.”
Many nations and communities around the world—like Nigeria and Ghana—have taught English in their schools for years, and one quarter of India’s 1.4 billion people speak and read English. Most of our distributors continuously ask for more.
With your prayerfully support, we have been able to help Pastors and missionaries with bibles and other books and the works of evangelism were expanded and the glorious message of Gods saving power had reached many regions of this part of the world, but still there are millions souls around us who have never heard the gospel of Jesus Christ and His saving power. Our friends from the missions fields and pastors from many different churches were written me and asking me to help them as usual.
2. What about my old bible that’s falling apart or badly damaged?
First, “badly damaged” to most westerners is not “badly damaged” to people who routinely have to bury their Christian literature in the ground to prevent its being discovered by authorities. Or to people who carry their bibles through jungles and over mountain ranges to share the gospel with people.
But even if it is—even if pages are falling out and half of Revelation is missing—it is still more of the word of God than most people in the world will ever hold in their hands.
It sometimes feels almost rude or discourteous to donate a very damaged bible, but if you could ask our brothers and sisters in Africa and Asia whether they would prefer 95% of a bible or no bible at all … they would kiss your hands for giving them 95% of a 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 (lovingly and respectfully) recycle. So really, it doesn’t hurt to send us your old bible, no matter how damaged, and let us decide if it can be used.
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 locations—in Illinois or Alabama:
220 Union St – Butler, IL 62015
60D South Mountain Dr – Decatur, AL 35603
You can also drop-off bible (and other Christian literature) donations at any of our partner locations near you:
While you’re at it, you might consider collecting a few more things to bring with you. We have all the resources you need to run a bible drive with your local church or ministry!
I have several bibles (old) to donate. Are you still collecting
Do I send my bibles to Love Packages? Do you take Christian Literature also? Thank you so much! This is a Amazing cause y’all are doing!! Good Bless your Souls!!
I need the closest drop off bible location in Las Vegas Nv 89110 or 89115
Hi Modesta! Please see the map above for our most updated list of drop-off locations. It looks like the closest might be Oklahoma or Kansas. We don’t have anyone set up much further west than that (yet!).
Good morning. Could someone tell me the closest bible drop off location to Des Moines Iowa? Certainly appreciate it!
Hi Lou. The map on the Contact Us page is always up to date and the best way to find the closest drop-off location.
Your article was very helpful. I have an old Bible where the pages are falling off n a brand new Bible to donate. Live in Hollywood. Fl you said there was a local place where I could take it to except Miami-too old to drive to Miami. Please advise
Hi Liv. The map on the Contact Us page is always up to date and the best way to find the closest drop-off location. If it’s just a couple books you can mail it to our Georgia location as well.
Are you still accepting old Bibles?
Yes we are! In both locations.
We have a lot of bibles as my husband’s dad was a decon,decent, are falling apart ,some are fair condition. My husband says he would pack them up if you think they can be fixed and giving to others .please send my husband your address ,and we wii do this thanks.
We have a large print NIV that got weather damage to include some mold and complete binding damage. How should we disperse of the Bible or is it one you want to consider?
Hi I was wondering if your still accepting Bible’s or not. I have quite few most are in good condition one falling apart.
They haven’t responded to anyone in here for 2 years.
But their Facebook is active.
Honestly, this week I was at church camp, and my Bible was really ” worn out”; so I thought to. Myself ” what should I do”. So, later I saw the nearest trash can and, without thinking threw it away. Honestly, I respect God’s word/world, that’s bigger than any other book.
I am so excited to find this site … my husband and I are 75, moving. I am a retired pastor with a lot of Bibles given as gifts or my parents and grandparent’s Bibles in Dutch. Your article is so right, about not burying our Bible. It gives new meaning to Matthew 24:14 parable. I will be sending my Blbles with comfort and joy and prayer that somewhere out there another life will come to Jesus. Praise the Lord for your organization.
Are you still collecting Christian literature and old Bibles,
Do you want them even though they may have been written in?
I would like to have a bible drive. Are you still doing these? Thank you deb
Are you still accepting old worn out, falling apart Bibles? Just checking before I spend money on postage to send the Bible I have. Please let. Me know.
Do you accept bibles that have handwritten notes in them?
Thank you so much for this information. To think something I am ready to discard and even ashamed to pass on because of it’s worn condition can be a blessing so precious to many.
How do you recycle Bible’s if they are too worn to use?
Completely disintegration!! I don’t know what to do ???
I have so many bibles that were handed down and bought, some of them are barely used. Then some of them have writing every where with ripped pages. And I love each and everyone of them. Just sitting there collecting dust on my bookshelf, I have one whole shelf with nothing but bibles on it, what do I do with them. If they can be used definitely let me k ow where to send them.
Are u still taking old worn out Bibles.
I would like to get a list of addresses to other drop off sites. I see the map but can’t get an address off of it. Looking for SC, GA, and NC addresses please.
I live in Vermont how could I get my old Bibles to you
I live in Vermont and have several old Bibles and I’m sure it wouldn’t be a problem to collect some from the other church members if necessary how could I get them to you
I was happy to come upon your site, and I have some old bibles to send to you. My question is: how to dispose of a Bible that was used in a an unappropiate way, unholy? These Bibles have a “bad” feeling to them. I’ve read to burn them or put into the ground in a revernd way. I don’t want anyone to get mixed up with these bibles, but I can’t have them in my house. Thank you so much for your time.
I have 30 to 40 old bibles I would like to donate but I can’t afford to ship them. please tell me what I can do with them. Don’t want to put them.in dumpster. that’s where I found them. I just couldn’t leave them
Please.tell me what to do.
Blessing, I am in the US Army and we have a lot of old, falling apart bibles, and some Christian literature. Can someone email me so that I can arrange a way to get these books to you – Thanks
It’s June, 2021. Are you still accepting old bibles? I have quite a few and don’t know what to do with them.
I have a regular size Bible that something oily was spilled on it causing pages to be stained and falling out of the binding that is disintegrating. Do you take in this condition or can you tell me a thoughtful way to dispose of it? Thank you
My aunt died and left me and my sister all her things. there are two or more Bibles that have writing on the inside covers and a lot of other places. Can you use these?
The word Bible is ALWAYS CAPITALIZED because it is a proper noun. We show it the respect it deserves by capitalizing “Bible,”
Would you be interested in song books? There’s several of the same ones. Most of them are in decent shape.
Are you still excepting Bibles
Are you excepting old useable Bibles? That last answer I see is from 2019.
I am interested in donating a couple older bibles. One was my grandmother’s who wrote in it a lot. Would you accept it? Please let me know. I need your address as I live in Pennsylvania.
I have a couple of older “family “ bibles. The big ones
Is there any way they can be used?
Hi Judy, does your “Family Bible” have your family births/deaths written in them: that’s something you might want to hang onto for the younger generation to know who their family is. This is just a suggetion.
I’m in Nigeria, how do I send my Bible.
So glad I found your site!. Thank you!!!!
Do you still take old Bibles?
Do you still have location in Marietta Ga? I would like to make a donation
I read your options but wish you to see if possible to have this mission in Pakistan
I have a Bible that has missing pages in the NT, pg 115-242, John-2 John. Still want it? If so, what address to I send it to? I’m staying in FL right now. If you don’t know want it, what do I do with it? Thanks. M-
I have an old bible of my aunt’s. She does have a few family members listed with birthdays, marriages. Is it okay just to leave information in there or should I tear out pages (I hate to) or use whiteout? Thank you for all you do.
I have two bibles in pretty good shape. My name is on the outside. I would be happy to donate them. Who do I send them to?
We have two locations. Illinois address is 220 Union St, Butler, IL 62015. Alabama is 60 South Mountain Dr, Decatur, AL 35603
What is the nearest drop off center to me I live in Lexington KY?
On our website, click on contact us and you can see a map of our collectors. Thank you
I live in Nigeria and I have about torn apart Bible and other Christian literature. I want to dispose them but don’t know how. Reason I browsed how.
What if it was used for hoodoo?
Like if someone practiced hoodoo with their Bible a couple of times and then rededicated themselves to God, what should they with the Bible? Can they keep it?
That person can keep his bible. The word of God is more powerful than any voodoo. That bible is fine.
I have a twist on this subject. In 1995 I was given a cassette tape collection of the OT and NT. We are now downsizing, the tapes are undoubtedly brittle, but is seems unseemly to toss it in the trash. Or is it?
Thanks for asking, Ed! Unfortunately, we don’t have much use for tapes of any kind anymore. You could always pray over them and give them to a resale store. We’ve seen God do amazing things to get material into the right hands. No reason He can’t do it here too!
Can you use KJV Bibles?
Hmmm, it would appear from your FAQ page that you can recycle ANY translation. Yay!
Yes, ma’am! Send us all the bibles!
Do you have a way to remove imprinted names on leather bible covers?
We do not, but we send lots of bibles with random, imprinted names to the mission field!
I live in Ontario, Canada. Do you know if there’s any issue with sending old Bibles and literature across the border?
Not that we’re aware of. You can fill out customs forms online in advance – https://www.canadapost.ca/cpotools/apps/cdc?execution=e1s1
Please email me. I have a couple of questions. When I tried to post itvI kept getting a response saying that I had duplicated the post in which hadn’t.
Do you take other Christian literature?
We take any and all Christian literature! For details on what we can and cannot use, see our Needed Materials page – https://lovepackages.org/needed-materials/
Are you still accepting old worn out falling apart bibles? Just want to make sure before I spend the money on postage. Let me know.
Yes we are! We look at every book that comes through, so if it’s usable, we’ll send it on.