Fresno Bee Newsroom Blog

Religion: Bibles are meant to get worn at the edges

It has been 10 days since President Barack Obama was sworn-in for a second term — and the Bibles that he placed his left hand on are still leaving an impression with me.

The Bibles were really worn at the edges.

One was the Bible that the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. owned and traveled with. The other was owned by President Lincoln.

The Bible that Vice President Joe Biden used for his swearing-in also was really worn. It was the Biden Family Bible, which has been in the Biden family since 1893. It is five inches thick, with a Celtic cross on the cover.

The well-used Bibles remind me of my friend Robert “Borneo Bob” Williams, a Fresno missionary whose really worn Bibles filled several shelves at his home office.


Before the inaugural ceremony Jan. 21, the Rev. Andy Stanley, senior pastor of North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, Ga., gave the sermon during a special service at St. John’s Church — and mentioned the Bible.

“For those of you who don’t read the Bible, you should read it, even if you don’t believe it,” Stanley said. That triggered a chuckle from some in the church.


I recently bought a new one. It’s a “lay-flat,” NIV Thinline Bible, a design that helps religion writers, such as myself, take better notes.

After awhile, my Bibles get really worn, too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *