Iconic books are texts revered as objects of power rather than just as words of instruction, information, or insight. In religious and secular rituals around the globe, people carry, show, wave, touch and kiss books and other texts, as well as read them. This blog chronicles such events and activities. (For more about iconic books, see the links to the Iconic Books Project at left.)

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Bibles as Foundation Deposits

(From the files of the Iconic Books Project) The Houston Chronicle reported on August 7, 2005 that Possibility Custom Homes, builders in the Houston area, bury Bibles in the concrete foundations of the homes they build:
... Building homes with a Bible in the foundation is not something they advertise, but it's not something they hide, either.
"The Bible symbolizes the godly principles we use in our company," Wallace said. "We felt that if we built our company on a godly foundation, God would bless our company."
"We do it more for us than anything else," Eckert said.
Besides the Bible, brief Scripture passages, appropriate for the individual room, get printed on the wood framework of those rooms. A passage about children, for example, is printed with permanent marker on the wall studs of a room intended for kids. On the door frame of another house is the opening verse of Psalm 127, which refers to God establishing houses, or families.
"It's nice for me to have a reminder in there when I'm walking through the frame of where my principles are," Eckert said. "It keeps me straight."
... At least one other company, however, has been doing something similar with the Bible for at least a dozen years in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
... On the day the foundation is poured at Possibility Homes , a soft-covered Bible is placed at the outside corner of the master bedroom - "where the spiritual leaders of the house stay," according to Eckert - or somewhere else if the buyer prefers.
The book is open to the center, the concrete is poured from a huge boom connected to a truck. Workers then smooth the area along with the rest of the foundation.
Textual foundation deposits were common in antiquity, but I have not run across other examples of using scriptures in this way more recently. Does anyone know of other examples?

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