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.)

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Bulletproof Bible

One of the traits often attributed to the Bible is the ability to stop a bullet and save a soldier's life. An About.com Internet site documenting urban legends offers quotations reporting this legend at least as far back as 1841 (with one quotation claiming Oliver Cromwell knew about it!), and the latest war continues the tradition. According to a Buffalo, New York, television news broadcast, US Army PFC (Private First Class) Brendan Schweigart's Bible protected him from a ricocheting bullet:
It's the personal story of a Southern Tier soldier who can tell you the Word of God literally saved his life in Iraq! Army PFC Brendan Schweigart tells News 4's Ellen Maxwell how his personal bible stopped a bullet that would have killed him.

[. . .]

"They were cleaning the wound, you know, working on me, and then I for some reason just asked for my bible."

When the 22 year old was handed his bible, he realized the sniper's bullet had stopped there.

[. . .]
More skeptical readers might also be interested in Episode 16 of Season 2 of the cable television show Mythbusters, in which the hosts test the myth by seeing whether or not a book can stop a bullet. (For the most part, it can't.)

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