Autographed Bibles

signedbible“Preacher, please sign my bible.”

Autograph hounds show up just about everywhere, and fundamentalists events are no different. At any special services where a well-known fundy pastor, evangelist, or missionary is present there will inevitably be a line of folks who gather to get his signature on their Bible.

Why fundamentalists feel the need to collect these signatures remains somewhat of a mystery. Perhaps an annual contest would be in order with prize categories like

  • most signatures (A wide margin Scofield Bible is a must to be considered a serious competitor in this field. Old Scofield only, please)
  • most important signature (One would, of course, run the risk of a tie between the autographs of Jack Hyles and John R. Rice — not an easy contest to settle without bloodshed.)
  • strangest Bible reference given with signature (Why would anyone sign a bible with the reference Matthew 19:12??)
  • Get up to the front of the auditorium and get lined up for that autograph! The music for the second service is just about to start…

41 thoughts on “Autographed Bibles”

  1. Ugh. Such mischaracterization. Where do I start.

    IFBs are the least man-worshippy group out there!! Having the preacher sign your Bible is just a way of remembering the occasion, and maybe the message. The man of God is a good person to respect.

    R E S P E C T …look it up. dictionary.com.

    1. @JTR, please leave. Your comments are counter-productive to the purpose of this site. If there were a website loaded with content bashing realistic-minded, stable, sane individuals I would most likely stay away from it. Do everyone a favor and have that same courtesy for us. Goodbye.

  2. To JTR –

    Not so; my kids go to a fundy school, and I’ve gotten to witness the worshipful glee that the HS kids have when they have the guest nobody pastor from Bumsquat Baptist Church and Basement Seminary autograph their KJVs. I’m not sure whom to think less of – the silly kids, or the preachers who actually sign…

  3. My old Scofield has J. Hancocks from Lehman Strauss, Rudy Atwood (pianist), and John C. Whitcomb among others. I realize that none of those are “Famous Fundies,” so I’m left to wonder if I was just the wrong kind of fundy. Perhaps I’ll start my own website: Stuff the Wrong Kind of Fundies Like.

  4. Having recently escaped the IFB bunker I have one other point ot make about the autographs…. the Reference verse… A.K.A “Life Verse”
    Every IFB student must have a “LIFE Verse.” My Children were in a KJV only school bunker and at every event, Homecoming, Graduation… whenever they presented the kids individually there was always the announcement, “Next is John Hudson Taylor Betterthanyou… son of Sister Bertha and Brother Billy Sunday Betterthanyou. He has attended here at IFB KJV Accademy for 7 years and attends church here as well (since there is a discount for members.) When he graduates he plans on attending Clown College in the beautiful mountains in Hammond, Florida. (a non-accredited school so that all his education will only be worthwhile in some IFB setting only.) John has been call to “full-time” Christian service and has surrendered to the call to to preach. His favorite memories are the non-KJV book burnings, the Saturdays spent knocking on doors for the bus ministry, and the hundreds of “revivals” over the past seven year. John’s LIFE VERSE is, Luke 14:13, “So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.”

  5. When I was in Jr High I asked Jack Hyles to sign my Bible. When he saw the page in my Bible with all the autographs he said “You want me to sign there? That’s not big enough for my signature. When you find a bigger spot come back and then maybe I’ll sign your Bible.”

  6. I never God the autograph stuff, and I was a fundy of the fundies. My friends would line up on breaks at youth conference and I would just sit in the pew. My friends would look at me and say, why aren’t you getting your Bible signed? I’d say, “Did he write it?” No? Well then I don’t want him signing it then. They were disgusted with my holier than though attitude.

  7. Seriously the first time I ever saw/heard of this (in my memory, may have repressed), but was an interdenominational mega church gave Bibles signed by Sr Pastor or the entire staff (not sure which) to new converts. I thought it was a bit odd, but good to give Bibles. Dunno why anyone would want someone signing their Bible or feel comfortable signing a Bibled (for reasons escapee cited).

  8. The first bible I ever got was a blue cover red letter KJV. Got it when I was 5 years old for Christmas. I have some really old signatures in that bible. I believe I have Bob Jones Sr.’s autograph. Not sure though. I know Hyles is in there…and JR Rice. I’ll have to dig it out to see who else is in there.

  9. On a more serious note. I know that John R. Rice was certainly a fundamentalist, involved with the “Sword of the Lord” and all that, but I have read some of his books and I certainly couldn’t lump him in with nuts like Hyles or Schapp. The biggest reason that he would be rejected by nuts like them is because he knew there were problems with the KJV, and you simply must not say anything bad about that translation if you are going to be a great fundamentalist.

        1. RojAvon – I just had a look at the link scorpio provided and it was definitely loading more of that gool ol fundy guilt down on folks, of course he was just spewing what he had been taught. I am sure that Dr Rice loved the Lord and cared about souls, as do, dare I say it, most of the fundy preachers (have a funny way of showing it though), but they are in rut, so to speak, because of their upbringing, teaching and so on.

          I don’t know the full story about Rice, but I’m sure there are people on this site that know all about him. I know that when I was first exposed to him, in the early 80’s I was hearing rumblings that he had strayed from the kjv only stance, and of course that’s the 3rd rail of fundamentalism. I have only the one volume from Rice (I think) “Our God-breathed Book, The Bible” and as I said above it was a very good look at our bible and was not at all crazy like Riplinger, Gipp, Ruckman, in fact, I’m sure they would have looked at Dr Rice as an emnemy after reading his thoughts about the bible.

  10. I haven’t seen it, I’m a newcomer here (about 6 weeks) I wouldn’t be surprised if he said something stupid. I have a book by him “Our God-breathed book, The Bible” which, as I recall was a very good look at bible translation and its transmission down through history. He also admitted “problems” with the KJV, which will automatically get you excluded from most fundy circles.

  11. Fudamentalists really have no entertainment other than preaching. Therefore preachers are their celebrities. I know plenty of “worldlings” with autographed footballs, sport jerseys and record albums. Sadly, this culture makes it harder to reach the lost. They go to their coworker, “Wow, Dr.Shoutandsnort is at First Independent KJVonly Conservative Music Anti-Pants Church of The Baptist Bride, ya coming?” Truth is lost people generally would not be interested in listening to a preacher.

    1. “Truth is lost people generally would not be interested in listening to a preacher.”

      This is so true. No lost person in the past 50 years ever came to a church service to hear a celebrity preacher, Billy Graham excepted. I know if you go farther back, you can find examples of preachers who attracted crowds of people who were there just so they could hear them- names such as Billy Sunday, George Whitefield and Henry Ward Beecher come to mind.
      Here’s a little secret: people come to church because they know someone there. They come because of a relationship. Yet Fundies operate on a different plane. They think people will come just because of the magnetism of the evangelist who happens to be coming into town. They think people will come because a stranger they never met knocked on their door at 9 some Saturday morning and invited them. Fundies shun people who aren’t like them, live in their own little world 50 weeks out of the year, and then expect that people will be drawn to them (and to the Lord) those 2 weeks of the year because of some fundy celebrity.

  12. I heard a Christian Radio host make a comment yesterday that the reason that America is headed for disaster is because the Churches are failing. The “fundamental” churches are dying and are being replace by contemporary churches that provide entertainment and very little if any solid Bible preaching. Young people are growing up with not convictions and are not able to make Godly decisions which influences the direction that America is heading. Oh that we could resurrect men like Jack Hyles, Lester Roloff, R.G. Lee, Dr. Lee Robertson, J. Vernon McGee and other.

    1. While fundamentalists like to point the finger at churches with contemporary services, I believe a lot of fundamental churches are providing entertainment as well: they cater to people who want a preacher to yell about rock music, movie theaters, tattoos, and liberal churches and end with a heart-wrenching, manipulative altar call so people feel that the Spirit has moved. Ask them to love one another, though, to discard their man-made traditions and live in grace and freedom, to be part of their community instead of isolating themselves from it, and they don’t want THAT!

      It’s easy to holler “Amen!” when the preacher is preaching against sins (or “sins”) that you personally don’t do.

    2. “Men like Jack Hyles, Lester Roloff, R.G. Lee, Dr. Lee Robertson, J. Vernon McGee and other” is the problem with fundamentalism as a movement. These men, though I would not put, perhaps, J. Vernon McGee in the camp of Hyles and Roloff, are the proponents of the very man-made traditions that have plagued the Church for the last 1700 years. Fundamentalism is the grotesque manifestation of what man-worsip and tradition has done to supress God’s people.

  13. I consider myself a ‘hybrid’ of sorts (in doctrinal beliefs) between IFB, Free Presbyterian & Reformed Baptist. However; even when I was an all out ‘fundy’, I still detested this practice of having (fallen) man “signing” God’s Holy Word. It’s irreverent and glorifies men…not Christ.

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