“Can a man take fire to his car, and his Bible not be burned?"
It's not exactly an accurate rendering of Proverbs 6:27, but that scenario played out in real life after a fire consumed an SUV in Virginia, inexplicably leaving a Bible intact.
According to officials, crews with Rustburg Volunteer Fire Department in Campbell County responded to the fire just after 3 a.m. on July 25, where they found a Chevy Equinox ablaze along the northbound U.S. 29.
Images posted on the department’s Facebook page showed the SUV “totally burned out,” including significant damage to the body, doors, roof and bumper. Even the car’s frame showed signs of buckling.
But inside, fire crews found a Bible “still intact and mostly unburnt,” flipped open to 1 Chronicles and 2 Chronicles, two Old Testament books which cover various genealogies of the people of Israel.
Photos of the Bible showed the pages slightly burnt around the edges but otherwise still legible.
“I feel God is protecting firemen at scenes. I felt He … protected these people,” Lt. Eric Spitzer with the Rustburg Volunteer Fire Department told WSLS 10.
As striking as the images are, it’s not the first miraculous story of a Bible surviving a fire in the U.S.
Firefighters in West Virginia acknowledged God’s power after a devastating fire in March 2019 burned down a local church but spared all of the Bibles inside.
“Picture this, a building so hot that at one point in time, firefighters had to back out. In your mind, everything should be burned, ashes. Not a single Bible was burned and not a single cross was harmed!! Not a single firefighter was hurt! Prayers for the pastor and the congregation today,” the fire department wrote in a post on Facebook about the fire that destroyed Freedom Ministries Church.
A Bible that is approximately 150 years old survived two church fires in Wisconsin, including one from earlier this month, with the pastor declaring it “truly a work of God.”
Springs United Methodist Church of Plover recently endured a devastating fire, destroying the building and yet leaving the old Bible unscathed. The Good Book had previously survived a church fire in the 1950s when located at St. Paul's Methodist Church in downtown Stevens Point.
But perhaps the most remarkable story of a fireproof Bible comes from Jerry Bowyer, a financial economist and president of Bowyer Research, who shared in a 2016 op-ed for The Christian Post the previously untold story of an unburned Bible at a 9/11 crash site.
The story concerns the discovery of an "unburnt Bible among the smoldering and disintegrated wreckage" of Flight 93 near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
"This is real. But it's not just a 'miracle,' which is to say a wonder from God meant to inspire us by telling us that He was there that day. It is what the New Testament called a sémeion, a sign, which is to say a message to His people," Bowyer wrote.
"I believe it is a message about what kind of age we are in, why we are in that kind of age, and what will happen to our nation if we (like the 'man of God' in chapter 14) are unfaithful to our calling," he added.
Erin Hoover, who has worked as a volunteer firefighter, said she had a similar experience.
“I was a responding vol. firefighter on 9/11 to Flight 93 in Shanksville, Somerset County. We were walking in the woods yelling for survivors, and looking for the wreckage, when we got on scene. We found wallets and papers, blowing in the wind that were charred and burnt. Unreadable. We did, however, find a Bible. Untouched. Completely readable. I don’t talk much about responding that day, but felt compelled to share my story too. I have PTSD from that call…God is with us on those bad calls, those bad days," she wrote.
“You just have to look up,” she added.