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The Holiness of Book Acquisition

Turns out that radical biblioholism goes back to the earliest days of Christianity. Mike Gorman has recently posted this great quote from Epiphanius on how acquiring books makes us less inclined to sin:

The acquisition of Christian books is necessary for those who can use them. For the mere sight of these books renders us less inclined to sin, and incites us to believe more firmly in righteousness.

If only this were true, I’d be pretty freaking holy.


  1. Hill wrote:

    Yeah, he’s unfortunately massively wrong.

    Monday, May 25, 2009 at 1:01 pm | Permalink
  2. Brian LePort wrote:

    I do feel really holy when a little Amazon box arrives in the mail.

    Monday, May 25, 2009 at 3:47 pm | Permalink
  3. Halden wrote:

    We don’t allow kind comments about Amazon on this site.

    Monday, May 25, 2009 at 8:38 pm | Permalink
  4. Ben Myers wrote:

    That’s the best (and most disingenuous) rationalisation i’ve ever heard for buying more books than one can ever read. Thanks, I’ll memorise this so I can quote it to my wife!

    Monday, May 25, 2009 at 8:46 pm | Permalink
  5. Halden wrote:

    Honey, you don’t understand, if I don’t have these, I’ll be more likely to sin. You know, sins like adultery.

    Monday, May 25, 2009 at 8:54 pm | Permalink
  6. kim fabricius wrote:

    “Epiphanius” was, in fact, the pseudonym of Amazonius of Abea.

    Tuesday, May 26, 2009 at 11:36 am | Permalink
  7. Bobby Grow wrote:

    I have 66 books, that do just that (keep me from sin, that is).

    Tuesday, May 26, 2009 at 12:46 pm | Permalink
  8. Robert Minto wrote:

    Just out of curiosity… What’s the cheap book-source alternative? Or are you against used books…


    Thursday, May 28, 2009 at 5:54 pm | Permalink
  9. Edward Pothier wrote:

    The acquiring of books may not just be a protection against immorality/sin as in the Epiphanius quotation, but also an aid toward immortality.

    My plan is for quasi-immortality. I figure that if I continue to acquire theological books at a faster rate than I can read them, God will allow me time to catch up before calling me home. There is no such guarantee in scripture or tradition, just some theological speculation on my part. I intend to test this hypothesis by continuing to buy books.

    Wednesday, June 3, 2009 at 7:20 am | Permalink

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