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Is the Bible actually a life-saving book? Or does it just contain a life-saving message? The answer probably depends on who you ask.

If you ask Private First Class Brendan Schweigart, he’ll tell you the Bible itself is life-saving. That’s because in August of 2007, PFC Schweigart’s life was spared when an Iraqi sniper’s bullet lodged into the Bible he carried in his uniform’s chest pocket.

It should probably be stated that “Bible-stops-bullet” stories have been around for at least the last few centuries. In fact, the tales are so well-known that the possibility of such a feat was put to test on Discovery Channel’s popular show, MythBusters. (On that episode, it was “scientifically proven” a Bible could not withstand more than a very small caliber bullet, let alone the high-powered armaments used in warfare.)

However, their calculations didn’t account for God.

While on a recovery mission in Baghdad, PFC Schweigart was struck by a sniper’s bullet in his side. The bullet entered his body under his arm, a place his military-issued bullet proof jacket doesn’t cover. The round then exited through his chest, where it lodged itself into the pages of the Bible the young soldier kept hidden under his bullet-proof shield.

Granted, the body armor worn by today’s military personnel does a good job keeping bullets out. Unfortunately, on the occasion a bullet does happen to find its way in, the gear also does a good job keeping it in.

Schweigart is convinced that had the bullet hit his chest plate, it would have ricocheted back into his torso causing even more damage, and even death. But instead of the bullet bouncing off the protective fabrication, it was trapped in the soft pages of his Bible.

For Schweigart, there is no doubt; the Bible saved his life.

God’s Word has (literally) saved millions before him, though. In Psalm 119, the writer declares:

My soul faints with longing for your salvation,
but I have put my hope in your word.

My eyes fail, looking for your promise;
I say, “When will you comfort me?”

Though I am like a wineskin in the smoke,
I do not forget your decrees.

How long must your servant wait?
When will you punish my persecutors?

The arrogant dig pits to trap me,
contrary to your law.

All your commands are trustworthy;
help me, for I am being persecuted without cause.

They almost wiped me from the earth,
but I have not forsaken your precepts.

In your unfailing love preserve my life,
that I may obey the statutes of your mouth. 

Your word, LORD, is eternal;
it stands firm in the heavens.

Your faithfulness continues through all generations;
you established the earth, and it endures.

Your laws endure to this day, for all things serve you.

If your law had not been my delight,
I would have perished in my affliction.

I will never forget your precepts,
for by them you have preserved my life.

Save me, for I am yours;
I have sought out your precepts.

The wicked are waiting to destroy me,
but I will ponder your statutes.

To all perfection I see a limit,
but your commands are boundless.


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Topics Illustrated Include:
God’s Word

(Resource cataloged by David R Smith)