Back in February, a bus driver, Rickey Wagoner, claimed that he was shot at by three teenagers while he was standing outside his bus. But he survived because a Bible he was carrying in his shirt pocket miraculously stopped the bullets. (The version of the Bible was a translation by Eugene Peterson titled 'The Message'.)
Police have now conducted a thorough investigation and concluded that the bus driver couldn't have been telling the truth. According to the Dayton Daily News:
Police ballistics tests showed that bullets fired from the handgun - a 25-caliber Raven model semiautomatic - at the same distance as had been fired at Wagoner’s book penetrated the book and traveled 15 inches through a gel designed to simulate the effect of bullets on a human body.
People have been telling stories about Bibles stopping bullets for a very long time. David Emery
lists an example from the 17th century, which involved one of Oliver Cromwell's soldiers supposedly being saved by a Bible in his pocket.
Stories about "magic bullets" (as Jan Harold Brunvand refers to this type of legend) pop up pretty frequently in the news. I posted back in 2009
about a woman in Brazil who claimed her life was saved by a wad of cash stuffed in her bra.
As I noted then, Mythbusters once put this legend to the test and found that a hardcover book needs to be at least 400 pages long to have any chance of stopping a bullet. Anything less doesn't stand much of a chance.