Bible Didn’t Stop Bullets
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.
Note, though, that in earlier times books - including bibles - used to be bound in more solid materials than mere cardboard, for those who could (or wanted to, in the case of a bible) afford it, and often reinforced as well; and guns of those days were not nearly as powerful. A story about a musket ball bouncing off a copper stud, or even getting stuck in the leather cover, is rather more believable than one of a handgun bullet being stopped by a modern hardcover.Posted by Richard Bos in The Netherlands on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 06:39 AM
Did they test ricochets?Posted by Ironsides on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 09:01 AM
In the early sixties, Woody Allen had a monologue/joke about someone throwing a Bible at him, but thankfully it was deflected by a bullet in his pocket.Posted by Kevino Gracia in Marietta, GA on Wed Jul 16, 2014 at 10:30 AM