Bible – Sacred Book of Judiasm and Christianity

The Bible is known Masonically as the book of the Law, when opened at its proper place in the Lodge, because it is defusing the proper light among the brethren. The passages on which it is opened, differ in the various degrees.

The history of the Masonic symbolism of the Bible is interesting. Although referred to in the manuscripts before the revival of 1717, as the book upon which the covenant was taken, it was never referred to as a great light. In the oldest ritual that we have, that of 1724, - a copy of which from the Royal Library in Berlin is given by Krause, - there is no mention of the Bible as one of the lights. Preston made it apart of the furniture of the Lodge; but in the rituals of 1760 it is described as one of the three great lights.

In the American system, the Bible is both a piece of furniture and a great light. It is placed upon the altar in the centre of the Lodge room, and must be opened at certain designated passages during the ritual and the conferring of the different degrees. It occupies this position as a symbol of the refulgent rays of Divine Truth which permeate all the transactions of the Lodge. ( Psalm 133:1-3 - Amos 7:7-9 - Ecclesiastes 12:1-7Joshua 1:8 )


Biblical References

Psalm 133:1-3

1 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! 2 It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; 3 As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.

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Amos 7:7-9

7 Thus he shewed me: and, behold, the LORD stood upon a wall made by a plumbline, with a plumbline in his hand. 8 And the LORD said unto me, Amos, what seest thou? And I said, A plumbline. Then said the LORD, Behold, I will set a plumbline in the midst of my people Israel: I will not again pass by them any more: 9 And the high places of Isaac shall be desolate, and the sanctuaries of Israel shall be laid waste; and I will rise against the house of Jeroboam with the sword.

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Ecclesiastes 12:1-7

1 Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them; 2 While the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars, be not darkened, nor the clouds return after the rain: 3 In the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong men shall bow themselves, and the grinders cease because they are few, and those that look out of the windows be darkened, 4 And the doors shall be shut in the streets, when the sound of the grinding is low, and he shall rise up at the voice of the bird, and all the daughters of musick shall be brought low; 5 Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail: because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets: 6 Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern. 7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.

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Joshua 1:8

This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.

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This page is adapted from the Glossary at Phoenixmasonry — Used with permission.

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