Elvis' Bible Auctioned for $95,000; the Message May Be That an Old Bible Can Hold More Meaning Than Just a Keepsake; RELIGION

Article excerpt

Ladies and gentlemen, Elvis' Bible has left the building. But you can still pick up a pair of his dirty underwear.

According to news reports, a Bible Elvis Presley used until his death in 1977 was sold by a British auction firm for around $95,000. A pair of his used and dirty underwear - worn by the singer during a concert in 1977 - fell short, as they say, of the $11,000 reserve price. The owner of the undies then withdrew the item for sale. I think we can chalk that up to the "Ew, gross" factor.

Presley received the leather Bible, which is imprinted with his name, as a Christmas present in 1957. It was his first Christmas in Graceland, and was the year he released such singles as "Jailhouse Rock" and "All Shook Up." It was given to him by his aunt and uncle, and contains notes in Elvis' handwriting.

Bidding for the Bible quickly exceeded and then doubled its stated value. The new owner refused to be identified but was involved a worldwide bidding war.

The Bible shows signs of great use, and may provide insights into the King of Rock 'n' Roll's spiritual life. The pages are inked with his thoughts, and memorable passages are underlined. One of the passages he underlines was Luke 9:25, which reads "For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?" (King James Version)

And that is only one of this story's many ironies.

The words are indicative of the difficulty nearly all celebrities have faced since that day in August 1977, when Presley died.

Elvis, Michael Jackson, Amy Winehouse, John Belushi, and perhaps hundreds of others have lost themselves in the spotlight of celebrity. That Elvis perhaps understood what was happening to him only adds to the tragedy, and serves to highlight the spiritual nature of addictions.

There are other ironies.

The sale of this Bible took place over the same period when the world was embroiled in acts of violence resulting from hurtful remarks made about Islam. …