The Masonic Bible
By Right Worshipful Brother Brian Rossouw
Published in the 2016 GLSA Southern Division Spring Ball Magazine
Freemasons have been unjustly and incorrectly accused of using their own, presumably Satanic, Bible in their workings. The truth is that Masonic Bibles are on sale at a number of outlets and are hence not difficult to obtain.
The myth is actually in two parts. A number of Lodges in predominantly Christian communities have the custom of presenting the new Master Mason with a commemorative heirloom Bible. The one commonly used is the 1611 translation of the King James version, published especially for Masonic Lodges. It normally contains an area in the front for the Mason to record important dates in his degree work and has places for his Brethren to sign as a record of their having attended his degrees. It also contains a glossary of biblical references relating to Masonic ceremonies, essays about Masonry and some common questions and answers. The rest of it is the entire King James version of the Old and New Testament.
The second part of the myth has to do with the use of the Volume of the Sacred Law in a Masonic Lodge. It is a basic Masonic requirement that all regular Masonic Lodges must have a book considered sacred to its members open on the Lodge Altar during their meetings. Depending on what part of the world the Lodge is in and the beliefs of the Lodge members, this sacred book could be the Bible, the Hebrew Tanach, the Muslim Koran, the Hindu Veda or the Proverbs of Confucius. It is simply referred to as the Volume of the Sacred Law, as a nonsectarian term.
What we inherited from King Charles II, after the Puritan Wars in England, was that we should always observe the following :
The practice of Brotherhood;
No discussions on politics;
No discussions on religion;
Share a hearty meal (Festive Board) after each Working.
The above points are among the basic requirements of our Order and have been the subject of many lessons to the candidates through the ages. The bond of friendship, the avoidance of conflict and the coming together for a simple refreshment over which bonds are forged and friendships are cemented.
The message is for us all to be tolerant towards others especially their opinions and beliefs. We are not higher placed and have no right to assume that others are inferior. There are good men in all walks of life. As an Order, we believe that if the most common causes of conflict are removed then we are truly the "Children of God" in all our forms and ideologies.