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GOD & TEXAS: Texans love their Bibles

Houston Texans quarterback C. J. Stroud loves the Bible. Stroud usually tapes scriptural admonitions to his left wrist that include “TTGOG” (To The Glory Of God), and Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.”

Many of the pioneer Texans also believed and trusted the Bible. T.R. Fehrenbach emphasizes the influence the Bible had on pioneer Texans in his Lone Star: A History of Texas and the Texans: “The historical role of the English Bible in this Texas has increasingly been overlooked. But the King James Version afforded this stultified civilization on the fringes of the 19th century Western world with a great part of the basic culture it required. It gave the frontier farmer…a basic folklore, philosophy, and literature. It was, in fact, almost the only literature most families possessed. As a cultural, folkloric instrument, the Holy Bible played its part, in a way no official history or intellectually fabricated philosophy ever could.”

One of the oldest Bibles brought to Texas is the Boerne Low German Bible. Printed in 1614, it was signed by Johan Schwarting in 1660 and brought to Oldenburg, Texas, by a settler on the ship Apollo. It can now be seen at the Boerne public library.

In 1834, Joseph Burleson moved to Texas with his family and made Bastrop County home. Burleson had fought in the War of 1812, and later supplied the troops who fought for Texas independence. His Bible is on display in the Alamo Museum.

The Sam Houston Bible has been used to inaugurate state officials for over 150 years. While still surrounded by questions of origin, it is believed that Sam Houston used it when he was sworn in as the president of the Republic of Texas in 1841. The Bible may be viewed at the Texas Supreme Court.

At Sam Houston State University Newton Gresham Library, you will find the Bible of Sam Houston Jr. It is thought that young Houston carried it in his shirt pocket during the Civil War Battle of Shiloh in 1862. A bullet hole is visible in the cover, presumably saving Houstons’ life.

The Idar Family Bible is exhibited at the Bullock Museum in Austin. This Bible belonged to the noted Mexican American Idar family, who cherished it between the years of 1866-1936. Within its pages were notations about their Christian faith, actions against injustice, and fight for equality while living in Laredo, and later San Antonio.

And there were many more early Texans who treasured their Bibles and lived according to the truth they found in its pages. They believed the words of Jesus in John 17:17 – “Thy Word is Truth!”

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To purchase the book GOD and TEXAS by David G. Rose please visit


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