For the benefit of my American readers (I love you, really. No, really.), what we call Sellotape, you call scotch tape (seriously, what sort of impression does it leave, naming office supplies after whisky?). Now that’s out of the way, here comes, in what is now a tradition for this blog, a list of more or less tenuous links between sellotape and the Bible.


Photo: woodleywonderworks (cropped), reused under CC license

1. Sellotape holds everything together. Just like it, the Bible helps bring a sense of unity, of direction,  and of purpose to lives: the Bible, in leading to God, helps holding everything together too.

2. Sellotape is clear, transparent, see-through. The Bible itself is transparent in two ways: through the Bible, we see Jesus. The written Word leads to the living Word. Secondly, it is a mirror to your own life. It is relevant, and we can see real things through it: it is not some arcane treatise that can be boxed in and where the thoughts triggered in it are sterile.

3. There’s many kinds of adhesive tape: duct tape, gaffer tape, etc. None is intrinsically better than the other, but some are better suited to different purposes. You won’t use masking tape to seal a box; you won’t use gaffer tape to put up a poster. Various versions are also suited to different purposes: you won’t use an interlinear Bible for your everyday readings; and you won’t use The Message to try and work out whether it was tourist high season in Bethlehem around the time of Jesus’ birth.

4. There’s some surfaces, it just won’t stick on. Some people who won’t receive the message of the Bible; and that shouldn’t be a discouragement to us; but also, some times in our lives, some mindsets where what we read just doesn’t stick. Identifying those moments is helpful.

5. Have you ever tried wrapping a present without using Sellotape? You can. A piece of string can do the trick if you’re gifted (and if you’re trying to wrap a book). I tried using candlewax once, when I was out of sellotape (it did not work. I think you need a special kind of wax for that. I ended up using electrical tape ‘cos I had some spare. It was ugly but it did the trick). So it is possible to live a good enough life without the Bible; indeed, some people do. But it is a lot easier to do with the Bible as both a moral guide and a motivator.

6. Sellotape leaves a mark, even when it is removed. Unless you buy some special sellotape, and even then, you gotta be careful when you peel it off. In the same way, after reading the Bible, you are (or should be!) a changed person. Regardless of whether you then reject what you have read or not, there will be something changed in you.

7. If there weren’t something to fix (or, in the case of sellotape, technically, to affix), we wouldn’t need it. The Bible points to Jesus; to God who came for sinners, people who are broken. The Bible itself brings healing, because it directs the heart to something better, and

8. Originally, it came in rolls. Now there’s some fancy dispensers which don’t use rolls; just like the Bible went from (sc)rolls to printed books to phone apps.

9. Unless you use it a lot, it’s hard to find where to start. Seriously, finding the end of sellotape and then getting hold of it in such a way that it can be used is a pain. That’s why dispensers are useful: they keep on feeding you, and cutting the sellotape into bits of usable, appropriate length. Dispensers come in many shapes – and there’s many things that can help you start picking up your Bible: sermons and preachers, but also Bible plans and commentaries (for instance, you could do the Uncover series with a friend)

10. When you’ve gone through your roll of sellotape, it doesn’t mean you’re done using sellotape forever. You can always pick up a new roll. And if you’re out, you can always ask your friend. And if you’ve finished reading the Bible (kudos to you), that doesn’t mean you can’t read it ever again. On the contrary, you will find you keep on using it. And if you don’t have a Bible, borrow one from a friend.

Add your own!