Question: “What is bibliomancy?”
Answer: Bibliomancy is the practice of divination by means of a book. Generally speaking, bibliomancy involves turning to a random page in a sacred book in order to find the answer to a question posed. In ancient times, the works of Homer and Virgil were used. Now, bibliomancy often refers to fortune-telling by means of the Bible. But, by no means is the Bible the only book sometimes used in bibliomancy. Other books sometimes used are the I Ching, the Mahabharata, and the Qur’an. The process of bibliomancy involves asking a clear question, opening the book to a random page, and trailing a finger in slow circles until “the spirit” says to stop. The verse where the questioner’s finger points supposedly contains the answer.
The story is told of a man who wanted to find out what God had for his future, so he closed his eyes, opened the Bible randomly, and stuck his finger on the page. He opened his eyes and read Matthew 27:5, “Judas . . . went away and hanged himself.” Not liking that answer, the man tried again. This time, his finger landed on Luke 10:37, “Go and do likewise.” Again, not liking that answer, the man tried again. This time his finger landed on John 13:27, “What you are about to do, do quickly.”
All joking aside, bibliomancy is not biblical. God’s Word condemns all forms of divination in no uncertain terms (Deuteronomy 18:10; Acts 16:16-19). Occult practices are not made less evil simply because the Bible is being used in the process. Yes, God speaks to us through His Word. Yes, God leads us to specific Bible verses that will speak to us in a time of need. Yes, God sometimes causes us to stumble on a verse at precisely the time we need the message the verse contains. But God’s Word was meant to be studied, understood, and applied. We are to study God’s Word intentionally, not randomly. Ours is a reasonable faith, not one based on esoteric interpretations of random verses. Our wisdom comes from God (James 1:5).