Fact Check

Did Televangelist Joel Osteen Rip Up the Bible?

A routine review of content labeled satire.

Published Feb. 9, 2020

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 16: Joel Osteen speaks during SiriusXM Joel Osteen Radio Town Hall with Joel and Victoria Osteen at SiriusXM Studios on December 16, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Bonnie Biess/Getty Images for SiriusXM) (Getty Images)
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Pastor Joel Osteen ripped up the Bible in an act of defiance.

On Feb. 6, 2020, the Babylon Bee published an article positing that American pastor and televangelist Joel Osteen had ripped up a Bible in an act of defiance at the end of his sermon:

In Bold Act Of Defiance, Joel Osteen Rips Up Bible

During Sunday's service at Lakewood Church, Joel Osteen ripped up a Bible in a bold act of defiance.

After the sermon was completed, in a theatrical display of his attitude toward the Scriptures, Osteen stood up and solemnly ripped the Bible in half before tossing it on the ground.

This item was not a factual recounting of real-life events. The article originated with a website that describes its output as being humorous or satirical in nature, as follows:

The Babylon Bee is the world’s best satire site, totally inerrant in all its truth claims. We write satire about Christian stuff, political stuff, and everyday life.

This satirical piece appears to be commenting on U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's reaction to President Donald Trump's State of the Union address in early 2020. On Feb. 4, 2020, just moments after Trump finished his speech, Pelosi ripped up her copy of the address. You can read more about that incident here.

For background, here is why we sometimes write about satire/humor.


Babylon Bee.   "In Bold Act of Defiance, Joel Osteen Rips Up Bible."     6 February 2020.