It Is Finished: Thoughts on Writing Out Every Word of the Bible

On December 31, 2010, at the age of 34, I began handwriting the New Testament. My goal was to complete one chapter per weekday, all 260 chapters, in one year. Nine months later I had completed the New Testament and started with Genesis in the Old Testament. I thought that if I continued at my current pace, I could finish by 2015 at the latest.

Instead, on June 17, 2013, at the age of 37, I completed the final word of Malachi. The 899-day journey left me speechless. For some time, I was not sure what to say or think. Should I write a book about my experiences? Should I keep the project a secret? Should I try to complete handwriting the Bible again?

Now, two months later, I’ve had some time to pray and reflect on my experiences in handwriting the Bible. A few highlights from this time:

1. Handwriting the Bible is not for everyone: The process takes time, a certain level of literacy, and overall physical endurance that is more difficult than I had anticipated.

2. Handwriting Scripture is a long goal in the right direction: No English speaking person “needs” to write out the English Bible, of course. I have it in print, online, and on my mobile devices. The reason from the start was to invest time in Scripture in a fresh and powerful way. This goal was certainly achieved. I feel much closer to God now than ever before and often sensed God’s presence at work in my life in powerful ways during these extended times in Scripture.

3. There is no prize for finishing: When I finished, I didn’t know if I would cry or celebrate with dancing. Instead, I found there was little emotion in the end. It was simply done. I prayed, closed the book, and asked God for what was next, just like each day before. I have no need to tell the world, hide the fact, or promote the story in any way. Instead, I find myself grateful to God for the honor of spending so much time in his Word.

What’s next? I’m still not sure. For now, I’m finished blogging at Holy Writ. My little dream to write out the Bible and talk about it along the way turned out great. My friends at Patheos.com were extremely supportive from the start.

Now there is a sense of a new mission on the horizon after completing this project. While much prayer and many ideas are under consideration, no major decisions have been made. My goal is still to love God and to love my neighbor as myself. I find God pleased when I work hard, love my wife, invest in the lives of my kids, serve my community, and care for the poor. I still desire to make disciples of all nations until Christ returns or this life ends and I meet him face to face.

As I conclude this project, I ask for your prayers and encourage you to continue to invest your life in serving God and growing in his Word. When you do, he will lead you to apply it in the context that best fits how he has created you. When we all live in this way, God is honored and lives are changed. In the end, the goal is to say, “To God be the glory.” and to hear him say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”

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Dillon Burroughs is the author and coauthor of numerous books and wrote out a copy of all 31,173 verses of the Bible at HolyWritProject.com. Find out more about Dillon at Facebook.com/readdB or readdB.com.

Ezra 10: A Final Challenge

While Ezra was praying and confessing, weeping and throwing himself down before the house of God, a large crowd of Israelites—men, women and children—gathered around him. They too wept bitterly. -Ezra 10:1

The final chapter of Ezra was not one of joy, but of mourning. Ezra and many others wept before the Lord over the sins of their nation. This mourning led to social change, which led to spiritual awakening.

It’s interesting to note that in the history of America’s Great Awakenings, each one was closely connected with social change. The first Great Awakening occurred shortly before the American Revolution. The second Great Awakening was closely connected with the abolitionist movement and improved women’s rights. The third Great Awakening took place near the time of the Civil War and included what as then called the Social Gospel that addressed both spiritual and physical needs in the name of Christ. Among these leaders was D.L. Moody, whose heart for evangelism and helping those in need changed many lives and continues today through groups such as the YMCA and Moody Bible Institute.

Most would agree our culture stands in need of change. If we wish to see change and be the change, it begins in prayer and repentance. The shifts that need to take place are only available through the power of God. May we seek his help in our lives and our culture today.

Let’s talk about it on Facebook! Share your thoughts, pictures, or videos on handwriting Scripture.

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Dillon Burroughs is the author and coauthor of numerous books and is handwriting a copy of all 31,173 verses of the Bible at HolyWritProject.com. Find out more about Dillon at Facebook.com/readdB or readdB.com.

Ezra 9: Taking Sin Seriously

When I heard this, I tore my tunic and cloak, pulled hair from my head and beard and sat down appalled. Then everyone who trembled at the words of the God of Israel gathered around me because of this unfaithfulness of the exiles. And I sat there appalled until the evening sacrifice.

Then, at the evening sacrifice, I rose from my self-abasement, with my tunic and cloak torn, and fell on my knees with my hands spread out to the Lord my God and prayed… -Ezra 9:3-6

The sign of a godly life is that a person is sensitive to sin. When Ezra was told the people, led by the priests and Levites, had broken God’s law and had been marrying women who did not follow their God, he was shaken.

Instead of changing the channel or starting a petition, he grieved. In Jewish culture, tearing one’s clothing and pulling hair from the head or beard were signs of mourning. Ezra visibly mourned the sins of his people.

Ezra was not alone in his mourning, however. We are told those who trembled at the worlds of the God of Israel joined him. After some time, he led them in prayer, repenting of the sins of his people.

Could we reflect this mourning in our lives today? Instead of complaining about the problems of our society or becoming desensitized to the sin around us, what if we truly mourned? What if we stopped everything to ask God to forgive the sins of those in our community? What would God do? How would he respond? Let us being by repenting from sin in our own lives, then asking God for mercy upon those around us.

Let’s talk about it on Facebook! Share your thoughts, pictures, or videos on handwriting Scripture.

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Dillon Burroughs is the author and coauthor of numerous books and is handwriting a copy of all 31,173 verses of the Bible at HolyWritProject.com. Find out more about Dillon at Facebook.com/readdB or readdB.com.


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