On the last day of 2010, I began a little experiment to handwritten the entire New Testament called the Holy Writ Project. The goal was to handwrite one chapter of my NIV Bible each weekday and complete the New Testament in one year.
Along the way, this project turned into a movement. I would think about handwriting Scripture as I fell asleep and crave writing it when I awoke the next morning. In nine months the New Testament was complete and I moved on to the Old Testament.
The First Handwritten Bible
899 days later I had handwritten the entire Bible, something few English-speaking people in today’s world have ever accomplished. Further, I had blogged the entire journey, allowing others to read and be encouraged throughout the process.
This was in June 2013. I thought my work was done.
I soon discovered my journey was only beginning.
The Second Handwritten Bible
After a short rest, I returned to handwriting Scripture, although more slowly and without the expectation of a daily blog post. In some respects, the lack of accountability was a relief, allowing me to write a page one day, take a week offer, and then write a few more.
But this slower pace almost ended my journey. At one point I stopped for several months, wondering if I would ever return to complete the second time.
I then remembered my original goal of handwriting the Bible. My desire was to complete a copy one time for each of my children. I have three kids–Ben, Natalie, and Audrey. Ben is now 16 and his copy is done. His copy, taking up 12 volumes of three-ring binders, will likely remain on my shelf until he has his own home and a place for it.
Natalie is now 13. It’s hard to believe my little girl who was six years old when I first began writing Scripture is now a teenager. Thinking about how quickly she is growing up encouraged me to refocus and press on through some of those sections of the Bible that are more difficult to write.
With a steep mountain to climb, I set a challenging goal of April 1, 2018 to finish, Easter Sunday. This would be more than seven years after starting my first verse. And by God’s grace, my second handwritten Bible was completed just after midnight on Easter morning.
The Third Handwritten Bible?
Audrey is nine years old. By God’s grace, I’ll complete a copy for her by the time she is a teenager. After that, who knows? I am now at the point where handwriting Scripture has become my daily devotional time. It is more than a project; it’s a calling.
Everyone was created for something. Maybe God made me to encourage others that there are still some people in this world who care so much about the Bible that they are willing to write out every single word of it just to spend time with the Lord.
I’ve grown during the process, but I’m not perfect. I’m far from it. As I discover more of God’s greatness, I find myself agreeing with the apostle Paul that I am the greatest sinner. It’s only through God’s work in me that I truly live.
What else has God taught me in this journey? That apart from God I can do nothing, but all things are possible with God.
At its core, the Bible transcends politics and denominations and cultures. It is the epic account of our creator and his love for us. When we reflect on its words at their most intimate level, we find love. His love for us and his call for us to love others.
Dillon Burroughs is the author and coauthor of numerous books and blogs about his experiences of handwriting the Bible at the Holy Writ Project on Patheos.com. Find out more about Dillon at Facebook or Twitter.