On December 31, 2011, 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.”
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.