Writing out the Bible starting January 1
A year and a half ago my wife and I started writing out the Bible by hand. We started with Genesis and one chapter at a time worked our way through book after book until my daughter was born early last year. Shortly after her birth, we paused the project to adjust to the changed family dynamics, with the intention of resuming the handwritten word January 1.
We are restarting in a few days with Psalm 1 on January 1. We think it'll be a great way to kick off the new year and we'd love for you to write with us!
There are three ways you can participate:
1. Write a chapter of Psalms every day with us. Based on our experience, it usually takes no more than 30 minutes.
2. Read a chapter of Psalms every day with us. This is obviously faster, requires less commitment, and is a great way to spend time in the Word on the same Scripture, together.
3. Follow along and occasionally write Psalms that are particularly significant to you. Perhaps you're worried about the commitment, or want to spend more time with ornate writing along the line of James Freemantle's The Psalms of David.
We're using Moleskine notebooks for our writings because the paper is high quality and we want our handwritten Words to last for our kids to inherit. But you can use regular notebooks, looseleaf paper or any other paper you prefer. There are many kinds of pens we'd recommend - I use a Pilot G2 because I've found the ink rolls evenly and consistently. But you can pick up any number of functional pens for a buck or two at any office store.
We're using the Message translation, and it takes us about 30 minutes a chapter to transcribe. We tend to peek ahead a few days just to make sure we're not surprised when there's a longer chapter. In those cases, we sometimes divide the writing into parts, or sometimes we just plan in advance to spend the extra time writing it all at once.
If you have questions email me and I'll add the answers to this post at the bottom.
I am interested in beginning to write out Scriptures, hopefully eventually the whole Bible and was interested in your writing goals. Do you plan to finish the whole Bible?
I was googling around to find out if anyone else was writing out the Bible by hand, other than me, and here you are! I began with the New Testament and completed it in a year and a half. I have photos as well which would be fun to share! I started on the Psalms awhile ago and just got through the very long # 119 and am on to 130.
I wish I had thought of doing this on a paper that would last down to the generations but I will have to make sure my hard covered books are kept away from light and dampness
I agree with all the reasons for writing out scripture…beautiful past time!
Annette - Thanks for that encouragement!
Just wanted to let everyone know how writing the Psalms has blessed my life. After reading and writing the Psalms then meditating on the scripture daily has blessed me so and has increased my awareness of how majestic the Lord God really is. I some times just find my self to breaking into open worship of God thinking about his goodness and the sacrifice of his Son Jesus. May God bless you all
Decided this was something I needed to do. I started with the book of James and am now writing out Psalms. I’ve read through the book of Psalms and James several times before but writing each word out has been a powerful experience so far. It’s actually changing the way I pray and God is moving! Thank you for the invitation to write God’s word out along with you- great idea!
Hi Nathan, I popped online to see when the new members class was beginning and came across your blog. I am very interested and excited to start this project! I have already made out my shopping list for a notepad, a translation book, etc. and will be heading to the christian bookstore tomorrow. I look forward to starting this project and also keeping up with others online.
I have decided to participate with you and your wife, writing a Psalm
a day. This will be a great disicipline and it will make the words have a deeper meaning as I meditate on each word I write.
I will be using the New American Standard, as this is my favorite Bible. God bless you for your comittment, and have a wonderful
I look forward to getting started. May you and your family have a blessed Happy New Year!
This is a wonderful idea and exercise in discipline that I need! I look forward to getting started! Thank you for the invitation!
What a awesome thing to get from your parents….I wish I had one from mine. I am taking your idea but am going to write the Gospels. We have 3 kids too. Does this mean I have LOTS of work ahead of me? :) Thanks so much for sharing the idea!
I would love to start with you on January 1st.! Will there be discussion about the Psalm each day on-line? I’m assuming you can buy moleskin notebooks at Office Depot or Office Max? What a wonderful idea.
Hey Lois - glad to hear the timing was providential!
I used two criteria to pick a translation besides a basic theological value that the Message (along with many others) meets.
The first was whether it was a translation of the Bible I connected with. I don’t use the Message for word study, but I have used it for the language it employs. To me, it just sounds more like the ton I expect the original translation would’ve taken.
The second was finding a translation that would stand up for a generation or two.
As for which you’d want to use, I’d take the wording that resonates most with your heart.
If the answer still isn’t transparent, try reading through a few Psalms in the different translation and see which reads the best.
Thank you, Nathan, for this wonderful suggestion! It’s what I NEED and what I want to do- I can’t tell you how perfect your timing is! :o)
A question: I have The Promise Bible and The Quest Study Bible- I also have The Message, but I prefer either of the others because the Message is just a little too “up to date” in its wording for this 65 year old. (Tony’s mom) BUT, I understand that it will be passed on, and I’d like it to be meaningful. What do you suggest?
Thanks again for ALL that you do! Happy New Year! Lois