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My Experience Writing Out The Bible By Hand

In March 2023 I started writing out the Bible by hand. What started as something I had seen on TikTok and wanted to try and replicate has turned into a really sacred part of my daily life that I have come to really enjoy. 

Writing Out The Bible By Hand

Why Did I Start Writing Out The Bible By Hand?

I had seen someone on TikTok do a live stream about them writing out the Bible by hand. If you're wondering, yes, my TikTok feed is primarily obscure Christian videos about Jesus, although I haven't been on TikTok in months, and that's another story for another day. 

When I saw this guy handwriting the bible though, I immediately thought, could I do that? I stewed on the idea for months. I'm constantly ruled by FOMO (fear of missing out), and it felt like I was really missing out by not writing the bible by hand. 

A few months after seeing this video I went on a mission trip to India that was life-changing for me in a lot of different ways and really put into perspective for me how I want to live my life, and what I want my life to look like on a day-to-day basis. Ultimately, I wanted more Jesus and less of everything else. When I got home I decided if I want more Jesus, I need to spend more time with him, and what better way to spend more time with him than writing the bible? 

Writing Out The Bible By Hand

How Long Does Writing Out The Bible By Hand Take? 

I have looked over quite a few blogs about people who have written the bible by hand and have come to two conclusions. Either one, everyone who has done this writes really slow, or two, I write really fast. I can write an entire chapter of the bible in 30 minutes. From what I've seen elsewhere online, that is about half the time it takes other people to write a chapter. 

I originally set out to write 4 chapters a day and have the entire thing done within 9 months, but I quickly learned that I didn't have the bandwidth to keep up with a two-hour per-day practice. I have since scaled back and am writing one chapter a day. This means it will take me about three years to finish since there are 1189 chapters in the bible. I do plan on picking up the pace when I hit Psalms, Proverbs, Job, etc... where the chapters are much shorter. I anticipate the entire process taking me no longer than three years. As of writing this, I'm currently at Leviticus 21.

My Process for Writing Out The Bible By Hand:

I try to do my bible writing first thing in the morning before I start my work and other responsibilities. I am currently copying from the ESV translation, and primarily copying from the ESV Gospel Transformation Study Bible. I like that the print is bigger than my thinline bible, and it stays open on my desk easier, making copying fairly simple. 

I am currently writing everything in a five-subject notebook, and I anticipate continuing with this throughout the entire process. I find I can write really easily from a notebook, I can fit a lot of text on one page, and when I'm finished it won't be too hard to store multiple notebooks of the same size. 

I use a regular ballpoint pen, although I have specifically been using these biodegradable ones because I'm on a "save the planet" kick. I also am just writing with normal printing. I know a lot of people who have done this practice have written in cursive or calligraphy to make it really pretty and special. This is not a skill that I have and I would hate for that to be a barrier for others enjoying this practice as well. 

When I write I simply read a sentence or two at a time, write it down word for word, and then move on to the next sentence. I think this might possibly be why I am able to write so fast. It might be due to the fact that I can store a lot of words at once before having to lift my head to scan the bible for words again. I'm also not a slave to perfection in this process. I do value every word being correct in the right order, but if I make a mistake, I'm fine to draw a line through the mistake, correct it, and move on. 

Writing Out The Bible By Hand

The Benefits I've Seen of Writing Out The Bible By Hand:

I definitely have struggled at times with reading the bible and actually comprehending what I'm reading. If I'm just doing a chapter-a-day type of reading, it's easy for my brain to tune out and not retain any information. I find having a study plan I'm working through helps this tremendously, but handwriting the bible has made it stick in ways that nothing else really has for me. 

I find myself following the storylines so much deeper. I find myself asking deeper questions, taking notes throughout the process, and then going and finding answers to those questions afterward. The reality is that many of the posts I'm writing here on this blog are actually answers to my own questions that I have had while going through this process. For me, handwriting the bible has brought my comprehension and understanding to a whole new level that I'm super grateful for. 

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