The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench

Who wrote the bible? Maybe someone you know.

This story popped up in the Boston Globe a few days back, but it’s too good to pass up:

In Rome recently, a parade of luminaries, starting with Pope Benedict XVI, spent the better part of a week reading the Bible aloud on Italian television.

Now, a Christian publisher in the United States has embarked on a different effort at engaging people with the Bible: sending two couples around the country in a 42-foot motor home to compile a handwritten version of the Scriptures by asking 31,173 people to each write a single verse.


The tour stopped in Lexington yesterday, where over the course of six hours nearly 200 people gathered in the main lobby of Grace Chapel, a large evangelical congregation, to participate. The event had been promoted on Christian radio, and some came from several hours away for a chance to stand at a light table and, in black ink, print two copies of a single verse. One of the books will be offered to the Smithsonian Institution; the second will be auctioned to benefit the International Bible Society. And a copy of the collection will be published next year.

“It’s really neat – it caused me to think back before print, what it must have been like to write the Bible,” said Stacey Thureen, director of communications at Grace Chapel. Thureen said she copied Numbers 12:7, and the exercise “did cause me to slow down and look at the verse and think about what I was writing.”


The event was organized by Zondervan, a publishing house that is marking the 30th anniversary of its New International Version Bible, which is the most widely used contemporary English translation.

H/T Articles of Faith.

Photo: by Essdras M. Suarez, Boston Globe

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posted October 30, 2008 at 9:20 am

They’ll have to find Catholics to write all the footnotes!

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posted October 30, 2008 at 11:16 am

How many more volunteers would be needed if the deuterocanonical books (which we Catholics have in our NAB version) were written also?

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posted October 30, 2008 at 11:56 am

Well said Eric! Honestly, I would be much more impressed if the Protestants would be READING IT ALOUD. Maybe THAT would spark a light that Jesus NEVER intended his Truth to be confined to “sola scriptura.” As Bishop Sheen once pointed out, Jesus didn’t come as an “author” but as an “authority”, perhaps the reason he himself only wrote once, and that was in the sand. Perhaps, if we really wanted to help our Protestant siblings, we would re PREACH the word from the street corners. Radical of course, but so was Jesus. Trying to get a Protestant to understand that the bible CAME from the Catholic Church, i.e, the great power of the “spoken” Word, I’ve found to be a lost cause in most cases.Perhaps it’s finally time for the Catholics to “stand up and be the bible Christians” of America. I would suggest maybe a nonstop reading in Times Sqaure ,LAX, or some other bustling place in the US, complete with “apologists” standing by to answer any questions, especially on those “first time heard 7 missing books.”

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Stone of Bethel

posted October 30, 2008 at 5:45 pm

What a great initiative (though I’m sure 7 books will be missing, unless they are included as “Apocrypha”), I personally think it’s to be commended! A) Because Zondervan is a good organization, and B) Because it brings Christ front and center to all they encounter. I pray that through this venture people may be moved by the Holy Spirit to return to their faith. We need new and creative ways like this to reach out.

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posted October 31, 2008 at 10:18 am

how nice. I like this. I remember when we were kids, we would have to copy a paragraph from a book so that we could write properly and improve our writing. reading this article i think that instead of writing from some of the books we wrote from it would have been much nicer if we had to copy a chapter from the bible. It would have made us read the bible from a much earlier age.

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