The Deacon's Bench

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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