Here are some answers to some of the questions recently put to me regarding my upcoming copy-the-Bible-by-hand project. Perhaps you have some of the same questions.
Q. Where will you find the time to do this?
A. I’ll make the time primarily by getting up a bit earlier, cutting back some on my non-Bible reading time, scaling back on social media consumption and engagement, and just being a bit more self-disciplined in general.
Q. Will you write the same texts the church reads each day?
A. Yes and no. The church reading project (Immerse) divides itself into six, sixteen-week segments (32 weeks each year) of reading across the span of three years. That means everyone has twenty weeks “off” time during each of the three years. However, I’ll do my reading and writing essentially straight through (i.e. – only a very few weeks of break each year).
So, yes, like the rest of the church family, I’ll be reading the same thing each day, but for my writing project, no, my reading and writing won’t be “on the same page.” We will start and end at the same time, but the church’s reading and my writing will operate at different speeds.
Q. Some sermons will spring from this reading/writing. Will there be other connections?
A. Yes, among them: occasional mini-series in Bible classes that I lead, my weekly devotionals at St. James house, my postings on this blog of mine, pictures that I take, postings on Facebook and Instagram, some contacts with other portions of our Sunday morning assemblies (e.g. – Scripture reading, communion meditations, fun printed quizzes, etc.), and, God willing, more.
Q. What do you think will be your biggest problem(s) getting the writing done?
A. All of us have this in common: daily life brings us a multitude, and wide variety, of unexpected things. Life’s “unexpecteds,” big and small, will perhaps be the biggest challenge.
Q. Got a specific Scripture you connect with this project? A “verse of guidance?”
A. Yes. In fact, it is the passage from which I preached yesterday morning. Here it is:
“… with humility … welcome the word planted deep inside you — the very word that is able to save you.” (James 1.21 CEB)
I’ve memorized this passage and I encourage everyone who participates in the reading portion of this project to do so.
Q. I know you hate your handwriting. How do you see that working out for you?
A. I suspect most folks who put Scripture into their own handwriting strive not merely for accuracy of copy but, also to render it all in their very best penmanship. While the former will certainly have my grand attention, I will not care so much for the latter. After all, my best handwriting is not all that great. I can’t do “pretty,” but I can do “practical,” so I’ll concern myself with the practical and try to just let the rest go. Not sloppy, of course, but I’m not going to be OC about it either. I’m not doing this for looks, but for effect.
Q. What exactly will you write in and with?
A. That will vary through the course of the project as I’ll use different pens for different groups of the Bible’s literature. We’ll begin our reading (and my writing) in Luke-Acts and so I’ve decided to write that portion with a favorite rollerball pen and some journals given to me by my daughter and son-in-law.