NY Man Finishes Writing Out Entire Bible by Hand

A New York man who has spent years writing out every word in the Bible is finally penning the last lines.

Mr. Patterson said he started the project to learn about the Bible, not as a spiritual quest, but found it had helped him become more patient, confident and loving. Photo: Steven Lively/Flickr

Four years after he began his project to write out every word of the Bible, Phillip Patterson penned the very last lines Saturday at St. Peter’s Presbyterian Church in Spencertown Saturday.

It was a day of heavy rain, not the hail faced by the Egyptians or enough to make Noah build his ark, but a rain that had been sorely missed during this time of drought and turbulent weather. Then it stopped.

The sun came out shortly before Mr. Patterson wrote the final words of his handwritten King James Bible.

Copying the passages of the Bible, which numbers hundreds of thousands of words, between the old and new testaments, has been a seven-year project for Patterson, reports the Register Star.

Phillip Patterson, 63, of Philmont, began copying the complete King James Bible in his neat, looping handwriting in 2009. He spent two years copying the first five books of the Bible as a prototype before starting afresh, says the Wall Street Journal.

He said he’ll spend about another year working on the book’s binding and covers before donating the fully completed Bible — more than 2,400 pages — to St. Peter’s as a gift.

Mr. Patterson completed the final lines of the Book of Revelation last night during a ceremony at St Peter’s Presbyterian Church in Spencertown, near the Massachusetts border. He ended the ceremony by saying “Amen.”

“Every single curly-q, every single loop, it was all worth it,” said 63-year-old Patterson moments after inking the final two verses of the King James Bible. He added: “I’m really going to miss this writing.”

A handwritten Bible is rare to see due to the sheer length. Patterson said that handwritten versions of the Old Testament and Koran are more common.

For now, he said, he’ll just have to get used to his new life without holding a Pigma Micron pen every day. “I’m going to miss the writing, that’s what I’m going to miss,” he said. “My fingers are fine, no callouses.”

In the interview with Michel Martin Mr.  Patterson said: “I have been a person who questions everything. And the moment that I matured enough to be able to think on my own, I kind of rejected the religious tenets of my childhood and had to come back to it on my own – on my own terms.”

He continued: “I’d have to do this project a couple of more times to be able to tell you about theologically. Although I did come to a place finally about Jesus.”

Patterson said he was struck by the amount of violence described in the Bible. He also found the Book of Leviticus interesting for the passage in which the eating of shellfish is prohibited by the lord.

“Something must have gone bad when somebody ate shrimp in Leviticus,” Patterson remarked. “Homosexuality must have really been a problem if they had to make a law about it,” he added.

But his efforts were slowed by his health problems, including Aids and anaemia.Paterson worked as much as 14 hours a day on his project.

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