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man writes down the entire king james bible

05/11/13 , , , , , , ,


via the latimes:

Phillip Patterson, a 63-year-old resident of Philmont, N.Y., a town near the Massachusetts border, may be an unlikely scribe for the Bible. He is not especially religious, for one thing, though he does go to church.  A retired interior designer whose battles with anemia and AIDS have often slowed his work, he began the monumental task mostly out of curiosity.

In 2007, Patterson’s longtime partner, Mohammed, told him about the Islamic tradition of writing out the Koran by hand. When Patterson said that the Bible was too long for Christianity to have a similar tradition, Mohammed said, well, he should start it. 

“I hadn’t counted on the fact that it would be so beautiful,” Patterson told the AP. “Or that it would be so exhilarating. And so long.”

this reminded me of a young malcolm x copying an entire dictionary while in prison.  the process of not only reading the book, but actually writing it out gave him a fresh commitment to the words/knowledge it held.  from phillip’s account on the book of proverbs, we can see that he went through a similar experience:

ContentImage-12062-218408-IMG_8486Having never before read the Book of Proverbs, I had a picture in my mind of trite lessons that parents sometimes used to justify their own actions, “spare the rod and spoil the child” leaps to mind. I hadn’t considered the possibility that those particular pages offer a handbook for right living.

Through this entire experience of handwriting the King James Bible, I have come across many ideas that are timeless. Timeless because the problems facing us in this young century have not changed much over these thousands of years. The only thing that seems to have changed is the weapons we’ve invented in order to afflict ourselves – so sad.

Perhaps it is difficult for an individual within the security of his or her home to affect significant change in the world at large. It is possible, however, to begin to begin change within one’s self.

Proverbs speaks greatly of vanity on the cellular level of the soul. It conversely offers remedies that open windows out to the fresh air of personal salvation. For me it’s a place to start. My own question revolves around how far I’m willing to go.

phillip is scheduled to write the final verses from revelation today at his church, st. peter’s presbyterian in spencertown, ny.  below, you can find some photos taken by laura glazer throughout the process.  for more info, check out this website.  first spotted at the paris review.


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