The complete 'Handwritten Bible', created by tens of thousands of people across Britain and Northern Ireland, has now gone online, the Methodist Church has announced.
The Handwritten Bible contains 7,000 pages of text and illustrations transcribed by people from every part of Britain and further afield. More than 30,000 volunteers joined in from across communities - including prisons, schools, colleges, libraries, nursing homes, airports and shopping centres - to copy the whole of the NRSV translation of the Bible after Methodists voted to transcribe the Scripture at their Conference in Portsmouth last year.
Since the first volume went live last month, the Handwritten Bible has been well viewed. Most of those readers accessed the site from within the UK, but there have been visitors from 76 other countries, including the United States, Malaysia, Australia and South Africa.
The Rev Jenny Ellis, Co-ordinator of Evangelism, Spirituality and Discipleship for the Methodist Church, said: “We have already had many people asking to display the hardbound copies of the Bible, including a request from the Caribbean."
She continued: "The Handwritten Bible has been divided up into 31 volumes; some of those volumes are currently on display at the Liskeard Methodist Church in Cornwall while others are on show at Worcester Cathedral. Now that all the volumes are online, people can view the whole Bible. It’s a way of connecting us all together as we value and celebrate the Scriptures.”
As part of the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible, people were invited to join Methodists in handwriting verses from the Scripture. Verses have been written in English, Chinese, Welsh and Braille with accompanying illustrations.
Dave Webster, Methodist Internet Communications Coordinator, who was responsible for uploading the Handwritten Bible online, added: “The Handwritten Bible has the human touch. The care and love that people put into it are expressed in the ever-changing handwriting and illustrations. This makes reading it a unique and moving experience.”
The 'Handwritten Bible' will be available for display at churches, Bible Fresh events, anniversaries and museums up until the 2012 Methodist Conference.