Bottom Line: Pick A Copy And Read It

Pick A Copy

In ancient times, the scribes would hand copy every word from the Bible.

“The scribes operated under strict rules and procedures for copying to ensure the text remained unchanged. The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1947, reinforces the accuracy of the oldest known transcripts.” ~Bible Blender

The Old Testament was written in Hebrew and Aramaic while the New Testament was written in Greek.

“For most of its long history, the Bible was copied by hand. For over a thousand years, everything was done by hand. Copying is long, tedious work. It would take a scribe several months to copy just one Gospel.” ~Bruce Metzger

A scribe would hand copy the Scriptures word for word, passage by passage until he completed the book of the Bible they were hand copying.

A Modern Copy
A Modern Copy

A Modern Copy

Today, we have many options for reading the Scriptures. There are printed copies available in multiple translations. There are digital copies we can access on our electronic devices. The Bible is even available in braille for those who cannot see to read the Scriptures. And we have the Audio Bible which allows anyone to listen to the Bible.

The Lord calls us to meditate on His Word.

“This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to that all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.” ~Joshua 1:8 NASB

Personal Hand Copy
Personal Hand Copy

A Personal Hand Copy

Even with all these opportunities for accessing the Scriptures, many of us desire to hand copy a Bible verse or a Scripture passage by hand for deeper engagement with God’s Word. When we hand copy the Bible, we are being intentional with our focus which enables us to memorize and recall the verses we hand copy.

A personal hand copy of God’s Word can help us grow in godliness. Paul exhorted Timothy to show himself an example of those who believe. Growing in God’s character by learning, and then living His Word is priceless.

“Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe.” ~1 Timothy 4:12 NASB

“Give diligence to present yourself approved by God, a workman who doesn’t need to be ashamed, properly handling the Word of Truth.” ~2 Timothy 2:15 WEB

Visual Bible Gospel According to Matthew
Visual Bible: Gospel According to Matthew

Visual Copy of Matthew

I appreciate The Visual Bible’s account of The Gospel According to Matthew. It is a word-for-word visual representation of Matthew’s hand copy of the Gospel of Matthew. When our children were young, we would watch Matthew in the winter. It was a wonderful way to fill our long days. Our children called it the ‘Smiling Jesus’ because He smiled and laughed so much in the presentation.


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Bible Blender. The Complete History of Bible Translations. Published by Bible Blender on January 6, 2019. Retrieved September 28, 2023, from The complete history of Bible translations – how the Word was delivered from God to our modern-day Bibles – Bible Blender

Metzger, Bruce. Published by Christianity Today on June 28, 2011. Retrieved September 28, 2023, from For most of its long history, the Bible was copied by hand. How easy was it for a mistake to enter into t… | Christian Bible Studies (

New American Standard Bible 1995 (NASB 1995), copyright 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation.

World English Bible (WEB) by Public Domain. The name “World English Bible” is trademarked.

*The Visual Bible – The Gospel of Matthew is available from and

Bible Gateway Blogger Grid Member #bgbg2 #BibleGateway

Every Friday, I join an online Christian writing community, Five Minute Friday. The one-word prompt this week is copy.

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22 thoughts on “Bottom Line: Pick A Copy And Read It”

  1. I had a mate from Araby
    who gave me a Qu’ran
    with a simple heartfelt plea,
    ‘Friend, read and understand
    that jihad is not holy war
    that justifies mass killing;
    it rather is an open door
    to the Muslim that is willing
    to face the evil in his soul,
    and submit himself to Allah
    that his grace may make us whole
    if he makes the choice to follow
    the path away from hate and sin,
    in jihad ‘gainst what lies within.’

  2. Lisa, this post blessed me. When I saw the word prompt, the same thought came to me – how the scribes hand copied every word. But then I went a different direction. To read your thoughts here, and the photo (!), spoke to my heart. My Open Bible was such a gift years ago as I learned to read and study God’s Word. May we read His Word daily for they all will show us how to copy Him. Blessings!

  3. This is an excellent suggestion: ” When we hand copy the Bible, we are being intentional with our focus which enables us to memorize and recall the verses we hand copy.” Every morning I copy a verse or passage into MS-Word and then mark it up so that I slow down when I read it.

  4. I read my NIV Bible, ask the Holy Spirit to teach and guide me, and write notes in the margines provided. I copy my notes and share them on Facebook and with friends and family. I think these notes are encouraging, inspiring and convicting.

    Terri D FMF # 5

  5. Aren’t we fortunate to have so many options for reading and meditating on God’s words to us. Thank you for the reminders and historical reference. We really have no excuse.
    I’ve never thought about the connection between me wanting to copy Scripture into my journal and the Scribes of old.
    I learned something new!
    Lisa Brittain

  6. I agree. I find that when I hand copy verses, especially if it stands out to me and I want to memorize it, copying seems to me to be an intimate way for me to be more one on one with God.
    Visiting today from G&T

  7. I loved this. Understanding how valuable hand-copying the Bible is to us in our quest to hide God’s Word in our hearts helps us understand why Jesus was so critical of the Scribes and Pharisees. They had so much engagement with the Word but in many cases didn’t let it penetrate their hearts.

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