N.Y. man writes out entire Bible
By The Associated Press
Published: Monday, May 6, 2013, 8:06 p.m.
PHILMONT, N.Y. — In the beginning, Phillip Patterson decided to copy by hand every word in the Bible.
He wrote of Adam, an ark, locusts, loaves, fishes and the resurrection in his neat, looping cursive. Four years of work begat more than 2,400 pages and left a multitude of pens in its aftermath. Now, as he copies the last words of the last book, Patterson sees all that he has accomplished.
And it is good.
“I hadn't counted on the fact that it would end up being beautiful,” Patterson said. “Or that it would be so exhilarating. And so long.”
Patterson, 63, might seem like an unlikely scribe for the King James version of the Bible. Tall with a hearty laugh, the retired interior designer is not monkish. He goes to church but has never been particularly religious. Health issues — including AIDS and anemia — have sent him to the hospital and slowed the work. He relies on two canes and will lean on walls and furniture to get around his apartment.
But he has always been curious.
Patterson began copying the first five books of the Bible, known as the Pentateuch, in 2007. Work on this “prototype” allowed him to figure out technique, layout and technical details like the type of paper (19-by-13-inch watercolor) and writing instruments (felt-tip pens). He tackled the complete King James Bible in 2009.
The Bible's exact word count depends on who is doing the tallying, but multiple sources put the King James version at about 788,000 words or more. Patterson used to work up to 14 hours a day on the project, though he averages around six to eight hours a day now that his stamina has ebbed. The countless hours of transcription has led him to conclude that the Bible is more sublime than just a bunch of stories from thousands of years ago.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Consensus on how to notify data breach victims lacks
- Scientists: Test West Coast for Fukushima radiation
- Expats renounce citizenship over U.S. tax hassles
- Traffic cameras rejected in Ohio ruling
- Advocacy group tied to Facebook founder targets GOP on immigration
- Massachusetts chemist acted alone in faking test results, report says
- Former National Security Agency contractor Snowden’s leaks to cost billions, take years to fix
- Spyware in government computers ‘has Russian paw prints all over it’
- ‘Holy grail of guitars’ for sale in April auction
- Immigrant detainees on hunger strike
- Obama losing close adviser to end 9 years of service