Rewriting The Bible One Verse, One Mile At A Time

Long ago, it was considered revolutionary to have a copy of the Bible written in the common language of the people. The world's leading Bible publisher is taking that idea further. Representatives of the publisher are travelling across the country in a big bus, inviting people to help write a new edition of the Bible, one verse at a time.

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LINDA WERTHEIMER, host:

If just reading the Bible isn't enough, you now have a unique opportunity to actually write the Bible, in longhand. NPR's Lynn Neary reports.

NEARY: Representatives of Zondervan, the world's leading Bible publisher, are traveling around the country on a big bus, inviting Americans to handwrite a new edition of the Bible, one verse at a time. "Bible Across America" as the tour is called, is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the new international version of the Bible. The NIV is the most popular Bible in America, and has sold 300 million copies around the world. Zondervan spokesman Brian Burch says more than 30,000 Americans are expected to take part in the event.

Mr. BRIAN BURCH (Spokesman, Zondervan): Everyone from five years old to 90 years old, and really the criteria is anyone who can write clearly and legibly, is invited to participate.

NEARY: Of course, writing legibly is no small feat for a lot of people, but Burch says so far, they haven't had to turn away anyone for bad handwriting.

Mr. BURCH: We're encouraging people to print, but for the most part, people have been taking this very seriously and being very deliberate with their handwriting, so that it is legible - so others can read it.

NEARY: The Bible Bus will stopping at churches and Christian bookstores in 90 cities around the country. After the New Year, they'll be heading west from New Orleans to Texas. They'll be on the road till March. Lynn Neary, NPR News, Washington.

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