Four Benefits of Scripture Writing

Sunday, July 24, 2016

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The day after Christmas I made a crazy commitment. I decided I would write out the entire book of Psalms. As I write this post, I am nearing the end of my journey through this massive book. {Actually, by the time this publishes, I will be done!} I have to say this simple discipline of hand copying the Scriptures has totally changed my perspective on the value of pulling out a pen and journal, opening up a Bible, and then writing. Here's a look at the unexpected benefits...

  • Handwriting forces you to slow down. I have to admit I am a speed reader and tend to skip over information from time to time as I read. When you hand copy a passage you don't get that option. You must slow down which makes you focus on what you are writing. You can read something and quickly forget it, but when you write it out you are more likely to remember it.

  • Writing out His word makes you see the details. I have seen so many details in the Psalms that I have simply missed when I read through the book. For example, about halfway through I realized that I could recognize a psalm written by David without actually looking at who wrote it. His topics are distinctive as well as his style. I would never have been able to pick up on the subtleties without writing all the psalms out.

  • Writing Scripture helps you interact with His Word. As I wrote, verses, words, and concepts would jump out at me. If they did, I would take the time to highlight those verses in my journaling Bible and journal about them. Certain passage became priceless to Psalm 27 (simply because my life relates to so much of what is written in that particular psalm). I don't normally have that type of experience when I just read.

  • Hand copying His Word keeps you devoted to Him. Believe it or not, there is actually verses about this concept in Deuteronomy! It keeps us focused on God. "And when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, he shall write for himself in a book a copy of this law, approved by the Levitical priests. And it shall be with him, and he shall read in it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the Lord his God by keeping all the words of this law and these statutes, and doing them, that his heart may not be lifted up above his brothers, and that he may not turn aside from the commandment, either to the right hand or to the left..." Deut. 17:18-20

So what are you waiting for? See below for some tips to get started writing His Word.

Tips for Copying Scripture:
  • Buy a journal. Having all your copying in one little book keeps things organized. I love 
  • these journals because they lay flat! Easier to write in. If you want a smaller notebook, Moleskine cahiers are nice.
  • Be consistent. Even if you don't write out a bunch of verses, it is wise to make a habit of doing a little each day.
  • Re-read after you write. I make myself read what I have written for the day. If I am in the middle of the chapter I will start at the beginning of it and read up to what I have written. Or when I finish a chapter I will go back and read all the verses from it. It helps give a big picture to what I just wrote down.
  • Don't stress it. This isn't about getting quickly to the end of the chapter or book. At least that is what I tell myself all the time. (Remember, I am the one that likes to race through tasks.) It is about letting God's Word soak into your soul. Slow down. Take your time.


Lorena said...

Love the idea. Any sort of schedule you could recommend? Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this I was going to stop writing out the scriptures starting in August because I didn't think it mattered after reading this I'm going to continue to write them out you made good points

Debbie P said...

Lorena- I do a monthly schedule of Scripture writing on my blog. It is called Think on These Things. You can go to the tab at the top of my blog to find them. They are based on a topic each month. However, if you want to write through a book of the Bible go to to find schedule for certain books of the Bible.

Debbie P said...

Anonymous- So glad you are continuing to write!!!!

Kathleen in MT said...

I see you do verse mapping. Do you do it in the same journal as your scripture writing or in a separate journal?

Debbie P said...

Kathleen- I do my scripture writing and verse mapping in the same journal. :-)

Anonymous said...

Do you have suggestions for other journals that may work for this? I love this and want to get started right away. Do you find that you have to use multiple journals for certain books? And if you finish a book but still have journaling space left, do you start with the next book in the same journal? Or move on to a new one?

Debbie P said...

I think any journal will work as long as you are comfortable with it. I love the Studio Oh! Deconstructed journals because they lay flat and have lots of pages (it took two of these journals to write out the Psalms). For smaller books I can put two and sometimes several books in one journal (depending on the size of the journal).