Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Copying of the Scriptures

In Bible & Life magazine there are five articles on copying the Bible by hand.The movement started among the Protestants but it has spread quickly among Catholics. When one thinks of what is involved in copying the whole Bible by hand we realize it is no easy task. Depending on the  time spent it could  take many years, or for those that are determined to do it within a one year span, a great deal of will power, a certain amount of physical endurance and a love for learning.

Korea's religious history includes Shamanism, Buddhism, Confucianism and within the last 300 years  Christianity--all have influenced the culture.  All helped to make Koreans respectful of religion,  even if they do not have any religion or belief. 

Statistics show Korea to be one of the more atheistic countries of the world, and listed high are those with no religious belief, but the terms used need a lot of explanation. Love of learning and their deep love of nature opens them to the unknown and world of blessings.

The articles show how the copying has brought blessings to the families and to the individual in many different ways. One  parish has required the copying of the Gospel of Mark before  baptism. There are parishes that have given prizes for the completion of the copying. There are many who have copied the Bible not only once but many times. 

Fathers and mothers often give copies of  the books,  to the children as a remembrance of what they think is important in life, and a gift filled with love and meaning, they hope the children will never forget. The copied books become a precious remembrance of their parents.

One article by a priest mentions  the emptiness that some of his parishioners feel after finishing the copying and they return to copying again. Here, the priest mentions that even such a noble task can become unhealthy an addiction, and wants the parishioners not to forget to use their energy also in helping their neighbors.   

Thomas a Kempis the author of the Imitation of Christ is known to have copied the whole Bible four times in his life and the books are still existent. Before the printing press books where precious and expensive but today when we have so many copies of the Bible in every possible language and so easily available, with little expense, it is truly a work of love to spend the time copying the words of Scripture. Would be surprised to hear of other countries with this kind of devotion, by so many,  expressed in this way.

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