New York man Phillip Patterson embarked on a unique journey over four years ago—a journey to handwrite the entire King James Bible. Now, 2,400 pages and more than 1,460 days later, he’s preparing to bring his journey to an end. He will print the final words of the bible this week during church.
Patterson isn’t a particularly religious person, but he has found patience, confidence and love from his pursuit. Before his death, his long-time partner, Mohammed, told him that there is an Islamic tradition of writing out the Koran by hand.
Using a felt-tip pen and watercolor paper, Patterson is nearly finished with the 788,000-word scribing project. He said he spends an average of six to eight hours per day working on it, though in the beginning he wrote for up to fourteen hours each day.
“I hadn’t counted on the fact that it would end up being beautiful,” he said. “Or that it would be so exhilarating. And so long.” But the task has taught him many things throughout the past four years.
“It expands my mind more and more,” said Patterson. “Not so I can become more of a religious person, but so that I can become more of a whole person.”
Patterson has had long stays in the hospital due to health issues like AIDS and anemia, but throughout it all he has persevered and pushed onward. Once he puts the final words to pen and paper, he plans to donate the bound book to his church.