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In May 2020, during the Covid-19 pandemic, the French Bible Alliance (ABF) launched the collaborative project of a handwritten Bible, inviting anyone who wanted to take part to copy or illustrate a chapter of the New Testament or a Psalm.

The idea came from a pastor in German-speaking Switzerland. When the city of Sankt Gallen, in the north-east of the country, was forced into lockdown in March 2020, he suggested that the members of his church choose a Bible text and copy it out. The project spread by word of mouth.

After discovering the story in the press, the ABF adapted it to the French-speaking world.

Hundreds participate in a handwritten Bible in France

The French Bible Alliance team receiving the work of the copyists. / Bible Manuscrite

Since then, the original copy of the Manuscript Bible has been exhibited in over twenty locations in France, and the ABF expects that “it will continue to be on display at exhibitions, media libraries, during Bible month, at inter-church gatherings and so on”.

Furthermore, the evangelical entity decided to make the three leather-bound volumes of of the Manuscript Bible available free of charge.

Hundreds participate in a handwritten Bible in France

Psalm 25 in the Manuscript Bible. / Bible manuscrite

Anonymous individuals and public figures
Over 450 people have taken part in the project, ranging from anonymous individuals to public figures such as footballer Olivier Giroud, the president of the French Senate Gérard Larcher, and doctor Denis Mukwege, winner of the Noble Peace Prize in 2018 and presidential candidate in DR Congo.

“The result is a work that is both collaborative and unique, touching, interdenominational and intergenerational. An artistic work of great diversity, and a living testimony that shows that the Bible is timeless”, the promoters say.

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Date published: 11/11/2023
Feature image: A page of the Manuscript Bible in France. / Bible manuscrite

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