Writing out Scripture has been a part of my devotional life for a few years now. I was introduced to it through Heidi St. John’s ministry and really enjoyed it. One year I started highlighting each of the passages we copied out so I could see what part of the Bible I had written out. I love opening my Bible and seeing that green colour throughout it’s pages.
I remember hearing about a pastor’s wife who literally wrote out the entire Bible in notebooks and had them all labeled on her bookshelves. Ever since then I’ve had a desire to do the same. Not as a status symbol, but as a symbol of my commitment to the Lord and the words that He has given us.
There is something about writing down words with a pen and paper that has proven to help with our understanding of what is being said. MedicalDaily.com states: “…it seems those who type their notes may potentially be at risk for “mindless processing.” The old fashioned note taking method of pen and paper boosts memory and the ability to understand concepts and facts.”
Researchers have found that “writing letters activated more regions of the brain than typing letters.” (James, K. H., & Engelhardt, L. (2012). The effects of handwriting experience on functional brain development in pre-literate children. Trends in Neuroscience and Education, 1(1), 32–42.)
The very act of writing out Scripture can help us retain more than just reading, or even typing them out. And, according to some research, it can help us to retain the important stuff, not just random things (Lifehack.org).
It seems the Lord understood this concept thousands of years before researchers figured it out. Deuteronomy gave us this principle in relation to the kings of Israel. Long before the nation even asked for a king, God knew that they would desire one and He instituted rules to govern that king’s rule. One of those rules was that he would write out an entire copy of the law (which today we recognize as Genesis to Deuteronomy). The Bible says that that copy was to stay with him and was to be read over and over all the days of his life.
Deuteronomy 17:19, 20 gives us the reason for them to do this:
“….that he may learn to fear the LORD his GOD, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them: That his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left: to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he, and his children, in the midst of Israel.”
While we recognize that the Books of the Law were written for God’s chosen people specifically, I think the principle of writing out Scripture is one that we can all learn from. Whether we take the time during our life to write out the entire Bible, or just parts of it, the principles remain the same:
- Learn to fear the Lord
- Understand God’s commands so we can honour them
- Recognize our own sinful nature so that our hearts do not become prideful
- Stand firm so we aren’t easily swayed (tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine)
- Teach our children so they also stand firm in the Lord.
Psalm 119:15 says, “I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways.” By taking the time to write out Scripture, the words that the Lord has given us, we will increase our understanding of His words to us. In short, there is a great possibility we will remember more of the Bible when we write it out, it will be easier to meditate on, and it will be easier to memorize. (Psalm 119:11)
We can do this with our kids as well, building on our theme of teaching them to love and honour the Lord. Imagine if we started them when they were able to write and copy by having them write out one verse every single day. How many verses would they have copied out by the time they become adults? How much of the Bible would they have placed in their hearts?
Maybe it’s time for us to write God’s Word on our hearts! <3