Bible Handwriting Exercise Deepens Trust in God

February 19, 2020 | Church | Jared Spano

Betty Phillips, an 86-year-old Pasco Riverview Church member, recently completed a seven-year project of writing the Bible. For some time, Phillips had been exploring different methods of Bible study in order to find a pattern that would make her daily devotions most meaningful. Phillips had read in the Adventist Review of an individual who had written the entire Bible over the course of three years.

“I am the type of person that can read a chapter of the Bible and then not remember much of what I read,” says Phillips. “So, I decided to start writing the verses as I read them. I began on March 15, 2012, and completed writing the entire Bible on April 11, 2019.”

Phillips showed her collection of 18 notebooks to the Pasco Riverview Church on Dec. 28, 2019. Speaking about her devotional practices, Phillips says, “This exercise has completely changed my life. By looking up references in the margins of my Bible and by writing each verse in my notebook I have gained a much deeper insight into the character of God. I have come to trust Him completely and to accept His promises as being made to me.”

She continues, “It is amazing how God’s Word guides us in our daily life. In June 2018 I was hospitalized with pneumonia, kidney failure and congestive heart failure. My health was deteriorating. For about a month I was too sick to copy the Bible. Shortly after I resumed the copying, I came to where God told Hezekiah to get his house in order. Immediately I started sorting through my own things and wondering how much longer I had to live.

“Then one day I came upon Isaiah 41:10: ‘Fear not, for I am with you, be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ Immediately the most wonderful feeling came over me, peace and trust, and all of a sudden it didn’t matter anymore. I am in God's hand, and I just trust His leading. How long I live is entirely up to Him.”

“I have started writing the Bible again. This time I am following a chronological study Bible. I read a passage, then read the Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary and Ellen G. White comments on the passage. And then I copy the verses into my notebook. It is difficult for me to memorize word for word. But I know the theme of many verses, and when I am really concerned about something I select a Bible promise — Phil. 4:8 is a favorite — and reflect on it until peace and trust return.”