New York man handwrites King James Bible
A New York state man is finishing up his handwritten copy of the King James Bible after four years and 2,400 pages.
Phillip Patterson, 63, began the project after his long-time partner, Mohammed, told him there is a tradition in Islam of writing out the Koran.
"The next day I started researching pens and pencils and paper," he said.
Despite health issues that have sent him to hospital, including Aids and anaemia, he will finish writing the last words at his church this week.
The King James Bible is estimated to be 788,000 words, now all hand copied with a felt-tip pen on watercolour paper by Mr Patterson.
End Quote Phillip Patterson
It expands my mind more and more”
The retired interior designer, who lives in the village of Philmont, says he does not consider himself particularly religious.
But he feels his monkish pursuit has made him more patient, confident and loving.
While he initially toiled for up to 14 hours a day on the project, he now averages six to eight hours a day.
"I hadn't counted on the fact that it would end up being beautiful," said the hard-working scribe. "Or that it would be so exhilarating. And so long."
Mr Patterson - whose partner, Mohammed, died several years ago - says he has discovered something new every day thanks to his project.
"It expands my mind more and more," he said. "Not so I can become more of a religious person, but so that I can become more of a whole person."
He told the Associated Press he especially enjoyed the Book of Ruth, although he did not like the plagues and violence scattered throughout the Bible.
Mr Patterson will finish the final lines of the Book of Revelation during a ceremony at St Peter's Presbyterian Church in Spencertown on 11 May.
His adult daughter will be among guests as he discusses the Bible afterwards with a theologian.
Once the books are bound, the Bible will be given to the church.