Chinese Church Voices

Copying the Bible by Hand

Chinese Church Voices is a weekly column of the ChinaSource Blog providing translations of original writing by Christians in China. The views represented are entirely those of the original author; inclusion in Chinese Church Voices does not imply or equal an endorsement by ChinaSource.


Over the years, many stories have come out of China about believers who, having no access to the printed Word, painstakingly write out the Scriptures by hand. The 21st century has put a new spin on that practice—copying out the Bible by hand not because of its unavailability but in order to break an addiction to online games! This story, from the Gospel Times, tells of a man in China who has decided to write out by hand a chapter per day.

A Chinese Christian named Li Yinming has initiated a campaign to write out the entire Bible by hand within three years. More than 60 people online have signed up to join him.

The campaign began with his own story. On December 11, 2015, Li Yinming fasted to consider making changes to his work and life. During the time of fasting and prayer he realized it was not good to be addicted to smartphone games anymore. Then Li thought of an idea, copying the Bible by hand in order to be a positive influence on his children.

In the beginning Li copied several chapters per day. But later he realized that was too much; instead he copied one chapter per day.   He even publishes his daily status on WeChat so that his friends can keep track of his progress.

There are more than a thousand chapters in the Bible, so Mr. Li says it will take three years to complete if he copies one chapter per day. When his daughter, who is now 15 years old, turns 18  he will give her the complete, hand-written Bible as a birthday present.

He says that besides helping him get rid of the bad habit of playing games, copying the Bible helps him to understand God's word more deeply, which is more important. His wife supports him and his two daughters are participating in the campaign as well. .

His persistence has attracted more than 60 Christians from Hebei, Shenzhen, Hong Kong, and even foreign countries to join the campaign. He established a group on WeChat where members upload their copied works and sign in every day. The members who stick with it will be rewarded with Christian accessories.

In addition to the WeChat group members, Li estimates that there are around four or five hundred Christians not in the group chat who are hand copying the Scripture every day.

大连李银明弟兄坚持每天手抄圣经-计划三年抄完一遍圣经 (Gospel Times)
English translation: Man to Write Out Whole Bible in Three Years to Get Rid of Online Games (China Christian Daily)
Adapted and reposted with permission.

Image credit: Joann Pittman, via Flickr.
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