Biblically Rooted

Years ago, friends serving with the IMB had little access to Bibles in the heart language and no access to discipleship materials in their assigned country. They adopted a strategy to lead people to study God’s Word by simply copying it. A pastor’s wife in Illinois embraced the model and even teaches conferences on the concept.

I am grieved there are people with no access to the gospel. I live in a home with at least 20 copies of Scripture. My husband and I have hundreds of Bible study books and commentaries. It never occurred to me to study Scripture by writing it word for word. Yet when a cherished friend posted on social media that she had just finished writing Matthew and encouraged others to copy God’s Word, I took notice. I read with interest comments posted to her page. One person said it helps her slow down and digest the Word in a different way. Another said she has filled notebooks, and it helps her remember.

I decided to give it a try by writing out Philippians. Yes, I am well aware it is one of the shorter books of the Bible. I wanted to make sure I could succeed. The practice helped me focus on each and every word of text and engage Scripture at a whole new level. It also aided in comprehension and retention.

Did you know God commanded Israel’s kings to hand copy the law taken from Levitical priests? Check out Deuteronomy 17:18–20. The king was to write out God’s Word himself and read it daily. He was to revere God and not stray to the left or right. Also, he was not to think of himself better than his fellow Israelites. The discipline was not an act of piety but of humility.

One of our motives for making disciples of Jesus who live on mission is being biblically rooted. Scripture guides us in knowing God, His ways, His character, His mission, His redemptive acts, and His purpose for the Church.

As you contemplate disciplines to delve deeper into the Bible, consider copying Scripture by hand. It will help you hide His Word in your heart.


Your Word really is a lamp unto our feet and a light for our path. The truth of Your Word has the power to transform our behavior if we will humble ourselves and submit to its authority. Teach me. Align my heart with Yours. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


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