Since I’ve started publishing scripture writing plans, I’ve had a few questions about how these plans work. There really isn’t a set method for scripture writing, but I would love to share both what I have done and what others have done to get more engagement with God’s word.
Scripture writing (a.k.a. copying scriptures) is a great way to engage with the Bible because it forces us to slow down and notice each word. Concepts begin to emerge that are sometimes overlooked.
If you miss a day, don’t panic! You can either do the catch up days or simply pick up with the day that you’re on.
Getting Started with Copying the Scriptures
If you’re ready to start copying scriptures, you need the following equipment:
- A Bible (or Bible app or Bible Website)
- A piece of paper (or journal, or index card, or spiral notebook)
- A writing implement (pen, pencil, etc.)
Once you have your tools, locate the numbered day in the plan, look up the passage indicated, and copy the text word for word. Sometimes I add notes that jump out at me and even highlight or make notes in my Bible. You can emphasize repeated words by writing them differently, highlighting, circling, or simply using a different color pen. That is totally optional! For some, this is more of a distraction than a help. Know thyself. Personally, I not only enjoy “dressing it up,” but it helps me look for the repeated or critical words.
Here are some other ways you can copy and/or study:
- Write the passage on an index card and post on the refrigerator, bathroom mirror, or computer screen so you can meditate on the message you copied that day.
- Instead of keeping that index card, you could send it to a friend in need of encouragement!
- After you write out the day’s passage, discuss it with a friend, your children, and/or your spouse.
- Get a daily group text going with some friends and discuss some aspect of that passage that jumped out at you that day.
A Springboard for Study
You might already have a bible reading program you are following, but if you do not, use a scripture writing plan as a springboard for daily bible reading! (My plans are either centered around a chapter, a book of the Bible, or a particular concept.)
One of my friends said that she would look at the day’s verse and then read either the entire chapter or a short section surrounding that verse.
Ask questions of the text. For example, in the scripture writing plan for James, you might ask questions like: “how can we find joy in trials?” or, “what is the difference between belief and faith as highlighted in chapter 2 verses 19 and 20?”
Consider how you would explain the passage to someone else. Write down that explanation in a journal. If you can’t explain the passage. Make a note of what you don’t understand and do some investigating. Read the surrounding context. Dig into a trusted commentary. Ask a friend.
Use them with your Children. You don’t need a fancy devotional book to read the Bible with your kids. Read these verses and discuss them over breakfast or before bed!
Using These Plans with Young Children
All three of my kids copy these during the week as part of our school day (we are homeschoolers). If you have kids in public or private school, you might encourage them to do this before they dive into their homework. You could also sit down with them and work on it together while enjoying a small snack!
If your child is younger or struggles with writing, I suggest breaking the selections down into shorter passages. (You can also purchase paper with larger lines if your child needs it!) When my youngest was seven, I printed verses for him to copy because he often lost his place in the text when he looked down to write. When our printer ran out of toner, I would allow him to look at the YouVersion app on my phone with the passage highlighted so he could see exactly what to copy. When we did that, we would try to also make time to look up the passage in the physical bible so he could practice learning how to look up passages of scripture.
The Bible Gateway website makes it possible to print out passages for your children without manually typing them. Type the passage into the search function on their website, select your version, hit the search icon and it will bring up only the verse(s) you have designated. Select the print icon in the upper right corner and it removes all the ads and sidebars so you can print without using a lot of ink.
I am a firm believer in making positive associations with the scriptures, so if your child dreads writing them down, it may be time to change your approach!
Encourage them to write with a favorite pen. My oldest kid loves those pens that have multiple color options.
Have the artistically inclined make decorative borders around their passages or underline (in color) important words. Obviously, the words are the most important component of scripture writing, but there is nothing wrong with finding creative ways to help them to look forward to the experience!
Here is a scripture writing plan from Proverbs if your child is just getting started! It’s specifically tailored to kids!
My printable version of this plan has both the adult and kid plan on one page: Mar 2019 Scripture Writing Plan.
There are so many ways to engage with God’s word, and technology has made it easier than ever! Take time for His word each day, whether you listen to it, copy it, or read it. We desperately need God’s truth in a world that increasingly seeks to reject truth. It will sustain us and ground us through our happiest days and our loneliest nights.
If you have additional questions about a plan or notice any errors, please contact me, either by commenting below or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more posts about studying the scriptures, check out the links below: