‘Manuscript discovery’ is an approach to Scripture engagement and Bible study that anyone can lead and pass on. Here is a step-by-step guide to creating your own Bible manuscripts ready for printing.
A. Find your text
- Go to Biblegateway.com. This website makes it easy to remove all add-ons such as verse numbers and headings (this is part of the purpose of manuscript discovery).
- Type in the book you are searching for including chapters, e.g. “Ephesians 1-6”. Note that Biblegateway will only display a limited amount of text at a time, so you may need to perform multiple searches in order to display the whole book.
- Choose the Bible version you prefer. I often use the Contemporary English Version, which is designed for a basic English level and first-time comprehension. For other language options, you may need to try another website such as Bible.com.
- Click ‘page options’ (the cog wheel) and turn everything OFF.
B. Create your Word document
- Select the Bible text by clicking and dragging.
- Copy and paste into a text app such as Memo or TextEdit. This will remove all formatting and give you plain text.
- Copy and paste the plain text into a Word document.
- Set the page size to A4.
- Set all page margins to 3.5cm.
- Set the font to Georgia, size 11.5.
- Set the line spacing to 2.0.
- Optional: Create a header for the book title, and a footer for page numbers. You can also make the first page different: in my example below, a page number does not appear on the first page, and the title does not appear on the following pages.
- Optional: Add line numbers. This can help the group to reference the manuscript, although it potentially detracts from the purpose of manuscript discovery by encouraging us to see the text ‘line by line’.
- Biblegateway has further resources about manuscript discovery as part of their excellent Scripture engagement section.
Photo credit: Raul Petri at Unsplash
Arthur Davis is an Aussie living in Tanzania, writing at meetjesusatuni.com.