Monday, June 25, 2007

No, he didn't write it...he just transcribed it

A good way to memorize things is to write them down. For some reason, the act of writing helps you retain the knowledge in your memory.

Tell that to Vernon Henson. As indychristian notes, Henson wrote down the entire Bible:

He was a recruit in the Army when the work began. A new Christian, Henson had been warned away from dancing and movies, so when the rest of the soldiers went out on the weekends, young Vernon stayed put, pen in hand, learning what he could from the Bible....

He carefully copied, reading passages over and over to make sure he got things right. Soon he found he was memorizing whole sections.

He started with the New Testament, beginning with the Gospel of Matthew, then Mark, then Luke. Then he came to the Gospel of John.

"I cried several times when I was copying it," he said, still choking up at the memory.

In 1964, 11 years after he started, he finished the entire New Testament, as well as Psalms and Proverbs from the Old Testament. He began to wonder what to do with the sheaves of paper when a friend suggested having it bound.

It cost him $4.50 to have the first black hardback book made.

His friend convinced him to just include the New Testament and save the rest for when he completed the Old Testament.

"He said, 'You'll finish it someday,'" Henson recalled.

Nearly 30 years later, he did.

Henson found that this helped him to retain the material. This impressed some people, while others took it for granted.

He was helping with a Bible quiz program when he overheard two women talking about King David's son Absalom. They both agreed that Absolom was killed by hanging from a tree when his hair became entangled.

Henson, unable to let the misinformation go, told them that, actually, Joab killed Absalom with three javelins while he was hanging in the tree.

One woman ran to the Bible to check out the story. When she discovered that Henson was correct, she said she was impressed.

The other woman wasn't surprised, exclaiming: "Well, Vernon wrote it. He ought to know!"


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