A Bible written by the hands of 31,173 Americans has finally made it back to the Michigan town where the first verse was inscribed.
The book traveled by motor home through 40 states, growing as thousands of the faithful each added verses, one at a time, according to the Grand Rapids Press. The project was organized by Christian publishing company Zondervan to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the company's New International version of the Bible, which has sold more than 300 million copies.
"It became evident to us that all across this great country, people love the Bible," said Zondervan President Moe Girkins.
Last week, Girkins joined about a dozen people in writing out the Bible's last verses at the company's headquarters in Kent County's Cascade Township near Grand Rapids.
He penned the final verse from the book of Revelation: "The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God's people Amen."
The sacred text was put together painstakingly, as volunteers drove it to 124 cities, covering 22,000 miles in nine months.
"It is encouraging to see so many readers and users of the NIV scattered through the whole country," said Ken Barker, a long time member of the Committee on Bible Translation, the original translators and continuing caretakers of the NIV Bible.
Two original copies will be produced, one offered to the Smithsonian Institution and the second auctioned off with proceeds going to the International Bible Society, the copyright holder of the NIV Bible. The company plans to sell copies of the handwritten Bible beginning in October.