Four years after he began his project to write out every word of the Bible, Phillip Patterson penned the very last lines Saturday at an upstate New York church.
"Every single curly-q, every single loop, it was all worth it," said Patterson, 63, moments after inking the final two verses of the King James Bible. "I'm really going to miss this writing."
It took Patterson just a few minutes to copy the final lines of the Book of Revelation before a crowd of about 125 people at St. Peter's Presbyterian Church in Spencertown. He ended the ceremony by saying "Amen."
Patterson, of Philmont, began copying the complete King James Bible in his neat, looping handwriting in 2009. He spent two years copying the first five books of the Bible as a prototype before starting fresh. He said he'll spend about another year working on the book's binding and covers before donating the fully completed Bible - more than 2,400 pages - to St. Peter's as a gift.
For now, he said, he'll just have to get used to his new life without holding a Pigma Micron pen every day.
"I'm going to miss the writing, that's what I'm going to miss," he said. "My fingers are fine, no callouses."
Patterson has said he started the project to learn about the Bible, not as a spiritual quest. But he said the project has helped him become more patient, confident and loving.
The project was slowed by his health problems, including AIDS and anemia. The retired interior designer relies on two canes and leans on walls and furniture to get around his apartment near the Massachusetts border.
Paterson worked as much as 14 hours a day on his project.