Budapest, October 14 (MTI) – A group of 60 pilgrims presented to Pope Francis a five-volume manuscript version of the Bible made by more than 5,000 Hungarians, in Vatican City on Wednesday, Gyorgy Benyik, a bible expert, told MTI.
All pilgrims were involved in the project, he said.
The Pope spent a longer time with the group studying the volumes and was surprised to learn about the number of people involved in copying, Benyik said. He expressed special thanks to Laszlo Kadar for binding the volumes, he added.
Benyik explained earlier that the project goes back to 1983, the year when guests visiting a parish in Soltvadkert, in southern Hungary, began to copy the pages of Matthew’s Gospel by hand.
The first page was prepared by Father Lajos Kemeny and the rest by several theologians, including Cardinal Peter Erdo, today’s leader of the Hungarian Catholic Church.
After several years on the back-burner, the project came to life in 2014 under the auspices of Benyik, a vicar in Catholic parishes in Szeged, in southern Hungary.
It then expanded to include members of the protestant communities in the Szeged area and in the Carpathian Basin, and later on copiers from all walks of life, irrespective of their age, religion, residence, education and profession, Benyik said.
Among the copiers were a constitutional court judge, a teacher, a police officer, an athlete, a theology student, even an inmate.
The five volumes contain the 4,250 copied pages of the Old Testament and the 811 copied pages of the New Testament that together required contributions by as many as 5,061 copiers, Benyik said, noting that each of them undersigned their own page of work.
This is the first time for a manuscript of the Bible to be prepared by so many people in Hungary, he noted.