Budapest, October 8 (MTI) – A manuscript version of the Bible made by Hungarian people from all walks of life in five volumes will be presented by pilgrims to Pope Francis next week, a biblical expert said on Thursday.
The project has its roots in 1983, the year guests visiting a parish in Soltvadkert, in southern Hungary, began to copy the pages of Matthew’s Gospel by hand, Gyorgy Benyik told MTI.
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 that a manuscript version of the Bible has been prepared by this record number of people in Hungary. The volumes will be presented by a group of 40 pilgrims to the Pope at his regular audience on October 14, said Benyik.