Episcopal  Commission  on  the  Biblical  Apostolate 

Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines

Handwritten ‘Unity’ Bible Project


May They Be One Bible Campaign

Handwritten ‘Unity’ Bible Project


  • A historic, first-of-its kind in the Philippines, ecumenical and multi-sectoral two-year undertaking (2010-2012) that will bring together Filipinos nationwide to celebrate God’s Word as a concrete expression of Christian unity.
  • A response to the dream and prayer of the Lord Jesus in John 17.21
  • Another partnership between ECBA, PBS and other Christian Churches in support of May They Be One Bible Campaign

Why write a Bible by Hand?

  • Respond to the XII Synod of Bishops in Oct. 2008 and the (forthcoming) Apostolic Exhortation of Pope Benedict XVI
  • Create Bible awareness and foster love for God’s Word among various sectors in the country
  • Unite Filipinos in a Bayanihan effort with other Christian groups toward national transformation thru God’s Word
  • Help in raising funds for the May They Be One Bible Campaign


Who can Participate?

  • It will involve Catholics and Protestants with representative writers coming from all regions and provinces
  • Participants will come from different sectors: churches, urban/rural poor, OFWs, youth, farmers, government offices – Malacanang, Senate, Congress, schools, indigenous people, fisherfolks, urban poor etc.
  • Specific organizations will be invited to send representatives to Handwriting Project.
  • Writers’ will write a total of 35,656 verses from 78 books of the Bible (with Deuterocanonical books)
  • His Holiness Benedict XVI will be requested to write Genesis 1.1 and Revelations 22.21. The Bishops who will attend the Ad Limina Meeting in Rome are requested to bring pages for the Pope to write.
  • Roman Catholic and Protestant Bishops will complete Genesis 1 and Revelations 22.
  • Each writer will write the verse in English and in his/her heart language.
  • Each writer will be asked to give a minimum of P50/verse and raise at least P3.565million for the May They Be One Bible Campaign Production Fund.  Those who can afford to give more than P50 will be encouraged to give more  – to cover for those who have nothing or can only give a few pesos. 
  • Parish/Church will be encouraged to invite poor parishioners or non-parishioners interested in the Bible 
  • Parish/Church will provide Bible formation to the writers – i.e. if their Parish/Church is assigned to write the Gospel of John, they should have time for Bible study/exposition of the passages they will be ‘handwriting.’  They will also take time to practice ‘handwriting’ their assigned verses, to prevent/minimize erasures.
  • The elderly or ill who are unable to leave the house but can take part in the writing.  This will require a team who are happy to make house visits.


The Handwritten Bible

  • Bible will have two-column page: English on the left column – and the eight Phil. languages on the right.
  • Passages to be ‘handwritten’ will be copied from published Bibles and New Testaments – English (Today’s English Version/Good News Bible) while different Philippines languages will be based on PBS’ Popular Versions or NT books published by Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL) and Translators Association of the Philippines (TAP).
  • Ruled paper will be used. Letter size – Letter (8 1/2 X 11 inches). Only one side will be used.  Special marker will be used.
  • ‘Handwritten’ Bible will include ‘interspersed Deuterocanonical books.
  • Scripture verses will be indicated in the paper. Writers will take time to practice writing their assigned verses, to avoid erasures/mistakes. In the event of erasures, erasure ink will be provided.

Writing Stations

  • Writers will have to register in designated writing stations located all over the country.  List will be released soon.
  • Registration Forms are completed to serve as accurate record for everyone who takes part and for indexing the handwritten pages when ready for binding.
  • Writing stations will be located in CBCP, Diocesan offices, selected parishes and churches, schools, library, shopping malls/centers, Malacanang, Senate, Congress, and other public areas.  A list of designated writing stations will be made available to the public through radio and newspapers.
  • A writing station will be allocated a book (or several chapters of a book).
  • A Project Volunteer will supervise a writing station.
  • A Writing Station must:
  • have a  ‘Reception Area’ where people can be welcomed and registered
  • be quiet and reflective for people as they write their verses
  • have tables and chairs ensuring there is enough space and light for each person to write comfortably (depending on age and ability, some individuals will need help)
  • have a small exhibition of Scripture resources
  • have an area away from the Writing Stations where some light refreshments will be provided  so that the people who are writing will not be distracted.

Preserving our Handwritten Bible

  • The Handwritten Bible will be beautifully bound so that the work of over 35,000 people will be preserved for many generations. 
  • The original will be placed at the Philippine Bible Society Bible Museum.
  • Copies can be printed for sale.

Project Timeline

  • Jan. 2011 – Start of the Handwriting Project. There will be simultaneous launch in key cities in Northern    Luzon,  Visayas and Mindanao.
  • Feb. 2011 –  Aug. 2012 – Handwriting of the Bible across the Philippines (with radio-TV-print media coverage of progress of the Project)
  • Sept. 30, 2012 – Celebration of the completion of the Bible.


We are inviting churches, schools, organizations and groups interested in values transformation and Bible advocacy to participate. Our aim is to create at least one complete Handwritten “Unity” Bible, copied by tens of thousands of people.


In this way, we hope that people of all ages and backgrounds will more readily appreciate the special gift that is ours in the Scriptures.





The WORD OF GOD who has called us all today WELCOMES YOU ALL!

Yes, dear brothers and sisters in Christ, you who have come here, have been called by the LIVING WORD who touches all men of good will!  Blessed be the Lord!  Amen!

Today as we celebrate the 2nd anniversary of our MAY THEY BE ONE BIBLE (MTBO), we renew our commitment to LOVE more and to PROMOTE more the written Word.  We call and challenge all who desire that all of us who believe in Jesus Christ may work for Christian Unity and the social transformation of our beloved country based on the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

On this 2nd year of our MTBO Bible Campaign we embark on a historic project, THE HAND WRITTEN UNITY BIBLE, to further our love and commitment to the Word that unites peoples and the Word that calls us to make our society more truly Christian.  Through this project we shall invite different groups and sectors of our Philippine society to become one in producing a Bible written by hand, in our Philippine languages and in English.  We hope and pray that this hand written Bible may make us appreciate all the more our Christian heritage and impel us to make our people be more drawn to the Bible.

To date we have distributed a total of 240,343 bibles of our targeted 5 million bibles in 5 years.  About 854 parishes and communities in 76 Archdioceses and Dioceses all over the country have joined us in our MTBO bible campaign.  Through this HUB that we now launch we hope and pray that more bible animators and promoters may work harder for the distribution of more bible, especially for our poor brothers and sisters in Christ.

It is our belief that through this HUB we may become a covenanted people, a people who make the Word of God the basis and foundation of life!

All ye who love the Word of God,  all ye who wish to bring a social and Christian transformation our country, all ye who wish to make the prayer of Jesus “MAY THEY BE ONE, FATHER, AS WE ARE ONE!” WELCOME! 

Most Rev. Renato P. Mayugba, DD

Auxiliary Bishop of Lingayen-Dagupan

Vice Chairman - ECBA

September 30, 2010