British Prime Minister David Cameron wrote out two of his favorite verses from Philippians as his contribution to an upcoming “People’s Bible,” handwritten from Genesis to Revelations by about 20,000 people, to mark the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible.
“The King James Bible is a book that has not just shaped our own country, but shaped the world,” The Guardian quoted Cameron as saying after he wrote his verses at Downing Street.
“While it is important to understanding our past, it will continue to have a profound impact in shaping our collective future, so to be able to join others in contributing to an online edition that will be easily accessible for all time is very special indeed,” added the 45-year-old leader of the Conservative Party.
Cameron wrote Philippians 4:8 and 9: “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.”
The reason the prime minister chose those verses is “because he’s always liked them,” a Downing Street spokesman said. “They contain the central message of the Bible about leading good lives and helping each other as best we can. There is no hidden meaning and I wouldn't read between the lines.”
There is little known about Cameron’s faith. However, in an interview with London Evening Standard in November 2009, he spoke about his relationship with God. “I’ve a sort of fairly classic Church of England faith, a faith that grows hotter and colder by moments but... I suppose I sort of started life believing that one’s individual faith was important, but actually the institutions of the church were less important,” he said.
“I was a good, skeptical, questioning Christian when I was younger. I liked to think it through, thinking am I really sure about this?” he added. “But I don’t feel I have a direct line [to God]. I think that it’s perfectly possible to live a good life without having faith, by which I mean a positive and altruistic life, but I think the teachings of Jesus just as the teachings of other religions are a good guide to help us through.”
“The People’s Bible” tour, of which Cameron is now a contributor, is a roving project aimed at reconnecting the people with the Bible. It’s a joint venture between the Bible Society in England and Wales and the Scottish Bible Society. It began at Edinburgh Castle on June 19 and will end at Westminster Abbey on Nov. 16.
Many other celebrities have contributed to the project. The Prince of Wales, who is first in line to the British Throne, has written Genesis 1:1 and 2. BBC host Sally Magnusson chose to write Genesis 1:3 and 4. Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams has penned 2 Corinthians 12:9 and 10.
Volunteers at “The People’s Bible” arrive at a town or city with a big ScribePod containing individual scribe stations. People read their verses displayed on an iPad and write them on to digital paper. The verses then go straight on to the project’s website. Contributors are also allowed to add a comment or signature along with their names and other personal details.
The completed hand-written edition of the Bible will be presented to the Queen, according to BBC.