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The Gospel According to 31,173 Americans

A hand-written Bible traveled 22,000 miles across 124 cities in 40 states.

Nearly nine months after it hit the road, Zondervan's hand-written Bible Across America came home Wednesday bearing Scripture verses inscribed by 31,173 people.

Among them: a little girl who guided her blind sister's hand; a father who flew from Baltimore to Los Angeles to write in it with his son; and Antoinette and Jim Barry, a couple from Palos Heights, Ill., where church leaders 44 years ago conceived of the New International Version Bible.

The Barrys' daughter, Maureen "Moe" Girkins, is president of Zondervan, the mega Christian publishing house. Last year, she inscribed the first verse ("In the beginning ...") from Genesis 1:1, and on Wednesday penned the final verse from Revelation 22:21: "The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God's people. Amen."

"It was just really impactful to them to know their daughter was involved in something like this, and they got to participate," Girkins said afterward, wiping away tears.

It was one of many powerful moments along the Bible's 22,000-mile journey ...

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