The Scriptures: Hard copy or electronic form?

Today is not the first time I saw this message in a WhatsApp group, “PLEASE LET’S HELP SAVE THE BIBLE FROM EXTINCTION” and it will probably be not the last. The part that caught my attention is this, “Do you know that Satan is using new technology to remove the holy Bible from the bookshops, bookshelves and churches and Christians and men of God are helping him achieve that without their knowing”? The very idea that Satan is using technology to make the Bible extinct goes to show or rather confirm the old saying that “The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge”.

You see, there are many Christians, who are ignorantly campaigning against the use of technology, especially digital versions (i.e. soft copies) of the Bible on their smartphones. When I was growing up, I know of certain churches who believe that technology is evil, so their members don’t watch television. Ironically, those same people listen to radio. Some even today use the internet but don’t watch TV because they have been told that it’s evil.

Unfortunately, we have too many gullible Christians. But most worryingly is the group of Christians who take everything hook, line and sinker from their preachers, contrary to what we learn from the Bible. In the Book of Acts, we learn that the Jews at Berea were more noble than their counterparts in Thessalonica because “they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so”, (Acts 17:11).

Now, back to the issue of the WhatsApp message. I will be blunt and say it. Such messages expose the ignorance of the authors. The word Bible is the Latin word Biblia, which means collection of sacred books: Old Testament and New Testament. The obsolete meaning of the word is books. In fact, the word Bible did not exist in the Old Testament times. In the Old Testament times, sacred writings are referred to as Scriptures and it is even the case in Jesus’ time and today. Jesus, Paul, Peter and James all referred to the sacred writings as Scriptures so in their days, there was nothing like the term “Bible”, (Matthew 21:42, John 5:39, Acts 8:32, Romans 4:3, James 2:23, 2 Peter 1:20 are just a few examples). What we call today the Bible is due to technology. The first instance of the words of God being written anywhere was on tablets of stones when Moses received the Ten Commandments, (Exodus 31:18). Other commandments, laws and statutes given by the Holy God of Israel were written on scrolls by the prophets and priests. So, the scriptures or the written word of God has been in the form of scrolls until the technology of paper was invented and we have the Bible. According to the Meriam-Webster dictionary, the first known use of the word Bible was in the 13th century – more than 1200 years after the Death of Christ.

Now, the scrolls are not portable, and I believe it is God who was in propagating His word when paper technology was developed and His word became common, because without that, you and I wouldn’t have the current Bible we have today. In fact, the first versions of the Bible were big and very expensive but when technology evolved, we have been blessed to have small Bibles which contain the written word of God. And now, the same technology has evolved, and we now have our Bibles in electronic form. So, you can see that ignorance is the only reason why someone will be against the use of soft copies or digital versions of the Bible.  So, you will notice that people who make this argument think that technology only refers to smartphones; not knowing that the invention of paper was considered a technological breakthrough at the time. We should be celebrating the fact that God’s word is easily reaching people through electronic means instead of attributing it to Satan.

To bring this post to a close, technology is here to stay and let no one tell you that you are making the Bible extinct because you are using electronic version. Don’t become part of people who turn the Bible into idol worship. It is not the hard copy of the Bible, which is what we are interested in, but rather the CONTENT, which is the written word of God. And it doesn’t matter whichever form it is in. To believe that the devil is behind Bible software is a BIG lie from hell. God is interested in your heart and obedience of His Word irrespective of the format His Word is in.

Thank you.

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