Once upon a time, ancient scribes set the sacred words down on papyrus, followed a few centuries later by monks in dimly lit scriptoria putting ink and gold leaf on richly illuminated pages of vellum. Then came the revolution of Gutenberg’s printed books and finally the digital age dawned, giving us the Bible in myriad forms, from searchable online versions to verses that we have texted daily to our smartphones.
This narrative has also typically been imbued with a clear moral: the Word, once captive to economic, technological, and cultural limits that enabled a small elite to hoard and control it, eventually succumbed to democratizing forces that enabled scripture to become the prized possession of every individual believer.
Needless to say, it’s hard to argue with a tale of liberation from oppression. Who’s going to pick the empire over the rebels? [Read more...]