Monday, August 24, 2015

Getting the Facts Right about the Bible

We just started a series entitled, "REVEALED: The Book of God." Everything we believe about God, life (our origins, how we live, and where we are going), how to do church, and everything else comes from the Bible. How do we know it is from God? Who actually wrote it? Who decided what books made the cut? How do we know more (or less) shouldn't be included? Which translation is best? And how do I know how the way I understand it is the right interpretation? We will delve into all these questions and more!

So in the series where we’re talking about a book that claims to be true, it is especially important that what I say about it is true. 
In the message yesterday, I said (among many other facts about the Bible's uniqueness among all other human written documents), “The first book every printed on the printing press was the Bible. Gutenberg, who invented the printing press, first printed the Latin Vulgate—the Latin translation of the Bible.” I’ve heard this little factoid all my adult life, and I confirmed this information from several sources, including Evidence that Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowell (Thomas Nelson, 1992, vol. 1, p.18).
It was brought to my attention this morning that this is not correct! According to Encyclopedia Britannica, the “Gutenberg Bible [is] the first complete book extant in the West and the earliest printed from movable type“ (Article: Gutenberg Bible). Apparently, an earlier form of the printing press was invented in China. 
Again from the Encyclopedia Britannica, “Although movable type, as well as paper, first appeared in China, it was in Europe that printing first became mechanized. The earliest mention of a printing press is in a lawsuit in Strasbourg in 1439 revealing construction of a press for Johannes Gutenberg and his associates.” (Article: Printing Press).
So, as a correction, let me say: 
“The Bible was the first major book printed on a mechanized, movable type press.” 
Thanks to those who brought this to my attention! 

What's much more important is that since the Bible was printed, it has remained the most printed, widely circulated, and translated book in human history. Even more: no book has had a greater influence on the world. And I pray that this influence will increase. 

That's why we're taking a few weeks and instead of STUDYING the Bible, we're going to study ABOUT the Bible. 

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