Wednesday, January 01, 2014

The Gutenberg Galaxy

Unavoidably, Western Christians view the issue of inspiration from the cognitive environment of print culture. We are dyed-in-the-wool inhabitants of the Gutenberg Galaxy. We like the idea of a bed of letters that can produce the exact same page of text every time a piece of paper is pressed upon it. We like to think that scribes could make copies with almost the same exactitude as mechanical printing. An inadvertent slip here or there might be acceptable, but any more than that we think correctors should have fixed (or God should have prevented).

Steeped in print culture, much of what we think about biblical revelation is dependent on being able to refer to the written words on the pages of Scripture…we need to be able to look up exactly what the text says.—The Lost World of Scripture, page 179

<idle musing>
And what is the role of the Holy Spirit in all of this? Seems like we've reduced him/her/it to playing second (or third) fiddle to the written text. Not that oral culture can't be just as guilty of that, but the written text is fixed and can be referred to at any moment, which causes a penchant towards deifying the text at the expense of the Holy Spirit.
</idle musing>

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