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Thoughts On The Bible Without Print Publishing
On March 2012, Encyclopaedia Britannica announced that they’ll cease their print publication after 244 years of publication. They’ll go all-digital.
On October 2012, Newsweek also announced that they’ll end their 80 years of print magazines in the U.S., and move towards an all-digital format.
These turn of events made me wonder: Will there ever come a time when the Bible will also go out of print?
Ever since the first mechanical printing press was functional, the first major book project to be printed was the Bible - the Gutenberg Bible.
As of this writing, the whole Bible has been translated and printed into over 450 languages, and some sections of the Bible have been translated into over 2,000 languages. This makes the Bible the best-selling book of all time.
Some would ask: Will the loss of a printed Bible also lose its power? This question may have come from a perspective of how one spends time with God during devotions or quiet time. The answer is no.
The mysterious writer of the Book of Hebrews spoke through the Holy Spirit:
For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.(Heb 4:12 NIV)
It has a life of its own, but only when it’s being read and verbalized. The Bible was not meant to be stored in book form or in digital format just for the purpose of collecting it, but to be read and expressed.
An eternal instruction was given before:
Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. (Josh 1:8 NIV)
Therefore, there is nothing to be worried about. In whatever form the Bible may be, as long as it can be read and is lived by, everything will be just fine.
For there is only one thing sure in this world concerning printed material:
I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. (Mat 5:18 NIV)
Will the Bible go out of print? Maybe. But what’s important is that we accomplish it.
Unlike encyclopedias and news magazines, which are only available for regular income-earners, the Bible may continue to be printed in First World countries to only be made free and available to under-developed nations - the very people we go to for missions.
And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. (Mat 24:14 NIV)
Then The End will come.