Many people don't understand the power of the printed page. However, in the history of human beings, we find that man loves to write things down. And throughout the history of man, we find that often, a man's writings have started profound movements which have turned the course of human history. Let's just look at a few of them.
Of all the books in the world, the oldest is of course the Bible, which contains the book of Job, which lays claim on the oldest book in the world. But the first five books of the Bible are those written by Moses himself, a man who God called out of his life of nobility to lead his people Israel to freedom. Moses wrote these books, which today are called "The Law" and it set up a system of worship, law, and customs of the Jewish People. Quite possibly no other book in the world had as much influence as the first five books of Moses. In these books, the Jews find their history, their faith, and their means of redemption. It was through a blood sacrifice of an animal as demanded by the law. Thankfully, God later gave us the New Testament, and salvation is no longer through man's shedding of blood, rather through faith in the shed blood of Jesus Christ, the LAMB OF GOD!
These books are still studied, believed, and followed by Jews today some 3500 years after they were written, and are the foundational books of the Jewish religion.
We also find modern law coming from these books, and the ten commandments which do well to show us what makes a moral society.
This book was written by Mohammed, who claims to be a prophet of Allah, and who claims he was instructed to write down some things. He writes about supposed visions he saw, as well as giving rules for his followers, which today call themselves Muslims. They are followers of a religion they call "Islam," which means "submission." In Islam, a person must submit to the Koran and its teachings. And the ultimate goal of Islam is to bring the whole world under submission to the Islamic faith.
The Koran has become the most important book for followers of Mohammed, and they use it as their law book, as well as their war book, in waging "jihads" or "holy wars" upon others. Many Muslims believe that if they kill a Christian or a Jew then they will be given many virgens in paradise to spend eternity with. This is their incentive for "murdering" others.
Today, Islam is one of the biggest religions in the world, and it continues growing with its "submit" or "die" mentality. As a book, the Koran, or "Qu'aran" as others spell it. Has had quite an impact on the middle east.
ERASMUS' GREEK/LATIN NEW TESTAMENT
After the invention of the printing press by Johan Gutenberg, the world desired more books, and more learning. And, one of the most sought out books on printing presses in the 1500's was the Greek New Testament of Erasmus, one of the most notable scholars of his day. Erasmus traveled around Europe looking in the world's most eruditious libraries trying to find as many manuscripts of the New Testament that he could find. He collated these together and then made his own Greek/Latin New Testament, beleiving that the texts he chose (the Antioquian line rather than the Alexandrian line) were the closest to the original autographs of the New Testament. Upon his publication of his work, and subsiquent other editions of it (each one getting better than the one before), many scholars in his day bought his work, and many Protestants worked hard at translating it into their own language. This included Spanish, English, Russian, Italian, German, and more.
And through this revival of going back to the scriptures for knowledge, eventually the REFORMATION took place, or the age of enlightenment in which ideas and learning were openly discussed and dispersed after centuries of being repressed by the corrupt church of the middle ages which desired to leave people ignorant and blind.
Erasmus' work further gave men a desire to have the pure words of God in their own langauge, and this eventually led the the pure and infallible translation known as the KING JAMES AUTHORIZED VERSION of the Bible, a translation done by the intelligent and learned men of their time (or any time for that matter), many of which spoke and wrote 12 different langagues. This version then later lead to more true Christian revival in the world than in any other time in history! First it was the first great awakening, then the second great awakening, and then there was revival in England and the United States in the 1800's. All of which came about because man had studied out, returned to, and preached from the true and pure words of God!
ORIGIN OF THE SPECIES
England was a righteous and religious nation for decades after the King James Bible, with the common people knowing the Bible like the back of their hand. Later America too was a nation of Bible readers and Bible believers, but as England, they too quickly fell into apostasy as new doctrines seeped into the nation and the church. Soon German Rationalism questioned the infallibility of the Bible and the miracles of Jesus. Then Lyle questioned the timeline of the Bible, claiming there couldn't have been "thousands of years" rather "hundreds of thousands" or even "millions" of years in man's history.
Reading through Lyle's book, a young Bible College graduate named Charlie Darwin allowed his faith in the word of God to be destroyed, and he later wrote a book entitled, "ORIGIN OF THE SPECIES," in which he theorized that man and beast EVOLVED over many years, and were not the product of the direction creation of God.
His work had a great impact on scientists, many of which did not want to think about God, and eventually led to the teaching of the THEORY of EVOLUTION, or the teaching that man came from apes, and that the world was not "created" rather it "exploded" out of absolutely nothing (a silly and offensive notion if you actually think about it). Forget the fact that this theory could never be proven in a laboratory, yet many so-called scientists jumped on the band wagon and preached this theory as though it was fact. "Survival of the fittest" became their rally cry, and they bragged upon being the descendents of monkeys, frogs, earthworms, and amoebas, (sounds a little silly, doesn't it?)
Evolution theory taught that man were nothing but animals, and the inevitable end of such nonsense was that man would actually start living like such, and that's exactly what happened as man did not evolve, but rather devolved into animalistic tendencies, living only to fornicate, play, drink, and fight. This lead to many wars to come in which countless millions were slaughtered, especially the Jews in Germany, who Hitler looked at as "vermin" or animal "pests" that must be exterminated (Hitler believed in Evolution hook, line and sinker, by the way!) And since then evolution has made man not better but worse, as he gives in to his basest desires and instincts, rather than looking towards his Creator for guidance in life. All this from books. First Lyle's, then Darwin's. I wonder how many died because of Lyle and Darwin talking people out of their faith in God, and allowing them to partake in animalistic atrocities, while thinking there was nothing wrong with it, as they themselves were animals.
UNCLE TOM'S CABIN
In America, a woman named Harriet Beecher Stowe, wrote a book. It's full title was, "Uncle Tom's Cabin, or Life Among the Lowly" (was she calling black people "lowly?"). In her book she lamblasted the white man and made him look like an angry slave driver who only lived to whip and beat his property, while the black man was looked upon as a poor, mistreated, misunderstood, and destitute, yearning to be free.
Her book sparked an outcry in the North and eventually led to a Civil War, in which the North thought they needed to free the negroes in the South. Countless thousands upon thousands of both blacks and whites died in that war, and it was all over a book... What a minute, ... well, um, er, actually, that's not what it was about at all! But, that's what modern writers want you to think. Actually, the war was about TARIFFS from the North on the people in the South. Yep, they wanted to TAX the south about 30 to 40% on everything they sold. But that's another story for another day.
Anyway, back to Stowe and her book. There might have been some bad masters who did evil to their slaves, but not all Southerners were that way. In fact, if you look at a slave in the South in the 1850's and 1860's and compare him to a modern blue collar worker today, you might not be able to see who the real slave is. You see, slaves in the South only had to work 7 months out of the year. They then had 5 months off to do as they pleased. (Picking cotton was SEASONAL, and that was what they were supposed to do). They also were given an ax, a shotgun, and even a family in most cases by their masters, and were even given land to build their own houses. Boy, what a nice thing that would be! Imagine having to work only 7 months out of the year, and being able to own your own land without paying property taxes or rent, and being able to raise a family in your own house that you built with your own hands, and then you can fish and hunt and do whatever you want for 5 months! That'd be awesome! What a far cry from today, having to work 40 to 80 hour weeks all week long, and then having to pay property tax, income tax, sales tax, etc. and then only getting a week or two off every year for vacation. Hmmm. Makes you think, doesn't it? Who's the real slave?!
Yet, Mrs. Stowe's book impacted thousands of minds, and made hundreds of thousands of people stereotype the Southern people and demonize them into being these EVIL reprobates who only lived to rape and beat up black people. How strange a book can make people believe something that isn't true.
The facts are that the majority of Southerners we church going, Bible-believing Christians. Sure they owned slaves, but most of them treated them like family. The expected of them to fulfill their duties and responsibilities, and they treated them with dignity and respect, buying them clothes, giving them shelter, and even freeing them themselves in their later years to live out their lives on their own piece of land.
THE RED BOOK
Communism is a stupid form of government. In its desire to make people the same, it doesn't take into account the fundamental truth that ALL PEOPLE ARE NOT THE SAME! Some people are naturally hard workers and to work hard to get ahead. Other people are born lazy and want to be so their entire lives. We who work hard should not have to stop working to be like the lazy people. And, the lazy people shouldn't have to work hard just to like us. We should all be free to do what we please and then see how it turns out. Usually, if you work hard, you can get ahead and enjoy the fruit of your labours. And most likely, if you are lazy, you'll end up with nothing, be despised by others who look at you as a lazy bum, and end up on the streets and hungry. But no government should ever interfere with man's liberty to be what he wants, whether it be a hard worker or a lazy good for nothing bum.
But communism does just that. I regulates people and puts rules on them telling them what they can and can't do. Then, it mandates that all men must have the same things, and they must allow the government to take care of them. This makes a person completely dependent upon the government, and over generations makes them completely unable to do anything for themselves. In other words, it leaves them devestated and unable to do for themselves, much less think for themselves. Any opposition to communism, communist ideals, or communistic governmental law and practice is usually met with dire consequences. Thus, communism rapes the very soul of man and his freedom and individual liberty.
With that stated, it's interesting, if not ironic, that the only way that communism takes root is through "literature." It is an "intellectual" religion which preys upon the "learned," and gains ground usually through the printed page on universities and colleges. It further tries to convince people that they need to be "fair" and it's not fair for one person to have more than another, so what is needed is a communistic government to be the decider of what's fair and they should be empowered to dictate fairness to others.
Almost all communist governments started with books. Take Mao Tse-Tung. He wrote what he called his "RED BOOK," and mandated that it should not only be read, but it must be KEPT IN THE POSSESSION OF EVERY HOUSEHOLD. Man's free thought was not allowed. Man had to read what was in the book and think according to its ideals.
In all communistic countries, the pattern is always the same: First the literature, then the revolution, then the oppression. It has always been the same and the cycle continues today. That is the power of the printed page. For who in their right mind would want a tyrannical government to take over their land and kill 30 million of their own people? No one, right? But those who followed Stalin and Lenin were convinced that communism was the right system, and they fought for it. Yet it didn't work.
Today we see communists rising their ugly heads again. With books like "Rules for Radicals" they are once more trying to gain the college student's trust, and sway them into thinking that "fairness" would be the best policy, and "social justice" is a necessary means to level the playing field. But they all forget one thing. There is no communist country on the face of the earth that has ever prospered, or been made better through communism than it was before.
Finally, of all the books written in the world in the human history of man, there has never been a book like the Bible. The has never been a book so powerful. Although other books might be able to sway man's thinking and even his actions, no other book can or will ever be able to do what the Bible can, which is SAVE A MAN'S SOUL!
Of all the world's books, there is only one which claims to be written by GOD himself. That is the Bible. Albeit men wrote the Bible with their own hands, we are told in the scriptures that they did it under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit of God. That is they wrote or they spoke God's words. These words were then recorded on paper and placed into the Bible. They are GOD'S WORDS, and not MAN'S WORDS. No other book on earth can make this claim.
Even the Bible itself tells us that word of God is powerful in Hebrew chapter four. There we read:
12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.
Notice this passage says the word is quick. This is the Old English way of saying it was ALIVE!
It is also powerful, so much so, it's likened unto a sharp sword with two edges which can not only cut through the physical, but through the spiritual as well!
Men do not discern the Bible, rather it discerns them. For the Bible is the only book in the world that tells man who they are, where they came from, and what to do to get to heaven. It shows man what he is, A SINNER in need of SALVATION.
Yes, the Bible is a powerful book! What has been the fruit of the Bible? Why we find the forming of the religion of the Jews from the Old Testament, and the beginning of Christianity from the New Testament. How many countless millions of people have become followers of Jesus Christ through reading of the scriptures? Many of which became godly Christians who lived good godly lives!
Can you imagine what the world would be like without the Bible? It be just plum awful! For people would instead be following communism, or evolution, or Islam, all religions with no LOVE, no HOPE, no LIBERTY, and no FREEDOM! Further, men would not know what sin is, as only the Bible tells us what sin is, and how we should refrain from it. Imagine a world in which everyone is completely given over to sin and degeneration. Imagine men who thought little about rape, murder, theft, and practiced it on a daily basis without ever feeling sorry for it. They'd be like ferocious animals who cared only about themselves and would attack anyone without feeling or pity. The world would be a horrible place to live!
Yet, the word of God is what tells us what is good, what is true, what is righteous. And in the Bible it gives us the ten commandments and tells us to refrain from those things. By doing so, we keep society moral, and a moral society is usually a free society!
What power there is in the printed word! It affects the way men think. And God's word affects man's thinking for the better, while man's words affects man's thinking for the worse.
All literature affects those who read it, some for the better and some for the worse. But you can't ever go wrong reading the powerful word of God, the KING JAMES BIBLE!