Books and technology. . !

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SOMEBODY sent me a letter from a Mani, who wrote to me that the Bible would disappear in the next fifty years if we didn’t try to save it! This piqued my curiosity and I continued to read his words, chewing on what he said.

He was not cleverly saying that the words of the Bible would disappear, oh no, he was saying that the book in its printed form would no longer be there, because soon everything would be in electronic form. In other words, I thought his words sounded like someone saying… don’t read the news on your laptop, only read it in the papers! Do not read a novel on Kindle but only buy a paper book!

And finally I compared him to the Post Master General, suddenly seeing his job disappear, telling everyone not to message each other on WhatsApp or email, but to use the Inland letter at the old so that he and his poor postmen can save their jobs! Don’t blame me for wondering what happened to the riders, stable boys and stable owners when the automobile arrived? But back to the Word of God!

I believe the best place for the word of God is in your heart! But for it to be transferred there, we need the words spoken to us by voice, perhaps via YouTube or read via any mode, be it a phone, a laptop, a book or a Tablet ! The covers of your Bible, nor the blank pages on which it was printed do not constitute the holiness of the Bible, Mr. Mani listen to you, the words yes, and the words can appear in any mode!

During the pandemic, church services were streamed on the internet and people listened and participated and still do from the comfort of their homes! Did anyone shout that these services and the mass were an act of heresy, not of God? That only if we sat in church was it legitimate worship? Even communion was shared by the faithful without priests, did that make bread and wine, something other than the body of Christ? It is when we spread such misinformation about “carrying a paper Bible to church” that we form useless rituals in impressionable minds.

The family Bible becomes a sacred relic in many homes, and although dusty and never opened, it remains a “lucky charm” on our shelves! When we speak and pass on such untruths, we will lose today’s youth, who, just as we have moved from reading the Bible in Latin to the language with which we are comfortable, are gone from paper to a paperless mode, but still imbibes what we once did from a hardcover book!

Use technology! Let the sacred word spread! And if you’re a print shop owner or manager, jump into the new normal and learn new ways to spread the word instead of creating a new ritual for selling books.

I can imagine a church after reading such misinformation saying, “Only those who carry a hardcover Bible will enter the Kingdom of Heaven!” Even as you smile, remember that a few centuries ago the churches were prescribing such man-made rules (i) even as Jesus came to simplify life as we lived by his salvation in the faith..!

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