Ever hear of Johann Gensfleisch? (GENS-FLESH?) We know him as Johann Gutenberg…who is credited with
printing the first bible, using movable type. Before that, all books were printed by hand and so were rare.
No one knows why Johann changed his name to the name of a house on his mother’s side of the family.
At any rate, the Gutenberg Bible came into print in 1456, and to put that in perspective, that was just 36
years before “Columbus sailed the ocean blue,” as we learned it back in elementary school.
And the printing press finally allowed common folks to read and even own a bible, which opened up facts that
often was kept from them on purpose.
Bill Tammeus, a religious commentator who writes in the Faith section of the Kansas City Star each Saturday,
brought out some interesting points in the August 23rd edition…which prompted me to go to some old encyclopedias to
read more about this world-shaking and world-shaping event.
This mass production spread knowledge in a way not dreamed of earlier. And it’s because of Gutenberg
that our bible is now so accessible that most hold it in less esteem today. Because if there was only one bible per community,
I would imagine there would be a long waiting list for a person to get to borrow it for a day…no doubt at some expense,
whereas we often have so many copies that too many lie unopened.
Let’s show our appreciation to God for allowing this apparently
not-so-religious Johann Gutenberg to give us such a gift to be treasured. And to be read and obeyed. Because
our hope lies within its pages.