April 23, 2008

The Impact of the Printing Press on Biblical Theology

I do hope in time to publish some of my formulated work on the issue of how human technological advance has (arbitrarily) altered the church's biblical theology. The invention of the codex (bound book) allowed for an eventual new approach to how one understands the canon as a single book.

I cherish the time I've spent researching in Wolfenbüttel where I spent significant time with the 1516 Erasmus text--the first ever printed Greek New Testament. Until the invention of the printing press, there had never been in existence two copies of a biblical book that were identical. The invention was a catalyst for a theological approach to the nature of biblical inspiration that could not exist previously.

The occasion of these reflections is the enjoying of Stephen Fry's documentary on the Gutenberg Press, now fully available online. You may enjoy it.


Tim Archer said...

Interesting thought about the impact on theology. I'd love to hear that explored further.

Grace and peace,

greg said...

Yeah, this is an interesting idea- also tracing the historical development- from groups of books to entire Bible and now to searching and proliferation. The effects must be huge- and the effects are also something we don't think about very often, it's assumed.