Book Burning in the Digital Age

So when ebooks take over the world, will protesters just get together and delete files?

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  1. Sharon Gamble says:

    You truly made me LAUGH OUT LOUD with that quip!!

  2. Mark Dintzner says:

    Cute, but electronic protesters are and will become much more sophisticated than that. Malicious infiltration with intent on “deleting files” is ‘small potatoes’. Protesters of say some controversial work may, instead of DELETING, FLOOD the electronic world with erroneous versions of a work; change important or ‘root elements’ of a work by watering them down, or adding persuading comments to an unsuspecting reader. These counterfeit works in some circles will get quoted and repeated until the actual work seems to be the one in error.

    …Book Burning … so 20th Century!

  3. Ray Fowler says:

    Mark – Good points. I guess I was going for the lighter side of it. It seems digital books will take some of the fire out of book burning, so to speak.

  4. 3D says:

    Mark, I believe you’ve just described how scribal copying gave us the Bible we have today!

  5. Ray Fowler says:

    3D – Charles Dickens has a character in Great Expectations named Mr. Pocket who has a habit of grasping his hair with both hands and trying to lift himself up out of his chair. I think I just did that when I read your comment. I am guessing you’re being tongue in cheek. (Dickens link: Great Expectations, pp. 359-360)

  6. 3D says:

    Ray, The way I see it, God may have inspired the autographs, but He didn’t see fit to preserve them for our edification.

    As a result, over the centuries we have depended on scribes to reproduce scripture, which is a process that necessarily (for many, many reasons) means that what we have today differs from what God originally caused to be written down. But, you know all this…

    The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy requires leaps of faith too silly to take seriously at all.

    Can I still post here? 3D

  7. Mark Dintzner says:

    …on the lighter side… Imagine someday in the future a diver off the coast of Florida (where land used to be) discovers an ancient Kindle. After drying it out and retrofitting a charging mechanism, the device comes to life and reveals Bookmarks, Notes, and other insight, wisdom and truth about texts debated for millennia…

  8. 3D says:

    ^^^ very good!

  9. Ray Fowler says:

    Mark – I like it! Sounds like a good plot for a Dan Brown novel.

  10. Ray Fowler says:

    3D – Well, I agree that God did not see fit to preserve the original autographs (and some would say with good reason), but that does not mean that God did not see fit to preserve the text. We have few original autographs of any ancient text (do we have any?), but due to the science of textual criticism, we still have confidence in the texts themselves.

    The Bible is the most widely attested ancient document in existence, and most of the variants can easily be explained and dismissed to establish the original text, especially with the New Testament. These variants have been compiled in the textual apparatus of the Greek New Testament so that anyone can compare the variants for themselves (well, I guess anyone who knows Greek). I have done this on numerous occasions, and while I am not a trained textual critic by any means, I am still able to look up the variants for a passage and make intelligent decisions. So I have great confidence in the preservation of the Biblical text, and not just as a leap of faith, but because of the actual documentation of its transmission over the years.

    As far as the Chicago Statement, I haven’t looked at it in awhile, but I don’t remember anything particularly outrageous or silly about it. Are there any parts in particular that you are thinking about?

    And then finally, of course you can still post here. All viewpoints are welcome, and respectful dialogue is always encouraged and appreciated.

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