The English language contains 26 letters. Now, when you combine these 26 letters, in different patterns, and put them in different placements, you can make over 400,000 words.
The Chinese language consists of images. And, these images obtain 80,000 words. Can you imagine the complexity of a Chinese keyboard?
Now, in the 1400’s there existed a new invention the printing press. This invention, made mass production of writings possible.
A century later, there was a guy named Martin Luther, who translated the Bible into his people’s common language. It was the first time, in the history, where the common man could read these sacred writings in his own language.
Before the printing press existed, these sacred writings were only available through spoken word. When these words were spoken, these writings became on a communal tug of war, where they wrestled with what was being written. When the printing press was born, faith, as we knew it, became more and more isolated. It has enabled us to take these sacred words, and, see how they only apply to us. The printing press, was a beautiful technology, that enabled the education for many, but, unintentionally, stripped us from our communal wrestle.
When the New Testament was written, it wasn’t written in Chinese, it was written in Greek. The difference between Chinese and Greek, is that there is a linear pattern to Greek. So, for the many who didn’t know how to read or write, in the first few centuries, so much of the faith was based upon images. This is why stain-glassed art, was so big. How does one put complex linear thoughts in image?
So overtime, when reading became a more common thing, Christian faith took on a linear approach. Salvation, as we know it, became linear (Acknowledgement of Sin+ Need of Jesus’ forgiveness=Salvation). Unfortunately, the problem with linear thinking, is that, the knowledge of the divine can be obtained through knowledge. So, for those of you who are satisfied and full with this, I congratulate you, because, you have been able to surpass what it means to be human. Now, for those of you, who are like me, seeking God through only linear understanding, can become a lonely place. Linear doesn’t allow my emotions. So when I am broken, this linear approach offers me no hope and no solutions, except for more linear effort. Maybe, the brilliant efficient usage of languages like English and Greek, can create a bigger problem.
Technology shapes everything we do. The greatest of technologies create the same whiplash effect. The efficiency of Greek and the printing press, created a great source of knowledge, but, hasn’t it also created a great sense of loneliness and hopelessness?