Monday, December 5, 2011

Johannes Gutenberg (1400 – 1468)

Johannes Gutenberg (1400 - 1468) was a German who was responsible for creating the movable type printing press. His invention helped revolutionize Western Europe during the Middle Ages. The printing press prepared the way for the rapid dispersion of thoughts and ideas through the printed medium. It was the invention of the movable type printing press which became the technology that made the Reformation possible.

The Gutenberg printing press assured that the light of truth would not be put out by neither civil nor ecclesiastical governments. Before the invention of the movable type printing press; it would take scribes over a year to hand copy one Bible. Hence, Bibles were scarce and expensive. The printing press was instrumental in spreading knowledge which liberated men and women. Within ten years of the invention of the press; the total number of books increased from 50,000 to 10 million.

Charles Coffin declared: 

“Through the energizing influence of the printing press, emperors, kings, and despots have seen their power gradually waning, and the people becoming their masters.”

The 42 line Mazarin Bible is known today as the Gutenberg Bible, was the first book of any significance which was printed on Gutenberg's printing press. He wrote the following comments in 1455.

“God suffers in the multitude of souls whom His word can not reach. Religious truth is imprisoned in a small number of manuscript books which confine instead of spread the public treasure. Let us break the seal which seals up holy things and give wings to Truth in order that she may win every soul that comes into the world by her word no longer written at great expense buy hands easily palsied, but multiplied like the wind by an untiring machine.”

“Yes it is a press, certainly, but a press from which shall flow in inexhaustible streams the most abundant and most marvelous liquor that has ever flowed to relieve the thirst of men. Through it, God will spread His word; a spring of pure truth shall flow from it; like a new star it shall scatter the darkness of ignorance, and cause a light hithertofore unknown to shine among men.”

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