It Is Written

Ink On Paper

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript



Series Code: IIW

Program Code: IIW016117A

00:00 [Upbeat Theme Music]
00:22 [ships horn blaring]
00:31 [Music] JB: This is It Is Written.
00:41 I'm John Bradshaw. Thanks for joining me in
00:43 Mainz, Germany, the site of some of the most significant
00:48 developments in all of Christian history.
00:51 It was this city that gave rise to the Protestant Reformation
00:55 and to the development of Christian thought.
00:58 In fact, anyone who reads the Bible today
01:00 must be greatly indebted to events which occurred
01:04 in this very place several hundred years ago.
01:09 Less than 30 miles from Frankfurt,
01:11 where the Main River joins the Rhine River,
01:14 is the city of Mainz. People have been living here
01:18 for two thousand years, and today more than
01:21 200,000 people call Mainz home.
01:24 And it was here, almost 600 years ago, that something
01:29 was invented that has radically affected your world.
01:34 [Music]
01:39 It's considered to be the most important invention
01:41 of the last 1,000 years -- some say the most important
01:45 invention of all time. So what was it, do you think?
01:48 The wheel? Now, that was not invented
01:50 here in Mainz. Electricity?
01:52 No. The compass?
01:54 That wasn't invented here, and neither was the Internet.
01:57 For more than 1,400 years after Jesus walked the earth, the
02:02 Holy Scriptures were copied out entirely by hand.
02:07 Dedicated monks and scribes, often living in isolated
02:10 monasteries, copied the Bible out letter by letter,
02:14 page by page. They used quill pens
02:17 dipped in ink, often as many as a hundred
02:20 quills a day, because those things wore out rapidly.
02:23 And they wrote on parchment, often made from animal skins.
02:28 Six centuries ago, people weren't reading
02:30 newspapers or even books. In fact most people didn't
02:34 know how to read. If you wanted to read a Bible,
02:37 you couldn't. Finding one was next to
02:40 impossible. Bibles were few and far between.
02:44 They were locked up in monasteries or cathedrals.
02:49 The Dark Ages were dark because knowledge--
02:52 and most importantly, the knowledge of the Bible
02:54 was kept from everyday people.
02:57 David wrote in the Psalms, the entrance of God's word
03:00 brings light. Wherever people don't have
03:03 access to the Bible, there is darkness.
03:07 Today we can get the Bible virtually anywhere and
03:09 anytime we want to. But before the Bible could be
03:12 mass produced, people simply couldn't access the Word of God.
03:18 Something was needed that would bring the Bible
03:21 out of the shadows. [Music]
03:39 When I was child I had a job delivering the morning
03:43 newspaper; 313 mornings a year I'd get on my bicycle,
03:47 ride around the streets of our little town and along the banks
03:51 of two rivers. [Music]
04:02 The first newspaper ever printed is said to be 'Relation aller
04:07 Furnemmen und gedenckw, rdigen Historien,'
04:10 printed here in Germany, in Strasbourg, in 1605.
04:14 In the Americas, the first newspaper
04:16 appeared in 1690: 'Publick Occurrences Both
04:19 Forreign and Domestick.' It didn't last long,
04:22 because after that first printing it was
04:24 suppressed by the government.
04:25 The first daily newspaper in the United States
04:28 appeared in 1783. Today, more and more people are
04:33 reading fewer and fewer actual newspapers, preferring instead
04:38 to get their information from devices like this.
04:42 However, today's flow of information and news simply
04:45 wouldn't be possible without Johannes Gutenberg's
04:48 gift to the world: the printing press.
04:53 Book publishing is a multi-billion-dollar-a-year
04:55 industry. UNESCO says about 2.2 million
04:59 new titles are produced worldwide annually.
05:04 We're awash in information. It's almost impossible to
05:09 imagine life without books. One hundred million Bibles
05:13 are produced each year, with 25 million a year
05:17 sold in the United States alone.
05:20 Not only is the Bible the best-selling book of all time,
05:24 it's the bestseller of the year every year.
05:29 One survey revealed that 84% of Americans own a Bible,
05:33 while one-third say that they read it almost every day.
05:37 It's said that the average American home contains
05:39 four copies of the Bible. The American Bible Society did a
05:43 survey that showed 88% of Americans own a Bible,
05:47 while almost a quarter said that they read it regularly--
05:51 that's four or more times in a week.
05:54 There was a time when the Bible was incredibly hard to come by,
05:59 largely because the church kept it from the people, and because
06:03 it simply hadn't been widely circulated.
06:07 But that was going to change, and people would have a chance
06:10 to read the Bible for themselves.
06:13 I'll be right back.
06:16 [ethereal music]
06:25 The Bible records that in ancient times there were
06:28 prophets who brought messages from God to his people.
06:32 It also tells us there were those who claimed to be
06:34 prophets, but they weren't. So how were God's people
06:37 to tell the difference between the true and
06:40 the false? How would you tell
06:42 the difference? In every situation the Bible
06:44 is to be our safeguard. That's why it's so important
06:47 to understand what it says. Today, let me send you a free
06:50 booklet. It's called
06:51 "Prophets and Prophecy." It'll walk you through the
06:54 differences between the false and the genuine.
06:57 Simply call 800-253-3000 and ask for
07:01 "Prophets and Prophecy." If the line's busy,
07:04 please do keep on trying. Or you can write to:
07:07 It Is Written, P O Box 6, Chattanooga,
07:09 Tennessee, 37401. We'll mail a free copy to your
07:13 address in North America. Again, our toll-free number is
07:17 800-253-3000, and our web address is
07:25 It Is Written is a ministry dedicated to sharing the
07:28 Gospel around the world. God is using It Is Written
07:31 to impact the world. Our television program is only
07:34 one aspect of how we accomplish that goal.
07:37 To discover more about It Is Written,
07:39 visit our website,
07:42 Browse the dozens of pages that describe what we do and
07:45 how we're doing it. You'll find an archive of past
07:47 television programs in script form and as streaming video and
07:51 audio files, along with many other helpful inspirational
07:54 resources. Let's get to know each other
07:56 better. Visit our website,
07:58, today. And follow us online
08:02 at Facebook and Twitter.
08:06 [pipe organ music] This is It Is Written.
08:18 I'm John Bradshaw. Thanks for joining me today on
08:21 the banks of the Rhine River, in Mainz, Germany.
08:25 Today, in the western world at least, the Bible is everywhere.
08:30 But that was not always the case.
08:33 Long ago, the Scriptures were copied out by hand.
08:36 The laborious, painstaking task of copying out all 66 books of
08:41 the Bible could take months and months.
08:44 But all of that changed when one man revolutionized printing.
08:50 He was born right here in Mainz, Germany
08:52 in around 1398. He trained as a goldsmith,
08:56 and when he became a partner in a print shop in Strasbourg,
08:59 he realized how slow and labor intensive printing was.
09:04 At that time, entire pages were printed from single incised
09:09 blocks of wood. Realizing that there had to be a
09:13 better way, Johannes Gutenberg developed an idea that would
09:16 revolutionize the world. His creation, movable type, led
09:22 to the development of the first printing press.
09:26 And things would never be the same again.
09:30 In fact, the printing press not only brought the Bible to the
09:33 people, but it enabled the Protestant Reformation to
09:36 take place; it sparked the Enlightenment and it's credited
09:41 with making possible modern democracy.
09:44 [organ music cont.] While moveable type had
09:48 been used before in China and in Korea,
09:50 Gutenberg's idea was to use moveable type in a
09:54 printing press. Entire pages of type could be
09:57 arranged by using individual letters.
10:00 They could be formed into words, the words into lines,
10:02 the lines into paragraphs, and so on.
10:06 One great advantage was that those individual letters could
10:08 be used again, and again, and again--unlike wooden block cuts,
10:13 which were only good for a single use.
10:17 That same year, 1454, Gutenberg exhibited several
10:21 pages of his Gutenberg Bible at a trade fair in Frankfurt.
10:26 Among those at the trade fair was a future pope, Pius II,
10:31 who said he was impressed by the new Bible.
10:33 He said he could read it without using his glasses.
10:37 One hundred and eighty Gutenberg Bibles were sold; 48 of those
10:40 original Bibles survive today. [Music]
10:48 [Sounds of children] Suddenly the world began to
10:53 change as the Bible became accessible and common people
10:57 could find out for themselves what the Bible said.
11:00 Until now, it was the priests and the religious leaders who
11:03 interpreted for the people what was written in the Word of God.
11:08 But now, because of Gutenberg's invention, those who wanted to,
11:11 those who could afford to, could read and interpret for
11:16 themselves what the Bible said. Gutenberg himself was motivated
11:21 to put the Bible in the hands of the people.
11:24 He said, "God suffers in the multitude of souls whom
11:28 His word cannot reach. Religious truth is imprisoned in
11:32 a small number of manuscript books which confine instead of
11:36 spread the public treasure. Let us break the seal which
11:40 seals up holy things and give wings to Truth, in order that
11:44 she may win every soul that comes into the world by her
11:48 word, no longer written at great expense by hands easily palsied,
11:53 but multiplied like the wind by an untiring machine."
12:00 [Music] The Gutenberg Museum in Mainz
12:11 was founded in the year 1900, five hundred years after
12:14 Gutenberg was born. And even though there are many
12:17 magnificent museums all throughout Germany,
12:19 there are few museums that attract as many visitors
12:22 in a year as this one: the Gutenberg Museum.
12:27 Now, there are other places in the world where you can view a
12:30 Gutenberg Bible, but here you can see two.
12:33 And here you get to see Gutenberg Bibles in the very
12:36 town in which they were created. Today, the Gutenberg Bible
12:41 is over 560 years old.
12:47 [Music]
13:01 Gutenberg didn't invent the idea of printing itself.
13:05 It's believed that wood block printing originated in China
13:08 around 200 A.D. Wooden blocks would be carved.
13:12 Ink would be applied to the raised area of the wooden block.
13:16 The wood block, or wood cut, would then be pressed
13:19 into paper. It worked in much the same way
13:22 as a rubber stamp. You press that on an ink pad,
13:24 and then on the paper. It worked, but it was really
13:28 inefficient. [Music]
13:31 But this new printing process was tricky.
13:34 Typesetters would have to learn to read backwards and
13:37 in reverse, because in order for a
13:39 printed page to be printed, and for the lines of type
13:41 to be read correctly, the block or page of metal type
13:45 would have to be set like a mirror image.
13:50 When not in use, the type, or the metal or lead letters were
13:55 stored in a type case. Keep in mind that all the
13:58 letters are reversed. So a lowercase "p" would
14:02 actually look like a "q" backwards.
14:05 Which is where the phrase "Mind your p's and q's"
14:08 comes from. It was a comment made to
14:10 typesetters who were putting letters back into the type case,
14:13 to be careful to not mix up the letters.
14:16 Now, there were two different type cases:
14:19 one for capital letters, which was referred to as the
14:23 upper case, and another case for small
14:26 letters, which were stored in the lower case.
14:30 And that's where we get the terms uppercase and lowercase.
14:34 Once the first copies of the Bible were printed,
14:37 the technology of printing with moveable type spread quickly.
14:42 By the turn of the century (the year 1500),
14:44 a thousand printing presses throughout Western Europe
14:48 had produced eight million books and 30,000 different
14:52 titles. Germany and Italy were the
14:55 two main printing centers. And this was at a time of global
14:59 expansion and exploration. Columbus sailed in 1492,
15:06 Vasco Da Gama in 1498, and ideas set sail with them.
15:13 The first print shop in North America was established
15:15 in Mexico City in 1544. Jesuit missionaries set up
15:20 printing in Asia in 1556. Printing with movable type
15:26 really did change the world. Now, that's not to say that
15:30 after Gutenberg printed the Bible, everyday people
15:33 were buying them. That's not what was happening.
15:36 They were still expensive, even though they cost only a quarter
15:39 of what a hand-copied Bible cost.
15:41 And they were printed in Latin, and everyday people certainly
15:44 couldn't read Latin. But not long after Gutenberg
15:48 invented the printing press, millions of books were
15:52 in circulation. By the time we got to the early
15:55 1800s, steam-powered presses had replaced hand-powered presses
16:00 like the one Gutenberg used. Printing became even more
16:03 effective and even more efficient.
16:06 No wonder Gutenberg was described as
16:08 "the man of the millennium." And the practice of using
16:12 movable metal letters continued well into the 20th century.
16:16 I'll be back with more in just a moment.
16:19 "Every Word" is a one-minute, Bible-based daily devotional
16:22 presented by Pastor John Bradshaw and designed especially
16:25 for busy people like you. Look for "Every Word" on
16:29 selected networks, or watch it online every day on our website:
16:37 [Music]
16:42 JB: When someone tells you to do something that seems
16:44 unlikely, what's your reaction? Now, if it's your child telling
16:48 you that you should smear peanut butter all over
16:50 the mashed potatoes, you may not go there.
16:52 But when the doctor tells you you need a life-saving
16:55 medication, for example, you listen to the expert.
16:58 Jesus' disciples had been fishing all night without
17:00 catching anything. When Jesus tells them to
17:02 throw out their nets again, Peter says in Luke 5, verse 5,
17:05 "Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing.
17:08 Nevertheless, at your word, I will let down the net."
17:12 Now, did you catch that? "Nevertheless, at your word"
17:15 I do it. God has given us the Bible.
17:18 And when we follow His word-- and doing that is what you call
17:21 faith-- it always works out best.
17:24 They caught so many fish their net broke.
17:26 God's waiting to bless you too, and the blessings come when
17:29 you lean on His Word. I'm John Bradshaw for
17:32 It Is Written. Let's live today by every word.
17:37 [Music] Planning for your financial
17:41 future is a vital aspect of Christian stewardship.
17:45 For this reason, It Is Written is pleased to offer free planned
17:48 giving and estate services. For information on how we can
17:51 help you, please call (800) 992-2219.
17:56 To receive additional material on the advantages of life income
17:59 plans such as a charitable gift annuity, which can provide you
18:03 with tax benefits and income for life, call today, or visit our
18:08 special website,
18:13 You could also write to: It Is Written,
18:15 Planned Giving and Trust Services,
18:18 P O Box 6, Chattanooga, Tennessee 37401.
18:23 Our toll-free number, again, is (800) 992-2219, and our web
18:28 address is [Music]
18:39 Thanks for joining me today on It Is Written.
18:42 I'm in Mainz, Germany, where Johannes Gutenberg invented
18:46 the printing press. An interesting historical aside:
18:50 Mainz was very involved in another event that helped propel
18:54 the Protestant Reformation.
18:59 One of the things that spurred Martin Luther to nail his 95
19:02 theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg
19:04 was the practice of selling indulgences.
19:09 A man named Johannes Tetzel was traveling throughout Germany
19:12 claiming that he had the right and the authority to sell the
19:17 forgiveness of sins--even sins not yet committed.
19:21 Now, it was said that the money raised from the selling of
19:23 indulgences was going to go to fund the building of St. Peter's
19:27 Basilica in the Vatican City. But, a significant amount of
19:31 that money was going to be kept by the man who commissioned
19:34 Tetzel and sent him out into the field.
19:37 That man was Albert of Brandenburg.
19:40 He was the archbishop of Mainz. Tetzel was sent from here,
19:47 from the cathedral directly behind me.
19:50 It could be said that it was Tetzel who, to a great degree,
19:54 brought the Protestant Reformation into existence.
19:58 It can certainly be said that the work of another man from
20:01 Mainz did exactly the same. [Music]
20:08 Johannes Gutenberg's invention of the printing press
20:10 in 1454 has repeatedly been called the most significant,
20:14 most important invention of the previous one thousand years.
20:19 It isn't an exaggeration to say it altered the course of human
20:23 history. But back in the 1400s,
20:26 translating the Bible could be a very dangerous business.
20:30 The Reformers wanted to see the Bible placed in the hands of
20:33 as many people as possible, so that everybody who
20:36 wanted to, could read and understand the Bible for
20:38 themselves. But people like William Tyndale,
20:42 the Englishman who translated the New Testament into English,
20:45 and many others, were burned at the stake by a church desperate
20:50 to retain its power over the minds of people.
20:54 [Music] When Gutenberg's invention
20:57 arrived, the Bible became more accessible to people than ever
21:00 before. The printing of Bibles led
21:04 directly to the Protestant Reformation, as people could
21:07 read for themselves what the Bible says, and see how God's
21:10 word exposed the errors of the teachings of the ruling church.
21:14 Gutenberg's method of printing was the first example
21:18 of mass media. In 1999 Time Magazine named
21:24 Gutenberg the "Man of the Millennium."
21:29 [Music] Gutenberg found a new way
21:33 to put ink on paper. But the Bible is much more than
21:37 ink on paper. The Bible is the word of God;
21:41 it's living and it's dynamic. One of the Bible writers,
21:46 the Apostle Paul, had this to say about the
21:49 power of the Bible. Listen carefully to these words:
21:53 "For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper
21:57 than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division
22:01 of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow,
22:04 and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents
22:07 of the heart." Hebrews 4:12 David said the Bible lights
22:12 our way in Psalm 119, verse 105.
22:17 "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path."
22:21 John wrote in John 17:17 that the Bible is the
22:26 source of truth. Jesus said,
22:29 "Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth."
22:35 And the more you read the Bible, the better acquainted you'll
22:38 become with who God is. The Bible transforms lives.
22:42 David wrote in Psalm 119, verse 11, "Your word I have
22:47 hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against you."
22:52 The Bible contains blessings from the heart of God.
22:55 In the Bible there are hundreds of promises made by God that
22:58 underscore the fact that God loves us and only desires
23:02 the very best for us. Philippians 4:19 says that God
23:06 will supply all your needs. In Hebrews 13:5 God says He will
23:12 never leave you or forsake you. Jeremiah 31:3 promises us God
23:18 loves us with an everlasting love.
23:22 And two chapters earlier, in Jeremiah 29:13,
23:25 God promises us that we'll find Him when we search for Him
23:29 with all our heart. Now, let me ask you a
23:33 personal question. Do you truly value the Bible?
23:38 Is the Bible your daily guide, your daily companion, or is it
23:42 simply gathering dust on a shelf?
23:44 There's no question that God was responsible for bringing the
23:47 Bible to the world at exactly the right time.
23:51 God led in the printing of the Bible.
23:54 And He did so so that you and I could read the Bible.
23:58 What a great loss, to have a Bible and not be internalizing
24:02 the saving principles found written in the Bible.
24:06 For centuries the Bible was obscured.
24:09 But now the Bible is freely available almost all over
24:13 the world. Unfortunately, the polls show
24:16 that while most people do own a Bible, few people are really
24:20 reading it and discovering for themselves what it says.
24:25 So I want to encourage you to pick up the Bible.
24:27 Read the Bible. Become familiar with
24:29 its promises. Hear the voice of God, and
24:32 experience more of God's presence in your life.
24:36 [Music]
24:46 The Bible records that in ancient times there were
24:49 prophets who brought messages from God to his people.
24:53 It also tells us there were those who claimed to be
24:55 prophets, but they weren't. So how were God's people to tell
24:59 the difference between the true and the false?
25:02 How would you tell the difference?
25:05 In every situation the Bible is to be our safeguard.
25:08 That's why it's so important to understand what it says.
25:10 Today, let me send you a free booklet.
25:12 It's called "Prophets and Prophecy."
25:14 It'll walk you through the differences between the
25:16 false and the genuine. Simply call 800-253-3000
25:21 and ask for "Prophets and Prophecy."
25:24 If the line's busy, please do keep on trying.
25:27 Or you can write to: It Is Written,
25:29 P O Box 6, Chattanooga, Tennessee, 37401.
25:33 We'll mail a free copy to your address in North America.
25:37 It Is Written is a faith-based ministry, and your support makes
25:41 it possible for us to share God's Good News with the world.
25:44 Your tax-deductible gift can be sent to the address on your
25:47 screen, or through our website at
25:51 Thank you for your continued prayerful support.
25:54 Again, our toll-free number is 800-253-3000, and our web
25:59 address is
26:05 Let's pray together. Our Father in Heaven,
26:08 we thank you today for your word.
26:10 And we thank you for Jesus, the Word made flesh.
26:16 Lord, we are grateful that, long ago, you saw that
26:19 it was time for your Word to be published,
26:23 to be printed, to be distributed so that everyone could have
26:27 access to you, to the story of the Gospel, to your Word,
26:32 in the Bible. We thank you that you moved upon
26:34 the heart of a man, that at just the right time your Word broke
26:38 forth, enabling the Protestant Reformation to come into
26:42 existence, enabling people all over the world to know Jesus
26:46 closely and personally. But Lord, I want to pray for us
26:51 who now have your Word. Don't let us neglect it.
26:55 Give us grace to read it, to hide it in our hearts.
27:00 Friend, do you need to commit today again to hiding God's Word
27:04 in your heart, to reading His Word, to studying the Bible,
27:08 even to opening your heart up to Jesus, that He might live His
27:13 life in you with power? Lord, do your will.
27:17 And again, let your Word be powerful and central
27:22 in our lives. Give us grace to live according
27:25 to your principles. In Jesus' name, Amen.
27:30 [Music]
27:55 Thanks for joining me today. I'll look forward to seeing
27:58 you again next time. Until then, remember,
28:00 "It is written, Man shall not live by
28:03 bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth
28:07 of God.'" [Music]


Revised 2018-08-29