WDJWWhat Did Jesus Watch?

I am reading Shane Hipp’s The Hidden Power of Electronic Culture: How Media Shapes Faith, the Gospel, and Church. Hipps re-tells the story of the West in terms of the rsie of the printed word.  From my perspective, layering this over all the reading and research I have done in philosophy and political science, this is astounding!

So, back to What Did Jesus Watch…?

Nothing, of course; at least, nothing on television, film, or the internet.  That’s a no-brainer.

Books and magazines, though, are a different story for us.  Books and magazines, as well as other printed-word-media, have eben around since before our grandparents were born.  We assume their existence.

What Did Jesus Read?

Well, if Jesus read anything, he didn’t read nearly so much as you and I do. Jesus lived about 14 centuries before Gutenberg gave us the printing press.

What does this mean?  It means that just like a lot of renaissance painters gave us images of Biblical events with all the figures dressed in renaissance garb, we tend to dress Jesus up like ourselves.

Here are 4 of Hipp’s points about the affect  that print culture has had on us:

  1. Print made us more individualistic
  2. Print introduced the notion of objectivity
  3. Print made us think more abstractly
  4. Print intensifies linear, rational thinking

Take some time to let sink in the way these four characteristics have ruled the West, and the Church.

Jesus didn’t watch what you watch, but he didn’t read what you read either (except, perhaps, the Hebrew Bible).  Jesus did not live under the influence of the culture of the printing press.

What difference does this make?

2 thoughts on “WDJW

  1. We see “word” in the bible, and think “printed word.” This is something we SEE. Yet in the biblical context, “word” is first something we HEAR. The word we see and touch (and hear) is Jesus.

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