Disaggregating the Bible
THE SOURCE: “Christianity and the Future of the Book” by Alan Jacobs, in The New Atlantis, Fall 2011.
The Koran calls Christians “People of the Book.” It’s an apt description. “There is an intimate connection between the Christian message, the Christian scriptures, and the codex,” argues Alan Jacobs, an English professor at Wheaton College. The codex—a bound, portable successor to the unwieldy scrolls on which Scripture was preserved for earlier Christians—spread a unified and organized version of the Word across the world. But what happens to Christianity if the book goes the way of the scroll?
It depends, says Jacobs. As a technology, the bound book has served Christians well...