The Power of Digital Words

The Power of Digital Words:

(Click for Audio) I’ve grown to enjoy eBooks as my primary reading platform. With just a click I can find out the definition, etymology and varied uses of a word, even searching the web for usage elsewhere. Swipe and highlight and words become permanently marked for future reference, or something to shout out to social media what I have found in so-and-so’s book. I can even add notes to the work and access them, only I can not find these notes on other platforms. Yet. I’m sure that’s a future modification. If anyone is listening!

On my PC, I can classify each book into a collection, much like my personal library would look like on a bookshelf at home. Again, on my PC, I can actually copy and paste quotes into a Word document for something I’m working on for school or church.

With my eBook software (Kindle) I can take an entire library on the road and not have to break a sweat!

But the real joy is having the ability to dig deeper without having to get up and go to another room, and finding a particular book on a particular shelf to research. No. For the most part, the Power of Digital Words I’m talking about is that quickness of research to give me a deeper understanding. Insight. Alternative understandings. Quickly.

In my garage are 50 boxes of books I will weed through this year. Keep the ones that are important, and unload those that are not. It’s about a pickup load worth of favored reading tomes from decades gone by. Which ones will I keep? Not sure. I do not remember all that is there.

Hold on there… I can hear you now. I will be the first to agree there are reasons to have non-digital books in a library to access. Many are old enough and will never be digitized, while others have copyrights that will make it a prohibitive cost to digitize. Still, others are not desired works for the digital process – no one is asking for them!

Over the years I have had multiple version of bible software tools that allow me to digitally access more than I could contain in my home library, or even afford to buy because an ancient version would be classified as rare, or antique, and we know that can get spendy pretty quickly!

  • Quick Verse was my favorite bible software back in the 80’s and 90’s, although the earliest software version was much easier to work with than those later versions. Then the company sold and I’m not even sure if it is in existence today.
  • I use LOGOS exclusively for education and deep research, and enjoy the version on my PC better than the portable version I travel with on my Apple devices.
  • Then, the free version of eSword came out, and you could buy additional libraries with it for an inexpensive few bucks. This is my go-to tool for daily reading and studying, and is equally available on my Apple portable devices.

This morning, a particular scripture came to mind in my time of devotion. Since Paul is my favorite author, and Philippians is my favorite epistle, it is only common for certain oft studied and referenced scriptures to come to mind. With just a click of the mouse I can see my favorite translation before my eyes, and can easily copy it to this blog. For example:

Philippians 4:11-13 KJV  Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.  (12)  I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.  (13)  I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Philippians 4:11-13 NKJV (11) Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: (12) I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. (13) I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Philippians 4:11-13 AMP (11) Not that I am implying that I was in any personal want, for I have learned how to be content (satisfied to the point where I am not disturbed or disquieted) in whatever state I am. (12) I know how to be abased and live humbly in straitened circumstances, and I know also how to enjoy plenty and live in abundance. I have learned in any and all circumstances the secret of facing every situation, whether well-fed or going hungry, having a sufficiency and enough to spare or going without and being in want. (13) I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency].

Philippians 4:11-13 MSG (11) Actually, I don’t have a sense of needing anything personally. I’ve learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. (12) I’m just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. (13) Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.

This copy and pasting action took about 60 seconds, but the comparison and study between the translations might take hours or days to enjoy!

In an instant, I note there are phrases that are modified into a more modern statement than the original King James Version, but there is a similarity across all the words, even with some phrases being identically stated.

The one that stands out first is “I have learned“…

This took me into deeper appreciation of the fact that Paul was not writing a fiction book, rather, it is one that is full of current experiences and long held knowledge. He describes his previous instruction, but writes of current and future times where the application of his knowledge is to be applied. Used. Not like those he writes to Timothy in the last book we know of, “…ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth…” (2 Timothy 3:7) I think everything Paul learned was ever pointing him to a deeper understanding of truth than he had ever known previously, and he was not afraid of sharing his knowledge.

Albeit, many times it is difficult to follow his logic! But Paul had logic to his knowledge, love of learning, and the ever growing influence he had on personally planted churches. I have read a number of books describing the logic of Paul, and this is where the power of the digital word can be exercised. It’s easy to read across varied books and find the common thread and different paths that researchers have taken. With the proper digital tool, you can mark, note, and compare more quickly.

And that’s where I am today. The Power of the Digital Word gives me a much quicker access to the knowledge contained in another’s writing. And I am ever learning, with a deeper appreciation for the process.

One last thought, and it’s a strange one.

Everything on my computing devices wants to play sound or video. You know, news, advertisements, interviews, etc… I find it offensive when someone plays these sounds in public. My hearing is not so good and it’s difficult to hear conversation across the table, much less from across the room. It’s like talking on the phone with everyone having to listen in because you do not have an “inside” voice.

Since I read faster than some, I wish for most everything to be presented in digital words that are read, rather than heard. Occasionally, there are voices I want to listen to, and can hear them clearly enough, but most of the time I get more value from what I read, rather than what I hear. This is so strange. As a pastor and teacher much of what I do comes across the hearing spectrum, and I know that if everyone read my notes in advance we could probably cut the sessions shorter!

Since I read fast, sometimes the meaning is unclear…but at least I am in control of backing up a sentence, paragraph or page, and taking another read, only slower. Otherwise, you are backing up music or video to try and understand. Over and over. And you still have trouble… Not with reading!

There are songs I have listened to most of my adult life and I still have no clue what they are saying. My bride just read some lyrics this week of a popular song and we were shocked to read what we could not understand hearing! Even her! With her better hearing!

Some of my favorite singers, news casters, reporters, story tellers… I still need to READ…and digitally is just way better!