I’ve spent a good slice of today writing a talk which is based on Genesis 12, but which dips in and out of Ezekiel. Now, I know my Bible fairly well, I can’t always quote things chapter and verse, but if I need something from the New Testament, I can usually make a pretty educated guess as to where I should look.
Ezekiel is a different kettle of fish.
I knew the passages I wanted were in there, somewhere, but I didn’t have a clue where. So, I typed a few words into Bible Gateway and in a few seconds, I’d turned up the passage I wanted and could cut and paste it into my notes.
Twenty years ago, I’d have have had to come up with a word (hopefully a rare one) from the passage in the Authorised Version and then hunt that up in the small print of my Crudens’ Concordance. The small print didn’t worry me 20 years ago – it would today. Then, if I didn’t hit on a good word first time, I’d have to repeat the whole operation. Often, I’d give up on the concordance and just skim read the whole of the book I was searching through. Skim reading Ezekiel is no small undertaking!
The upshot is that a process which just takes a minute or so today, would have taken considerably longer before good computer search tools were available.
Of course, this isn’t new; we are all aware of how much computers have speeded things up. But every now and then it’s good to remember that not everything in the old days was quite so good.