Did you know keyboards prior to 1970 didn’t even include an exclamation point? Before that you had to type a period, backspace and then type an apostrophe above the period to make “!”
Maybe that’s one reason why there are so few exclamation points in the Bible.
Who knows? Maybe the typewriters used to create the Bible didn’t even have backspace keys. That was a long time ago and I imagine the typewriters must have been very primitive.
I know they were in “The Flintstones.”
It’s too bad because the Bible is one of the few publications these days that could use an influx of exclamation points.
Think about it: our media inundates us with events it considers exclamation-point worthy.
“Apple about to unveil iPhone 6!”
“Kim Kardashian’s skintight leather steals the show!”
“The 2014 NFL season begins Thursday!”
Let’s compare the “news” of those events to this from 1 Corinthians 15:3-4.
“For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins in accordance with our the scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, that he appeared to Cephas then to the twelve.”
First off, at 324 characters that’s more than twice the Twitter cut. And you reduce the number of social media “shares” you’re likely to garner because most people have never heard of Cephas, the name Jesus gave to Simon Peter that means, “The Rock,” not to be confused with muscleman actor/wrestler Dwayne Johnson.
And it says something about our culture that if you Google “The Rock,” you get about two dozen listings touting the co-star with Mark Wahlberg of “Pain & Gain,” before you get to even one about a venerated Christian saint so beloved by Jesus Christ he became the first pope.
But let’s bring the Corinthian passage up to date to try and secure a strong SEO rate. Here’s how I’d write it:
“Christ died for our sins! He rose from the dead! #JCkicksDeathsAss!!!”
I try not to use more than one exclamation point, but the resurrection of the Savior, I think, warrants at least a trio.
So much of the Bible is too understated to resonate with today’s readers.
Take just the very first sentence of the very first page, Genesis 1:1: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and earth.”
Could our holy creation be more ho-hum? Advertisements announcing Labor Day sales were more euphoric.
Let’s try the memorable 3rd verse of the same chapter, but with the punctuation it deserves.
“And God said, ‘Let their be light!’ And there was light!”
Could you imagine what the press release would look like if a ballyhooed self-promoter like Trump pulled off a stunt like that?
It’s estimated 100 million Bibles are sold each year.
That’s impressive. But I wonder how many people actually read it.
Imagine how much better the world would be if all the people who bought and owned Bibles behaved like the Bible says they ought to.
It’d be great.
So many of us succumb to spiritual lethargy, living lives as boring as Bibles.
Adding exclamation points, italicization, highlights and underlines to new Bibles might help readers better understand the way we’re supposed to treat one another, that the world is rife with daily opportunities for joy so many ignore.
Or maybe we just need to strive to do something every day to ensure the number of exclamation points we have in our writing never exceeds the number exclamation points we have in our lives.
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