Of Tablets & Texts


In our modern life we have a certain understanding of tablets and texts. If you were to ask people 25 years old or younger the definition of a tablet, undoubtedly the response would be a portable electronic device or pad.


A similar question about texts would result in the young person showing you their smartphone and favorite app for sending and receiving messages.


I grew up in a time before the prevalence of personal electronics. Tablets were pads of white or yellow paper and came in letter or legal size. Texts related to reading and discussing passages of literature in English class.


When we consider previous eras we discover that, while the methods may seem primitive to us, the conveyance of ideas remains the same.


God wrote the 10 Commandments on tablets of stone that Moses brought down from Mount Sinai. The original portable, albeit heavy, means of communicating information from the source to the receiver.


Moses himself, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, wrote the first books of the Bible. The Torah text was written to be read and preserved for passing on wisdom to each generation.


While "text" itself related to the main body of written language, it has deeper levels of meaning and is the root of other words such as pretext and context. A pretext is a condition that prevents action or an excuse to avoid doing something. One example is saying you are unable to attend a family function due to your work schedule when you are actually unemployed. A pretext can be based on partial truth or fabricated entirely.


Many of us have heard the phrase "that was taken out of context". This means the setting or surrounding environment of a conversation or event. The implication here is that we need to consider additional information before making snap judgments or jumping to conclusions.


Whether in ancient times or in the course of current events, the need for expressing and communicating information and ideas has not changed.

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