In 1456 Johann Gutenberg produced the first printed book; the Gutenberg Bible. What followed was a revolution that completely changed not only the church, but all of society and the world. Within fifty years after Gutenberg’s first Bible, the world went from zero printed books to over fifty million. This made books, and the knowledge they held, available to many people, and not just the elite, scribes and monks.
While church tradition had placed a heavy burden on the backs of believers, they could now read for themselves, with their own eyes, the truth that the gospel of Christ is meant to free people from the burdens of guilt and sin.
“Accept my teachings and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in spirit, and you will find rest for your lives. The burden that I ask you to accept is easy; the load I give you to carry is light.” Matthew 11:29-30 (NCV)
BBC’s beautiful production about Gutenberg: “The Machine That Made Us”