“The pen is mightier than the sword,” was written by novelist and playwright Edward Bulwer-Lytton in 1839, in his historical play, Cardinal Richelieu. He was using it within the context of the play depict- ing the intrigue during the reign of King Louis XIII. He was referring to his recognition of the far reaching and lasting power of the written word.
There is something to be said of the value of printed books over relying on the internet for reference. As we have observed, information on the internet can be easily altered, updated, modified, appended, blocked and so on. This is not possible with a printed book or document.
These changes in content done on the internet are often innocuous, but occasionally quite concerning. In example, I have seen over the years, that certain older Bible commentaries are altered from the printed versions, sometimes without notation of the changes.
Before 1880 virtually all Bible study reference books, when including quotes from the English Bible, used the King James Version. The KJV had been, (and still is), viewed as the preserved Word of God for the English-speaking world. But one of the frequently seen changes one can see in some inter- net adapted Bible commentaries is the substitution of other inferior English versions in the place of the Authorized version.
Even in the internet recorded version of the KJV some subtle changes can be detected. I use an internet Bible reading app called YouVersion, which has various daily Bible reading schedules and does offer the KJV. It is read quite well, by an English accented Shakespearian actor with a good reading voice. Yet even with that, some words are altered, and occasionally a phrase is read incorrectly.
Some college courses in preparing students for careers in public school teaching require that the student use no text for reference work that is older than twenty years. Some of this is understandable, as knowledge of some subjects advances, but so much more is lost by suggesting older references to all subjects have less value.
In the eternal perspective it is imminently so that the pen is mightier than the sword, as testified too long before a playwright made the statement. Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.