Reading the scripture

Published 6:48 pm Tuesday, September 24, 2019

remember reading that Jesus came into the world at just the right time. The Roman peace enabled his messengers to travel, cross borders and tell his story. The Roman roads made their travels much easier. And the Roman postal system enabled his messengers to keep in touch with their various churches — if they could read and write?

It all started 30,000 years ago with cave paintings which evolved into ideograms or symbols representing the pictures. By 3,500 BC, the first cuneiform or wedge-shaped writings appeared leading to the alphabets we use today — although we can now buy “audible” books.

Some of the first settlers in our area found the Tsa-la-gi living in north Georgia, Tennessee and the Carolinas. They called them the “Cherokee” and their alphabet was created by Sequoyah who was born in a Tsa-la-gi village called Tuskegee on the Tennessee River. His mother was Wurerth, who belonged to the Paint Clan, and his father might have been Nathaniel Gist, a white man from Virginia. (

Sequoyah is sometimes called George Gist and he realized at some point, the power white men wielded came in part from their ability to read and write and send messages. So in 1809, he began to create a Tsa-la-gi alphabet… although it was finally a syllabary or phonetic alphabet, written as it’s pronounced and pronounced as it’s written.

He’d discovered 85 vowel and consonant sounds and assigned a character to each sound. Finally, in 1821, his “alphabet” was ready. It was so simple and straightforward, most of the Cherokee became literate in a little over a year! Then in 1827, the first Native American newspaper, the Cherokee Phoenix, was established in New Echota, Georgia and the first issue was published on Feb. 21, 1828.

“And that’s about it, friends. Be cheerful. Keep things in good repair. Keep your spirits up. Think in harmony. Be agreeable. Do all that, and the God of love and peace will be with you for sure. Greet one another with a holy embrace. All the brothers and sisters here say hello. The amazing grace of the Master, Jesus Christ, the extravagant love of God, the intimate friendship of the Holy Spirit, be with all of you.” (2 Corinthians 13:11-14)

Much of the New Testament is a collection of letters to the various early churches at the time and 2,000 years later we’re still reading them. Or, if you can’t read them, Faith Comes By Hearing takes the next step and creates “audible” Bibles for people around the world who can’t read and “audible” Biblesticks for our military troops around the world.