Journalism in the Bible: Crafting the Truth

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He rummages in the deep pockets of his lab coat for something to write on. His fingers feel out the shape of a notebook and he pulls it out – it’s a prescription pad.

It will have to do.

He pulls out a chair and, with his elbow, pushes aside the mountains of medical books to create some space. Taking off his lab coat and hanging it on the back of the chair, he sits down and begins to write.

“In as much as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us … it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus,”  (Luke 1:1 & 3).

Luke begins what will end up being a 24 chapter letter to his friend.

Dr. Luke is not a trained scribe, but he loves to write. He is certified to fiddle with a stethoscope and write prescriptions, but here he is, employing  his doctor-sharp memory in the task of penning out a biography of Jesus.

The physician has done his research: he has double-checked the facts and cross-checked his sources. Now he writes.

The doctor is doing what scribes do (or ought to do) best, relaying the truth to the masses in writing. Of course, when Luke penned his letter, he had only one person in mind – his friend Theophilus. But thanks to God’s providential orchestration, the whole world is now privy to this treasure chest of God’s Good News to the world.

I can’t help but relate to this First Century doctor. I am a trained Engineer, with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering plus several months of working experience in the bag. Yet here I am, training and working in a leading media house in East Africa and bearing the title of Journalist:  interviewing people, double-checking facts, cross-checking my sources and writing stories.

To the casual eye, it may seem like I wasted my five years of Engineering training. Plus it’s not like the money in Journalism is anything to write home about. So, why am I doing this? What would compel me to leave the multi-million shilling construction projects and settle for spending hours at boring press briefings and scribbling on tattered notebooks?

Two word: Passion and Mission

A passion for the Word and a mission to the world.

I believe I am called to write, commissioned to tell stories and compelled to relay the truth. If I was Harry Potter, the pen would be my magic wand; I just slide the tip across my notebook and I make news; I just tap on a keyboard and watch lives get transformed.

I love to write, and I am persuaded that I best express my love for the society around me through writing. So, I write. Like Dr. Luke, I have laid aside the pomp and flair of a well moneyed career and opted to plant my rear at the corner of an office and “bang copy”. I love what I do. I love to tell stories and most importantly, I desire to tell the truth. What better place to do it than as a journalist?

Daily Nation’s slogan is “The Truth.”

Echoing the words of Luke,

“In as much as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us (The Truth) … it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent readers.”

My definition and understanding of “The Truth” may not be exactly like that of my bosses and most of my colleagues. But like Luke, I too have an opportunity to tell the truth that will outlive all others – through my life and, as opportunities arise, my writing.

It may seem implausible at first, but the Bible is actually the product of journalism – the product of men observing events, double-checking facts and cross-checking sources; under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. You can call it divine journalism.

And that’s The Truth.

For the fame of His name,

Cornell

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