I have heard it many times, and in a book yesterday, I again read of the great violinist Paganini and his incredible prowess on the violin. This particular story goes thus:
“The great violinist Paganini was once performing before a most distinguished audience. Suddenly, one of the strings on his violin snapped. The audience gasped, but the master musician continued unruffled to play on the three remaining strings.
Snap!–a second string broke. Still Paganini played on without hesitation. Then, with a sharp crack, a third string broke! The audience now became awestruck. For a brief moment, the artist stopped, raised his famous Stradivarius violin high with one hand and announced, “One string–and Paganini.”
With furious skill and the matchless discipline of a gifted craftsman, he finished the selection on a single string. The performance was done with such matchless perfection, the audience rose together and gave him a tumultuous ovation.”
That story inspired me when I first heard it, as it did on my re-reading yesterday, and I decided to post about the incident citing a spiritual lesson concerning perseverance and coping with life as it is presented…something like that. One thing I strive for in my writing is absolute accuracy, so this morning before I wrote my article, I researched the story on the internet. Sadly, for it is unquestionably a great tale of inspiration I have concluded the account is false, and such an incident never occurred.
Paganini began touring Europe when he was in his early forties. At the time, no one had ever seen or heard anyone, or anything, quite like Paganini. For a time, Paganini capitalized on this difference by encouraging the rumors of his supernatural abilities. It was common for him to arrive at a concert in a black coach drawn by black horses. Paganini himself would wear black. Schwarz states that Paganini would enter the stage late, like a non-terrestrial creature, and bow to the audience(Great Masters of the Violin 181). Paganini's stage presence increased the rumors of his dark affiliations and the rumors soon became outrageous. One of the most popularized reports explained his extreme dexterity with one string. Schwarz explains that many believed Paganini had been imprisoned for a love affair with only his violin for company. One by one, the three upper strings broke, leaving only the G-string. Paganini soon learned to play on the G-string alone because of his imprisonment (Schwarz 176). Paganini tried to dispel these myths later in his career, but it was too late. Paganini became known as a "technical wizard" (Schwarz 179).
Nevertheless, I have a lesson from my morning research: God’s Word is true. Never must we question its authenticity, its divine origin, its timeliness, its inspiration. Despite the issuing of an official document from the Roman Catholic Church that says part of the Bible is not true, I stand staunch in my belief in the accuracy, irrefutability, inerrancy and infallibility of the Bible. God’s Word will never fail, never show itself to be clothed in deception, nor be revealed as a faltering volume of false tales, nor a sour book of broken promises and shattered dreams. No, though written by men, and thus bearing touch of the human, those Wondrous Words were God-uttered, and thus Divine.