The Truth of a Tale

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).


Lots more in this article entitled Paganini Stories and Myths

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.


My other blog is here.


About Shirley Buxton

Still full of life and ready to be on the move, Shirley at 78 years old feels blessed to have lots of energy and to be full of optimism. She has been married to Jerry for 60 years. They have 4 children, 12 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren...all beautiful and highly intelligent--of course. :)
This entry was posted in Bible, Christianity, Church, Devotionals, God, Holy Ghost, Music/singing, Passion, Word of God. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to The Truth of a Tale

  1. Jerry Buxton says:

    AMEN!!!AMEN!!!and AMEN!!!

  2. Tom Contino says:

    Mom & I agree—Amen, Amen, Amen, Amen, Amen. (We sang that.)

  3. helenl says:


    There is a difference between being factual and being true. An event may be both, either, or neither. The story of Paganini may not be factual, but it has value because it inspires (and, thus, it is true). The same is so of the Genesis events. God made the world, (that is true), so the facts about how he did it don’t matter as much as they would if we needed to prove it.

    All Christians believe the Bible is true (otherwise, they wouldn’t be Christians), but how many facts are literal is certainly a question we may raise. Literal and true are not synonyms. It is just this kind of attack on a different denomination that hurts the Church. It must pain the heart of Jesus to see one group of Christians attack the beliefs of another.

  4. Shirley says:

    Helen, I’m not sure if you are referring to me when you say “It must pain the heart of Jesus to see one group of Christians attack the beliefs of another.” but I suspect you are.

    I am afraid that you are mistaken when you say “All Christians believe the Bible is true (otherwise, they wouldn’t be Christians)” That is unless you are using the word Christian in its true meaning of being Christ-like and thus are implying that if one does not believe the Bible is true, that one is not a Christian.

    I’m listing here another portion of the referenced article–words which would have us completely disbelieve the book of Revelation.

    “Similarly, they (Catholic bishops) refute the apocalyptic prophecies of Revelation, the last book of the Christian Bible, in which the writer describes the work of the risen Jesus, the death of the Beast and the wedding feast of Christ the Lamb.”

    The defense of the Gospel is important to me, and when I read material that seems bent on negating truth, it seems a good use of my venue to disagree with such writings. I don’t feel at all arrogant or a know-it-all; quite the contrary, I understand my own limitations, and indeed, I wish I were wiser and more knowledgable than I am.

    I’m at a loss, though, to understand your taking issue with my pointing to an article where a church warns its people of a drastic change in doctrine–a doctrine that is not supported by the Word of God.

    In the year of 1978, an international summit of evangelical leaders met in Chicago, and drew up what is referred to as the Chicago Statement of Biblical Inerrancy. I’m bringing you the concluding paragraph.

    “In our affirmation of the authority of Scripture as involving its total truth, we are consciously standing with Christ and His apostles, indeed with the whole Bible and with the main stream of Church history from the first days until very recently. We are concerned at the casual, inadvertent, and seemingly thoughtless way in which a belief of such far-reaching importance has been given up by so many in our day.

    We are conscious too that great and grave confusion results from ceasing to maintain the total truth of the Bible whose authority one professes to acknowledge. The result of taking this step is that the Bible which God gave loses its authority, and what has authority instead is a Bible reduced in content according to the demands of one’s critical reasonings and in principle reducible still further once one has started. This means that at bottom independent reason now has authority, as opposed to Scriptural teaching. If this is not seen and if for the time being basic evangelical doctrines are still held, persons denying the full truth of Scripture may claim an evangelical identity while methodologically they have moved away from the evangelical principle of knowledge to an unstable subjectivism, and will find it hard not to move further.

    We affirm that what Scripture says, God says. May He be glorified. Amen and Amen.”

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