The pen is mightier than the sword  

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The saying 'The pen is mightier than the sword was coined by Edward Bulwer-Lytton in 1839 for his play Richelieu, about Cardinal Richelieu.

The idea was not a neologism even at the time, and had numerous predecessors:

In the Christian New Testament, circa 1st century, AD:

  • Hebrews 4:12: "Indeed, the word of God is living and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating even between soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart."
  • Ephesians 6:17, in like fasion: "sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God"
  • Revelation 1:16, in describing a vision of God: "A sharp two-edged sword came out of his mouth."

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