In the early 16th century, William Tyndale made it his purpose to translate the New Testament Scriptures, written in Greek, into the language of his people, the language of England. Getting word of this, “Edward Lee, the king’s almoner [giver of alms] and future archbishop of York…” heard about it. He reported back to the king, “I am certainly informed that an Englishman, your subject, at the solicitation and insistence of Luther [Martin Luther], with whom he is, hath translated the New Testament into English, and within a few days intendeth to arrive with the same imprinted in England. I need not advertise your Grace what infection and danger” an English Bible represented (God’s Bestseller by Brian Moynahan, 2002, p. 76).
Most people today have no understanding of the treachery perpetrated against those who loved the Lord and His Scripture, and their desire to get His message into the hand of the common people. William Tyndale understood this and put his life in great danger to accomplish this task. Finally, the religious authorities (the Roman Catholic Church and government officials in support of the church) caught up with Tyndale, and at the age of 42 he was executed.
Think about that for a moment.
About the time of our great Civil War, President Lincoln once said concerning the Bible, “In regard to this Great Book, I have but to say, it is the best gift God has given to man. All the good the Savior gave to the world was communicated through this book. But for it, we could not know right from wrong. All things most desirable for man’s welfare, here and hereafter, are to be found portrayed in it.”
What is that you have? A Bible? We have enjoyed a great Thanksgiving holiday this week, and I am sure you expressed your gratitude toward the Lord for all the blessings you and your family have enjoyed in life. Have you thanked Him that others before us have gone to great lengths to give us, in the language of the common man, the Scriptures wherein we can read and learn more of the holy will of the Almighty?
Since you have the Bible in hand, revere, read, and study it because it pertains to the mind of God, and His wrath to those who pay not any attention. Thanksgiving is a time when people reflect upon their blessing; this is the way it ought to be. Be sure to express your gratitude to the Lord because of “what you have in your hand,” that is, a Bible. It was Paul who wrote, “…how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly. When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit” (Eph. 3:3-5).
We are most fortunate to have a Bible, and we would be wise to read it and heed it. Thank you, Lord, for Your holy Word, for “Thy word have I laid up in my heart, That I might not sin against thee” (Psalm 119:11, ASV).
Rio Grande church of Christ