Have you ever gone to your Bible a bit reluctantly? I confess that I have, especially when I have an idea for a blog post that’s begging for me to type it out. I believe 21st Century culture causes evangelicals (assuming they care about the Bible at all) to take God’s Word for granted. Further, I believe we take God’s Word for granted because we don’t understand the history behind the English translation and the cost men paid to make those translations.
Yesterday John and I attended a presentation by Truth Remains that our church has been hosting this weekend. If you’ll click the link I just provided, and then click again to their “Bibles” page, you’ll read that Truth Remains’ founder David Parsons entrusted his incredible collection of 16th and 17th English Bibles to this ministry so that they can educate churches around the country on the marvelous way God made His Word available to English-speaking people. The presentation deepened my awe of the Lord’s faithfulness to preserve His Word as He sovereignly intervened in history.
As we approach the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation on October 31st, 2017, I will be writing more and more articles about the Reformers who brought Christianity back to its Biblical roots. Therefore I’ll not attempt to reiterate everything I learned from Truth Remains in today’s blog post. Rather, I want to give a brief, and somewhat subjective, account of my responses to the afternoon. hoping to whet your appetite for the legacy that the Reformers have left to us.
Truth Remains began their presentation by telling us about William Tyndale, the first person to make an English translation of the Bible directly from the original Greek and Hebrew. Please read for yourself about Tyndale’s defiance of English law by translating the Bible and smuggling copies into England. Steven J. Lawson provides a easily read account in his book, The Daring Mission of William Tyndale. They displayed a second edition Tyndale New Testament, one of only six surviving copies left in the world.
After the presentation, the men who brought it generously spent time showing me and John the Bibles they brought. They allowed John to read John 1:1-2:
In the beginning was that word, and that word was with god: and god was that word. The same was in the beginning with god. ~~Tyndale translation
As he read those words from the earliest English translation, my eyes welled up with tears. About 50 years ago (reading, of all things, a Catholic New Testament), my husband came to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ by reading those very verses! Our pastor’s wife, Julie Garber, captured this special moment with her camera. I’ll treasure the photo and the memory of John reading those glorious and life-changing words for the rest of my life!
I want to end this post by borrowing the point that Truth Remains used to end their presentation. They had shown that Tyndale and others had sacrificed their very lives in order to make Scripture available to all people. Like those Reformation heroes, we again live in a culture that’s growing hostile to Biblical Christianity. Their courage and refusal to compromise God’s Word must serve as our example. Like them, we must understand that only the truth of God’s Word can break the power of evil. Truth Remains reminded me that The Outspoken TULIP exists to exalt Christ and His Word in preparation for persecution.