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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Commitment (01/05/12)

TITLE: Biblical Commitment
By Louis Detweiler


Biblical Commitment – Translating the Bible

We, the members of Faithwriters, are committed to writing. We study the English language to help develop our writing skills. We study scripture to learn the truth about life. Our commitment to studying and learning might have far reaching implications for future generations. Men toiled laboriously over the Bible through the centuries to pass God’s Holy message to his people. The first translations of the Bible were gathered from ancient Hebrew texts and Greek writings. Some of the books of the Bible were a combination of several letters. Yet, a canon was established. This canon, a composition of letters from many authors, survives today as our Bible in a multitude of over 333 different languages.

To preserve the Holy word throughout the centuries took a great deal of commitment from many people. It cost some people their lives. Some Christians died horrible deaths at the hands of the church because they would not recant their interpretation of God’s Holy Scripture. Althanius, Bishop of Alexandria, cemented the Bible as a book in A.D. 367. This was the canon that had previously been adopted as the Orthodox Christian Canon through the Nicea Council held in A.D. 325. He was attacked by heretics repeatedly for his beliefs as a Christian. He spent his entire life defending the Christian beliefs set up from the Council of Nicea. The reason a canon was necessary was because many heretics wanted to put their views in Biblical scripture that weren’t true. In modern day this could be translated as believing what was portrayed in the movie the “Da Vinci Code”.

Through the middle ages the Bible was translated into Latin and very few people knew Latin or could read. The Bible was not available to ordinary men to explore on their own. A man who helped bring the Bible to ordinary people was an English scholar John Wycliffe.

John Wycliffe, a professor at Oxford in England during the 1360s, tangled with the pope and the Catholic Church. John Wycliffe thought the Catholic Church had too much power in England. He opposed the Catholic Church for the way they taxed the English, made appointments for clergy, and for taking land away from the English people. One of his key arguments against the church also included how scripture was taught. His argument over scripture shook all of Europe during the late 1300s.

John Wycliffe believed scripture held more weight for the common man than church doctrine. In the fourteenth century the word of God could only be presented through church hierarchy and clergy. The common thought of the day was ordinary people were unable to understand the Scripture on their own, let alone read. John Wycliffe believed every man is equal in the eyes of the Lord since the Lord taught common men in the Bible. The disciples were common fishermen. Since everyone is equal, he thought everyone should be able to figure out their salvation from reading their own Bible. His commitment to help get the word of God into the hands of the common people laid the foundation in translating a Bible into common English. Once the English people were able to understand the Bible on their own they never went back to the church hierarchy of learning. Although Bible reading was banned openly, people read their Bibles in private.

From John Wycliffe’s Bible to the Reformation movement with Martin Luther work was done to help spread the word of God to the people. Martin Luther, a monk, earned his doctorate of Theology in 1512. After serving the church Martin Luther became dissatisfied with the church and made a list of 95 reasons why the selling of indulgences was wrong. At this time people could pay the church money and the clergy would forgive them of their sin. Martin Luther got in trouble and believed what John Wycliffe believed that all men are created equal in the eyes of God. For his beliefs Martin Luther was excommunicated from the church and branded a heretic. Yet, he had followers that supported him. He was able to help lead German churches in Wittenberg. Eventually, he translated the Bible into German for all the people. The introduction of printing presses opened the way for everyone to own a Bible throughout Europe.

Through commitment of great men we have our Bible today. Commitment is dedicating yourself to a cause and then with God’s help being able to follow through.

The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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This article has been read 394 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Judy Sauer 01/12/12
Interesting history lesson.
Kristine Baker01/12/12
We, the members of FaithWriters, are part of this history you write about.

Lillian Rhoades 01/14/12
Your piece showed some very interesting facts about the Bible and its history.

How well was this article crafted? There are improvements needed in style, grammar and focus.

Did it have a clear point or message?
Although the general theme was how dedicated men committed to preserving the Bible, the spotlight was shared by many other themes. Ex. John Wycliffe's struggles with the Pope/Martin Luther's troubles with John Wycliffe

Did it start well? The opening sentences had only a slight connection to the rest of the piece, in my opinion.

Did it have a satisfying conclusion? Yes, the conclusion was a good summary of the primary theme.
Theresa Santy 01/14/12
I found this 'history lesson' essay fascinating, and I want to thank you for writing it. It overflowed with facts I did not know!

I would advise in future pieces, not to include 'FaithWriters' or for that matter, anything about the 'Challenge' in your entry, since once the winners are published in anthologies, the essays are supposed to be relatable to a greater range of audience.
Lillian Rhoades 01/14/12
You piece was very informative.

How well did it start? I had difficulty connecting the opening sentences to the rest of the piece.

How well crafted? Did it flow smoothly? Did it have a clear message?
Watch out for continuity of thought. For ex:

"Through the middle ages the Bible was translated into Latin and very few people knew Latin or could read. The Bible was not available to ordinary men to explore on their own. A man who helped bring the Bible to ordinary people was an English scholar John Wycliffe."

I would rewrite to show that not only are all of the sentences related to each other, but also to the main point of the article.

Watch out for sentence structure and word meaning.

For ex: "At this time people could pay the church money." Did you mean pay money to the church, or is church an adjective that describes money?

Did it come to a satisfying conclusion? Yes, the conclusion fit well with the topic and the title.
Lillian Rhoades 01/14/12
Don't ask me how you get the benefit of two reviews. I'm scratching my head.:-) Lol
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 01/14/12
I enjoyed this history lesson and thought it was quite educational. You definitely nailed the topic.

I have two little comments. First don't make a reference to FW in your submission as the top 10 overall winners will be published in an anthology and those readers may have never heard of FW. Second, go back and count how many times you used the word commitment. It is possible to write on topic without using the topic word. It's a great thing to try to challenge yourself to still write on topic and have readers know what the topic is without overusing the word.

I liked how you ended it and summarized your message. We have a lot to be grateful for and are blessed by those who risked their lives to ensure that we would know the word of God.