Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Help (02/20/06)
TITLE: Help My Desire
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This morning I went to my book self and counted nine Bibles. They are all in English, counting the Linear Greek and English New Testament I have seldom opened. The shelf holds three different study/reference Bibles and a Bible arranged in chronological order. The collection includes four different English translations; King James, New King James, New American Standard, and New International.
What is my excuse?
John Wycliffe planted a seed in the hearts of English men during the Hundred Years War between England and France (1337-1453), when he translated the Bible into English. His work preceded the printing press so was not widely distributed. The Roman Catholic Church ordered his bones to be dug up, burned, and cast into the river years after his death. The growing hunger for a Bible in the language of the common people was not so easily quenched.
In 1525 William Tyndale finished his translation of the English New Testament. He fled England a few years earlier for Germany to see the longing of his heart come to reality. William Tyndale longed for the day when any peasant pushing a plow in the field would be able to read God’s Word in his own language. King Henry VIII ordered mass burnings of Tyndale’s Bibles, but the printing press was in full use by this point of history, and Tyndale just kept smuggling more copies into England. Finally King Henry VIII ordered Tyndale found, brought back to England, and burned. Before his death William Tyndale finished over half of his translation of the Old Testament as well.
Decades later God used King James I to make his “authorized” version of the Holy Scriptures available to English men everywhere--for centuries. The scholars assigned to the task retained nine tenths of Tyndale’s original work in their translation.
My heart should be burning with an unquenchable desire to read the Bible like a thirsty man lost in the desert. My prayers should be full of praise to God for this wonderful privilege. I own nine copies of God’s Word written in my own language.
“Heavenly Father, forgive me for taking such a privilege for granted.”
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