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The story of your Bible

14 March 2023 ‘“The word of the Lord endures forever.” Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you.’ 1 Peter 1:25 NKJV

In the fourteenth century, there wasn’t a single copy of the Bible in English! It was available only in Latin, the language of the clergy. The valuable Bibles were chained to the podiums of churches and cathedrals. Then John Wycliffe, a prominent professor of divinity at Oxford University said, ‘This isn’t right. People should be able to read the Bible in their own language.’ Church leaders called him a heretic and an instrument of the devil. Like Noah who pounded the nails into the ark while people ridiculed and scorned him, Wycliffe began work on translating the Scriptures as a flood of persecution emerged around him. When the translation was finally finished, he wrote this in the flyleaf of the first copy of the English Scriptures: ‘This Bible is translated and shall make possible a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.’ Thirty years after Wycliffe died, he was again proclaimed a heretic, and his body was dug up, his bones were burned to dust, and his ashes were thrown into the River Swift, a tributary of the River Avon. A historian of that time describes the scene like this: ‘Thus this brook hath conveyed his ashes into (the river) Avon, Avon into Severn, Severn into the narrow seas, they into the ocean. And thus ashes…are the emblem of his doctrine…now…dispersed the world over.’ Peter wrote, ‘“The word of the Lord endures forever.” Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you.’ It’s a privilege that God shared His Word with us, and it’s also a privilege that we can read it in our own language. So, treasure your Bible.

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