In 1408, it was illegal to read the Bible in English. In fact, to do so could earn you death. Six men and one woman were found guilty in 1519 of teaching their children the Lord’s Prayer, the Ten Commandments, and the Apostles Creed in English. All seven were burned alive.
William Tyndale struggled for years to translate the Bible into English so that the common man would be able to read the Word of God himself and not rely on what another claimed it said. In the end, he was betrayed and imprisoned for several months.
“Let it not make thee despair, neither yet discourage thee, O reader, that it is forbidden thee in pain of life and goods, or that it is made breaking of the king’s peace, or treason unto his highness, to read the Word of thy soul’s health—for if God be on our side, what matter maketh it who be against us, be they bishops, cardinals, popes.”~ William Tyndale
Finally, on October 6, 1536, William Tyndale was strangled to death. His body was then burned at the stake for, among other charges, translating the Bible into English. It is said that his last words were, “Lord, open the King of England’s eyes!” Three years later, King Henry VIII declared that every church in England make available a copy of the English Bible for all parishioners.
Many others have been martyred in the name of bringing the Bible to people in their own language. Many continue to be killed even in our day. According to Open Doors USA, each month 322 Christians are killed for their faith, 214 churches and Christian properties are destroyed, and 772 other forms of violence are committed against Christians (including beatings, abductions, rape, arrests, and forced marriages)1.
What is it about this book that makes it worth killing over? What makes the Bible worth dying for?What makes the Bible worth dying for? Click To Tweet
Over the next few weeks (maybe months), I will be going over bibliology, the study of the Bible. I will be going over such topics as the origin, reliability, authority, clarity, necessity, sufficiency, and inerrancy/infallibility of the Bible. Hopefully after this study, you and I will both be able to better defend the truth claims of the Bible and have a deeper love and trust of what God has revealed to us through His Word.
What is the Bible?
The Bible is a collection of sixty-six different books, written by about forty authors, in three different languages, over sixteen centuries, on three different continents yet it has one continuous and non-contradictory central message of Jesus Christ, God the Son.
The Bible is the holy book of Christians. It is our guide to the truth about ourselves, God, eternity, the state of the world, and salvation. We do not claim that it holds all knowledge but rather, all the knowledge for salvation and to live holy lives that are pleasing to God.
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)
The Bible: Also Known As…
The Bible is known by many different names. In order to prevent confusion, it is important to know that these words are often used interchangeably.
- Book of the Law (Deuteronomy 31:26)
- Gospel (Romans 1:16)
- Holy Scriptures (Romans 1:2)
- Law of the Lord (Psalm 19:7)
- Living Words (Acts 7:38)
- Message of Christ (Colossians 3:16)
- Scriptures (2 Timothy 3:16)
- The Scroll (Psalm 40:7)
- Sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17)
- Truth (John 17:17)
- Word of God (Luke 11:28)
- Word of Life (Philippians 2:16)
- Words of the Lord (Psalm 12:6)
The Bible is the foundation of Christianity. It is the only source of truly knowing who God is and how to be reconciled to Him. It is where we derive solid theology and doctrine. It is important that we know not only what is in the Bible but why we know it can be trusted when we are asked to defend our beliefs.
I pray that we will better understand why the Bible is worth dying for. Click To Tweet
“You all have by you a large treasure of divine knowledge, in that you have the Bible in your hands; therefore be not contented in possessing but little of this treasure. God hath spoken much to you in the Scripture; labor to understand as much of what he saith as you can. God hath made you all reasonable creatures; therefore let not the noble faculty of reason or understanding lie neglected. Content not yourselves with…divine truth…you accidentally gain in conversation; but let it be very much your business to search for it, and that with the same diligence and labor with which men are wont to dig in mines of silver and gold.” ~ Jonathan Edwards
Through this series on the Bible, I pray that we will better understand why the Bible is worth dying for. I also pray that God will use this time of studying about His Living Word to strengthen us when we face persecution, even unto death, in defending and proclaiming God’s Word to all people.
- “Open Doors USA”. Open Doors USA. Web. 28 Jan. 2017.
- Slick, Matt. “What Is The Bible?”. Carm.org. Web. 27 Jan. 2017.
- “What Are The Different Names And Titles Of The Bible?”. GotQuestions.org. Web. 27 Jan. 2017.
- “What Is The Bible?”. GotQuestions.org. Web. 27 Jan. 2017.
- “What Is The Bible?”. Biblica. Web. 27 Jan. 2017.