This year marks the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible. I love my Bible. The more I read it, the more precious it becomes. It's God's love letter to me, and it shows me His holiness, righteousness, justice, compassion, love, mercy, grace, and forgiveness. Many Christians all over the world are marking this important anniversary of God's Word. However, there are others who would like to re-write our history, and claim credit where it is not due. I believe it's important for us as Christians to know our history and to know where our Bible came from. Blood was shed, lives were lost, and much was sacrificed so that we could have God's Word readable in our language today. This article made me appreciate even more the sacrifices of godly men, who believed that the Bible should be made readily available to all people, not just the priests or the pope. I hope this article is a blessing to you too.
USA TODAY SAYS CATHOLIC CHURCH HAD SIGNIFICANT ROLE IN THE KJV (Friday Church News Notes, April 8, 2011, www.wayoflife.org firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143) - A USA Today report on a traveling Bible exhibit makes the amazing claim that the Roman Catholic Church had a significant role in the King James Bible. The exhibit, called Passages, is set to open at the Vatican in October. “The announcement was made at the Vatican Embassy to highlight the Catholic contribution to the best-loved English text, the 1611 KJV, which draws about 80% of its majestic language from an earlier translation by a Catholic priest” (“New Museum to Use Science to Tell Bible’s History,” USA Today, April 8, 2011). What the reporter forgot to mention was Rome’s most significant role in that project, which was burning that “Catholic priest” in a public spectacle in Vilvoorde, Belgium. The “priest” in question was William Tyndale, who published the first printed English Bible and the first English Bible translated directly from Greek and Hebrew. Though he was an ordained Catholic priest, he renounced the Roman Catholic Church and its heresies and called the pope the Antichrist. In The Practice of Prelates, Tyndale likened the pope to an ivy which climbs up a tree and gradually saps the strength of the host and kills it, emphasizing that this is what the pope had done to England and every other nation under the papal thumb. Tyndale called Roman Catholicism “a nest for unclean birds.” Tyndale also brazenly disobeyed Rome’s law that forbade the translation of the Bible into the common languages of the people without ecclesiastical permission. When the Tyndale New Testament was smuggled into England (because the Roman Catholic authorities there forbade its distribution) large quantities were confiscated and burned, beginning in 1526. By 1528, the prisons were filled with those who had committed the “crime” of reading the New Testament in English, and in 1529 Thomas Hitton became the first in a long line of believers who were burned at the stake for possessing the Tyndale Bible. (Others had previously been burned for possessing the Wycliffe Bible.) In May 1535, Tyndale was arrested for his “heresies” and for his audacity at thumbing his nose at papal laws. After being imprisoned for nearly a year and a half in a cold, dreary dungeon in the castle at Vilvoorde, William Tyndale was taken out to the public square, strangled, and his body burned. Roman Catholic authorities also burned John Rogers, the translator of the Matthew’s Bible, another Bible in the lineage of the 1611 King James. Further, the Geneva Bible, which was the most popular English Bible before the KJV, was produced in Geneva, Switzerland, instead of England for the simple reason that the Roman Catholic Queen Mary was pouring out such vicious persecution upon Bible believers that many fled to Geneva for safety. And going back before Tyndale to the first English Bible, let’s not forget that the Roman Catholic Church condemned John Wycliffe of “heresy” for translating the English Bible and so hated his memory that they dug up his bones and burned them nearly 44 years after his death. Yes, the Roman Catholic Church did have a major role in the English Bibles preceding the King James, and let’s not forget it!
How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!