Genesis one

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JLG

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JOSHUA

CHAPTER 24

- Joshua tells about what God has told him!

- He speaks about everything God did to Abraham and his descendants and Israel!

- How he saved them so many times from destruction!

- So they are told to keep faithful to God and to keep away from the gods of their forefathers or from the gods of their enemies!

- And the Israelites say they won’t abandon God and they won’t serve other gods!

- And Joshua warns them again, if they don’t keep faithful God will turn against them and will exterminate them!

- And Joshua dies at the age of 110!

- And Israel kept faithful to God during the days of the elders who outlived Joshua and who had known all of God’s deeds in behalf of Israel!
 
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Genesis 2





Day seven :

- God begind to rest !

A history of the heavens and the earth :

At first, there was no bush and no vegetation and no rain and no man to cultivate the ground but a mist going up from the earth and watering the entire surface of the ground. And God made man out of dust from the ground and blew into his nostrils the breath of life and man became A LIVING SOUL (NEPHESH).
- The garden in Eden
- Man was put in it
- Every kind of vegetation in it
- The tree of life
- The tree of the knowledge of good and bad
- One river dividing into four rivers
- Man was supposed to cultivate and take care of the garden of Eden
- Man couldn’t eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and bad for in the day he eats from it he will certainly die
- God had been creating animals and man would give a name to each one
- God made a woman out of man (from one of his ribs)
- A man will leave his father and his mother and he will stick to his wife and they will become one flesh.
- They were naked and not ashamed of it
We are living on the seventh day. The seventh day is when God rested from creating and let human history play out.
 

JLG

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We are living on the seventh day. The seventh day is when God rested from creating and let human history play out.
- At the same time both God and Jesus are busy preparing what comes next!

- They also have a big organization of angels!
 
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Genesis 3

- The serpent asks Eve if they must not really eat from every tree of the garden. Of course, he doesn’t ask it to Adam because Adam received this commandment directly from God.
- So she answers that they must not eat from the tree which is in the middle of the garden. Of course, it is not in the middle of the garden for nothing. Of course, it is a symbol of God’s authority and by not eating from this tree, they recognize that God is their leader and that they depend on him.
- And they know that if they eat from it they will die.
- And the serpent answers that they certainly will not die meaning that God is a liar and they can’t trust him. He puts his authority in question. And he is jealous of the worship he gets from human beings. It is exactly the same with Job and the devil thinks, from the beginning, that he can take away all human beings from God and probably the same with God’s angels. And this is incredible because God gives the choice to human beings and to angels to obey him or not. It’s UP TO YOU! And there is no HALF CHOICE! It is YES or NO, it is not maybe yes or maybe not! And it is a question of LIFE or DEATH! And the usual message we hear is YOU CERTAINLY WILL NOT DIE! The problem is that it is not God’s message but the devil’s one just like in the beginning. And what happened to Adam and Eve: they died and we can die too if we don’t make God’s will!
- but he was right when he said that the day they ate the fruit they shouldn’t have to, their eyes opened and they started knowing good and bad meaning they opposed God and disowned him but there was no way back. Because they were perfect. And they were selfish because they only thought about them and Adam was the more guilty because he didn’t want to lose his wife. Moreover, God had done a really good Job because Adam didn’t want to lose his wife but it was no excuse. And all humanity paid the price and we pay the price till today!
- After eating, they realize they are naked and they dress themselves.
- When God call them, they hide because they perfectly know what they did.
- And how does Adam answer God? Adam rejected the fault on Eve! How courageous! And Eve does the same with the devil!
- The serpent is cursed!
- There appears an opposition between the serpent and the woman and the serpent’s offspring and the woman’s one and “he will crush your head and you will strike him in the heel”.
- God will increase the pain of woman’s pregnancy and the man will dominate his wife.
- The ground is cursed because of Adam and man will have to work hard to cultivate it and feed himself.
- And human beings are going to die.
- And after that Adam names his wife Eve because she will become the mother of everyone living.
- And god made clothes to them.
- And he expelled them from the garden of Eden so they couldn’t eat from the tree of life and live forever.
Where there is no law there is no transgression. When Adam and Eve ate the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they developed a conscience and were under the law of Consciencesness. That is why we are all born under the law and why the law is a curse because we are now responsible for all our thoughts and actions. The problem with mankind is puting self above all else. Self is his motivation for every thought and action. When a person recognizes that he is a sinner and is granted repentance by the Father, he turns to the Father for forgiveness who in turn provides the gospel for the forgiveness of sins through Jesus Christ through preaching. The person who trusts in Jesus has his sins washed away, but still has a sinful nature because his motivation is still self and the pleasures of the world and the flesh. That is where the Holy Spirit comes into action. The Holy Spirit of the Father and Son dwells in the person and the person becomes a new creature filled with divine love for God and man. With this new motivation of love for every thought and action, we are then obeying the Spirit of the Law and walking in the Spirit. Salvation is not just a mental thing, it is a state of being.
 

JLG

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Where there is no law there is no transgression. When Adam and Eve ate the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they developed a conscience and were under the law of Consciencesness. That is why we are all born under the law and why the law is a curse because we are now responsible for all our thoughts and actions. The problem with mankind is puting self above all else. Self is his motivation for every thought and action. When a person recognizes that he is a sinner and is granted repentance by the Father, he turns to the Father for forgiveness who in turn provides the gospel for the forgiveness of sins through Jesus Christ through preaching. The person who trusts in Jesus has his sins washed away, but still has a sinful nature because his motivation is still self and the pleasures of the world and the flesh. That is where the Holy Spirit comes into action. The Holy Spirit of the Father and Son dwells in the person and the person becomes a new creature filled with divine love for God and man. With this new motivation of love for every thought and action, we are then obeying the Spirit of the Law and walking in the Spirit. Salvation is not just a mental thing, it is a state of being.
- We lived in a world filled with corruption!

- Whatever we do, we eat and drink and breathe corruption!

- Thus for us it is difficult to imagine different situations!

- Thus we think corruption is normal!

- The devil is the god of this world, yet many believe he doesn’t exist!

- Or as 2 Corinthians says it, he can turn into an angel of light!

- The angels work in coordination with God, they participated in the creation of the universe!

- They are part of the creation so they were perfect!

- They have been at his service!

- They have been seeing his wisdom and power and everything!

- He was their light and the source of life and everything!

- Yet some decided to lose everything and cut themselves from him because of mere personal desires!

- They deceived themselves by letting their personal desires grow and take human bodies and get married with human wives!

- They deceived each other!

- But the majority didn’t do it!

- THAT’S FREE WILL!

- The devil was also perfect before he decided to become an opponent to God!

- Like demons, he used his FREE WILL!

- He lets his desires grow!

- And so Did Eve and Adam!

- First the devil lighted the fire!

- But it was Eve who used her FREE WILL!

- She lets her desires grow!

- And Adam chose his wife instead of God!

- He used his FREE WILL!

- And humanity does the same!

- Men let their desires grow!

- That’s FREE WILL!

- The faithful servants of God refuse to let their desires grow!

- They also use their FREE WILL!

- Think of that: Adam and Eve could do whatever they wanted, they had everything!

- God only gave them one commandment so they could show they respected God’s authority!

- They used their FREE WILL to disobey and cut themselves from God!

- Do you see the difference with the Law of Moses?

- It only showed Israel’s condition of heart!

- They never respected God!

- That’s why he rejected them!

- Look at the condition of heart of faithful servants of God!

- Look at Job!

- look at Daniel!

- Look at Samuel!

- To have such a condition of heart requires spiritual food, solid food and not milk!

- It requires looking for such a food!

- It requires digging and digging!
 

JLG

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I'd have no way of knowing what any other" sites" do or do not do but in all my years at this MINISTRY I have noticed a huge change in our " audience" which personally I would not say is " better," but certainly " different"

Different in that people used to come seeking God or whatever they thought Christianity might lead them to do they can fulfill what was lacking in their lives,- they might not even have known what exactly they were looking for but surely it was about their Faith or lack of

These days sadly,from my observations it seems to be yet another form of social media networking they desire,they might call themselves " Christian" so they come either to profess all their academic knowledge ABOUT God's Word but I have to wonder" Do they not know they can have an intimate Relationship with God's Word?

Yes indeed,they are a very different audience imo- I can only Hope that though they start out( for whatever reason) on this WEBSITE,Forum,Message Board,podium for 15 minutes of fame or whatever you consider WCF that they come to find a MINISTRY of real live,flesh & blood Brothers & Sisters in Christ Jesus who are here for one reason & only one.. JESUS ❤️




- My answer

- Well, in this artificial world, you can't wait for a lot!

- So speaking about God's word is better than not speaking about!

- If it can help people have a better relationship with God!

- Think about the apostles who had a limited territory!

- Think about Paul who had the world as territory!

-Think about telling people about God's word you would never meet because they live in other parts of the world!

- And you don't need to travel and lose time to travel!

- Then you can spend more time in studying and telling!

- It is just crazy!

- Of course, if you want to develop a better relationship with God you need to do your part and read the Bible by yourselves and tell about what you learn!
 

JLG

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Yeah well I'm a people person-street Ministry is my passion ,this is fine for what it is.....

- My answer:

- Good!

- A forum or a blog!

- Opening a door or hundreds or thousands at a time and yet, when you left, the doors keep opening!

- Spoken words or written words!

- When we speak, words go away!

- When we write, words stay!

- When we speak, people can say you have said this or that!

- When you write, everything is written so no discussion is possible!

- What is written is written!

- Sometimes, you receive messages about what you wrote a long time ago!

- Unbelievable!

- Whenever possible, I will publish more discussions I had!

- Thus it is as if you were speaking and speaking and speaking...!

- Time is getting faster and faster!

- Time left is reducing faster and faster!

- At least technology is an incredible way to reach people!

- There is no comparison between the speed of our thoughts and the speed of our words!
 

JLG

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Jesus is the Word- The Word of God never returns void- written or spoken ❤️

- My answer :

- Right !

- Now you have to take into account a small difference :

- Americans are more used to opening the Bible !

- In countries like France, many people won’t open a Bible in all their life!

- My grandmother was a Catholic !

- She used to go to church every Sunday !

- But it was only tradition !

- She didn’t know anything about the Bible !

- Once she went to the pilgrimage town of Lourdes in France !

- And she asked God for the possibility to marry my grandfather !

- And that’s it !

- She knew nothing of the Bible !

- Many people say they believe in God !

- And that’s it !

- In France, many people go to church when they get baptized as a baby, when they get married and when they die !

- Their religious culture or biblical culture is quite limited !

- If you ask many youngsters who are supposed to be believers, they can’t defend their faith !

- They are many Muslims who do their usual prayers and all what they are supposed to do !

- But that’s it, they don’t know anything !

- And so on !

- There is a big religious illiteracy !

- For many, money is their only God !

- Many let others think for them !

- They don’t check by themselves !

- Most of the time, when you take a modern translation of the Bible, maybe or maybe not, they want to make it easier to read but it has nothing to do with the Bible, if people try to read it, they can only be lost, it is a shame !
 

JLG

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Very true and you would HOPE so they would (in America) but yes,you are right- they may have a Bible on their night stand ,at their fingertips yet never read it- it is a sad thing.

My entire family( Sicilian)was catholic ( also by religious tradition) so I understand completely.And it's so funny you speaking of your grandmother's pilgrimage to France,my grandpa was raised in France so I understand that culture as well,no they don't read God's Word,they read a catholic missile if they read anything " religious" at all ( I would say that applies to the majority affiliated with the rcc as they are discouraged from reading the Bible,imo)

Being Born Again we Know God's Word is Revealed by Holy Spirit- customs & traditions of men do not open the Eyes of Understanding- one must seek God with all their heart,soul & mind- let's pray they come to the foot of the cross to Receive Christ Jesus - the Way,the Truth & the Life!

- My answer:

- Yes heart and soul and mind!

- A bit difficult in this superficial world!

- I have uncles in Brittany!

- They are retired!

- They go to church regularly!

- I can imagine they read a bit the Bible from time to time!

- They participate in a Catholic association who help people who have financial problems!

- But they don’t speak about the Bible!

- They think it is only for the religious leaders during the Mass and that’s it!

- When we open our Bibles, It is not possible!
 

JLG

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I will pray for your uncle's,that's what we must do

- My answer:

- Free will is available for everybody!

- Man can choose man’s tradition or God’s word!

- That’s free will!

- When someone doesn’t want to see or hear, you can’t force him!

- You can encourage him!

- People in the Bible were warned again and again!

- Those who didn’t want to listen didn’t listen!

- We must keep speaking and telling people about God’s word!

- But at the end, everybody has has to make his own choice!

- Everybody will be responsible for his own choice!
 

JLG

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At some point we realize as He works in us that we cannot do anything without Him. No thing. Nothing.

When this becomes a reality--a part of us--its easy to pray a lot.

I am chuckling to myself, because the road is not easy and yet He is Gentle in that all is for our Good.

- My answer:

- How does God becomes a reality for teenagers?

- Today many parents think they will decide when they are adults!

- In the Bible, parents were told to teach their children about God all the time!

- But they didn’t do it!

- And things went worse and worse!

- Is it better today?

- No it is exactly the same!

- In 2 Timothy3:1-7 we are told about people being lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, abusive disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, without love of good, traitorous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. Turn away from such as these… always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth!

- Thanks to God’s Word, we can follow the examples of faithful servants of God and how they developed special relationship to God!

- Thus we can know what God wants from us!

- Thus we will learn how to know God and develop a special relationship to him!

- Thus God will become a reality!

- Thus praying him will become natural as it was for job, Daniel, Samuel and others!
 

JLG

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Incorrect. Not only is much of the mass right from the Bible, but Catholics are strongly encouraged to read the Bible outside of the mass. Haven't you heard the various popes on the subject? There are online Bible study courses and Catholic television study courses. At our parish we have classed on an individual book of the Bible. We have assignments, are given an overall of the historical situation at the time, and then break off into small discussion groups sharing what we think. Our Catholic Rosary is very much praying the Bible, where we meditate on various Bible passages. But it is fair to say that Catholics spend more time praying than memorizing Bible passages.

- My answer:

In summary fashion Vatican II declared that tradition, Scripture, and the magisterium “are so linked and joined together that one cannot stand without the others” (Dei Verbum 10). In other words, nothing is believed on the authority of tradition alone, Scripture alone, or the magisterium alone.



Vatican II on the Interpretation of Scripture - Squarespace




The Second Vatican Council (or Vatican II) was the twenty-first ecumenical council of the Catholic Church . It was convened by Saint John XXIII and lasted for four sessions from 1962 through 1965. It produced a series of documents to direct the life of the Church in the twentieth century and beyond.


Mission & Catholic Identity - Second Vatican Council

https://www.carroll.edu › mission-catholic-identity › seco...

- Tradition is hard to change!
 

JLG

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- When I think about the Pentateuch, I always remember:

- Moses!

- This man is just incredible!

- He spent his time saving Israel from destruction!

- He spent his time warning Israel!

- He spent his time leading Israel!

- And what did they do in exchange!

- Only complaining against him!

- Because of them he couldn’t get into the promised land and he died before!

- What a shame!

- When I think about the book of Joshua, I always remember that:

- Joshua is the new leader of Israel who lead the Israelites into the promised land!

- Those who refused to get into the promised land have died and Joshua leads their descendants!

- They are busy fighting for their new homeland!

- Now it’s time to look at the period of Judges!
 

JLG

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Judges Chapter 1

- God chose Moses to lead Israel!

- Then Joshua was trained by Moses!

- After that he led Israel into the promised land!

- Then God chose Judah to lead Israel against the Canaanites!

- And Judah asked his brother Simeon to come with him and fight against the Canaanites!

- And God gave the Canaanites into their hands!

- But the Israelites couldn’t get rid of all the Canaanites so some kept living with Israel!

- We are only told that God was with Judah and the house of Joseph but they couldn’t get rid of all the Canaanites!
 

JLG

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Judges Chapter 2

- God’s angel asks the Israelites why they have made a covenant with the inhabitants of the land and why they haven’t pull down theirs altars and why they haven’t obeyed his voice!

- That’s why God will let them among them and they will mix with them and get into trouble!

- As usual the people start to weep loudly!

- So after Joshuas’s death, the Israelites start again to do what is bad according to God!

- They abandon god and they worship other gods!

- And he gives them into the hands of their enemies!

- Then God raise up judges to save the Israelites from their enemies!

- But they refuse to listen even to the judges and keep worshiping other gods!

- When the judge die, the Israelites they again act more corruptly than their fathers!

- So God leaves their enemies among them to test Israel!

- Thus we can see it is getting worse and worse with Israel!

- They can’t stop from doing what is bad!

- On the contrary, they do worse and worse!

- They never understand!

- In fact, there is no difference with humanity!

- Well, in fact, there is a big difference because they had received a lot from God!

- They were too stupid to realize that like Adam and Eve!

- When you have everything, apparently you don’t care about it!
 

JLG

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Judges Chapter 3

- As God had warned them, the Israelites mixed with their enemies, they gave them their daughters and they took their daughters as wives!

- And they served their gods!

- There is no comparison between the relationship God had with Abraham and the one he had with the Israelites!

- The second would last because of the first one!

- And we can’t talk of the second one as a real relationship!

- The Israelites never respected their part of the covenant!

- They wanted to get everything without giving anything!

- Like humanity indeed!

- Thus God gave them into the hands of their enemies!

- When they called God for help he sent a savior, Othniel, Caleb’s youngest brother and he became a judge in Israel!

- Then Israel was at peace for 40 years!

- Then Othniel died!

- Then Israel started doing what was wrong again!

- And God gave them in the hands of their enemies!

- When they called God for help he sent a savior, Ehud, a benjaminite!

- Then Israel was at peace for 80 years!

- Then God sent Shamgar!

- Apparently many people don’t read the Bible!

- Or I don’t know what they read!

- How is it possible to call that thing a chosen people?

- It is disgusting!

- But what is the most disgusting?
 

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A Catholic missal, much like Protestant versions of the Bible, contains portions of the Bible but not the complete text of the Bible. The OT and NT readings for a particular mass or masses are included, as would be the portions of the Psalms sung or prayed for each day. A missal also contains the liturgical prayers, which are heavily Bible based. In that way, if you wish, you can read the Biblical text while it is spoken. Catholics are encouraged to read the Bible, there are numerous examples. Pope Benedict, for example, said:

My dear young friends, I urge you to become familiar with the Bible, and to have it at hand so that it can be your compass pointing out the road to follow. By reading it, you will learn to know Christ. Note what Saint Jerome said in this regard: “Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ” (PL 24,17; cf Dei Verbum, 25). A time-honoured way to study and savour the word of God is lectio divina which constitutes a real and veritable spiritual journey marked out in stages. After the lectio, which consists of reading and rereading a passage from Sacred Scripture and taking in the main elements, we proceed to meditatio. This is a moment of interior reflection in which the soul turns to God and tries to understand what his word is saying to us today. Then comes oratio in which we linger to talk with God directly. Finally we come to contemplatio. This helps us to keep our hearts attentive to the presence of Christ whose word is “a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts” (2 Pet 1:19). Reading, study and meditation of the Word should then flow into a life of consistent fidelity to Christ and his teachings.

Saint James tells us: “Be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves. For if any are hearers of the word and not doers, they are like those who look at themselves in a mirror; for they look at themselves and, on going away, immediately forget what they were like. But those who look into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and persevere, being not hearers who forget but doers who act - they will be blessed in their doing” (1:22-25). Those who listen to the word of God and refer to it always, are constructing their existence on solid foundations. “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and acts on them”, Jesus said, “will be like a wise man who built his house on rock” (Mt 7:24). It will not collapse when bad weather comes.
from the Vatican, 22 Feb 2006

Pope Francis said the following:
"Read a page of the Gospel every day, for “10, 15 minutes and no more”, keep your “eyes fixed on Jesus” in order to imagine yourself “in the scene and to speak with Jesus” about what comes from the heart. These are the characteristics of “contemplative prayer”, a true source of hope for our life. From the Vatican. 3 Feb 2015
Finally, all Catholics are born again.
 

JLG

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- My answer:

- It was not the case for centuries!

- It is difficult to change man’s tradition!

- Think that people were murdered for translating or reading the Bible!

https://www.historyextra.com/period...tions-catholic-murder-version-who-wrote-when/
The murderous history of Bible translations

The Bible has been translated into far more languages than any other book. Yet, as Harry Freedman reveals, the history of Bible translations is not only contentious but bloody, with many who dared translate it being burned at the stake...

In 1427, Pope Martin ordered that John Wycliffe’s bones be exhumed from their grave, burned and cast into the river Swift. Wycliffe had been dead for 40 years, but his offence still rankled.

John Wycliffe (c1330–1384) was 14th-century England’s outstanding thinker. A theologian by profession, he was called in to advise parliament in its negotiations with Rome. This was a world in which the church was all-powerful, and the more contact Wycliffe had with Rome, the more indignant he became. The papacy, he believed, reeked of corruption and self-interest. He was determined to do something about it.

Wycliffe began publishing pamphlets arguing that, rather than pursuing wealth and power, the church should have the poor at heart. In one tract he described the Pope as “the anti-Christ, the proud, worldly priest of Rome, and the most cursed of clippers and cut-purses”.

In 1377 the Bishop of London demanded that Wycliffe appear before his court to explain the “wonderful things which had streamed forth from his mouth”. The hearing was a farce. It began with a violent row over whether or not Wycliffe should sit down. John of Gaunt, the king’s son and an ally of Wycliffe, insisted that the accused remain seated; the bishop demanded that he stand.

When the Pope heard of the fiasco he issued a papal bull [an official papal letter or document] in which he accused Wycliffe of “vomiting out of the filthy dungeon of his heart most wicked and damnable heresies”. Wycliffe was accused of heresy and put under house arrest and was later forced to retire from his position as Master of Balliol College, Oxford.

Wycliffe firmly believed that the Bible should be available to everybody. He saw literacy as the key to the emancipation of the poor. Although parts of the Bible had previously been rendered into English there was still no complete translation. Ordinary people, who neither spoke Latin nor were able to read, could only learn from the clergy. Much of what they thought they knew – ideas like the fires of hell and purgatory – were not even part of Scripture.

With the aid of his assistants, therefore, Wycliffe produced an English Bible [over a period of 13 years from 1382]. A backlash was inevitable: in 1391, before the Bible was completed, a bill was placed before parliament to outlaw the English Bible and to imprison anyone possessing a copy. The bill failed to pass – John of Gaunt saw to that [in parliament] – and the church resumed its persecution of the now-dead Wycliffe [he died in 1384].

Shorn of alternatives, the best they could do was to burn his bones [in 1427], just to make sure his resting place was not venerated. The Archbishop of Canterbury explained that Wycliffe had been “that pestilent wretch, of damnable memory, yea, the forerunner and disciple of antichrist who, as the complement of his wickedness, invented a new translation of the scriptures into his mother-tongue”.
 

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Jan Hus

In 1402, the newly ordained Czech priest Jan Hus was appointed to a pulpit in Prague to minister in the church. Inspired by Wycliffe’s writings, which were now circulating in Europe, Hus used his pulpit to campaign for clerical reform and against church corruption.

Like Wycliffe, Hus believed that social reform could only be achieved through literacy. Giving the people a Bible written in the Czech language, instead of Latin, was an imperative. Hus assembled a team of scholars; in 1416 the first Czech Bible appeared. It was a direct challenge to those he called “the disciples of antichrist” and the consequence was predictable: Hus was arrested for heresy.

Jan Hus’s trial, which took place in the city of Constance, has gone down as one of the most spectacular in history. It was more like a carnival – nearly every bigwig in Europe was there. One archbishop arrived with 600 horses; 700 prostitutes offered their services; 500 people drowned in the lake; and the Pope fell off his carriage into a snowdrift. The atmosphere was so exhilarating that Hus’s eventual conviction and barbaric execution must have seemed an anti-climax. But slaughtered he was, burnt at the stake. His death galvanised his supporters into revolt. Priests and churches were attacked, the authorities retaliated. Within a few short years Bohemia had erupted into civil war. All because Jan Hus had the gall to translate the Bible.
William Tyndale

As far as the English Bible is concerned, the most high profile translator to be murdered was William Tyndale. It was now the 16th century and Henry VIII was on the throne. Wycliffe’s translation was still banned, and although manuscript copies were available on the black market, they were hard to find and expensive to procure. Most people still had no inkling of what the Bible really said.

But printing was becoming commonplace, and Tyndale believed the time was right for an accessible, up-to-date translation. He knew he could create one; all he needed was the funding, and the blessing of the church. It didn’t take him long to realise that nobody in London was prepared to help him. Not even his friend, the bishop of London, Cuthbert Tunstall. Church politics made sure of that.

The religious climate appeared less oppressive in Germany. Luther had already translated the Bible into German; the Protestant Reformation was gathering pace and Tyndale believed he would have a better chance of realising his project there. So he travelled to Cologne and began printing.

This, it transpired, was a mistake. Cologne was still under the control of an archbishop loyal to Rome. He was halfway through printing the book of Matthew when he heard that the print shop was about to raided. He bundled up his papers and fled. It was a story that would be repeated several times over the next few years. Tyndale spent the next few years dodging English spies and Roman agents. But he managed to complete his Bible and copies were soon flooding into England – illegally, of course. The project was complete but Tyndale was a marked man.

He wasn’t the only one. In England, Cardinal Wolsey was conducting a campaign against Tyndale’s Bible. No one with a connection to Tyndale or his translation was safe. Thomas Hitton, a priest who had met Tyndale in Europe, confessed to smuggling two copies of the Bible into the country. He was charged with heresy and burnt alive.

Thomas Bilney, a lawyer whose connection to Tyndale was tangential at the most, was also thrown into the flames. First prosecuted by the bishop of London, Bilney recanted and was eventually released in 1529. But when he withdrew his recantation in 1531 he was re-arrested and prosecuted by Thomas Pelles, chancellor of Norwich diocese, and burnt by the secular authorities just outside the city of Norwich.

Meanwhile Richard Bayfield, a monk who had been one of Tyndale’s early supporters, was tortured incessantly before being tied to the stake. And a group of students in Oxford were left to rot in a dungeon that was used for storing salt fish.

Tyndale’s end was no less tragic. He was betrayed in 1535 by Henry Phillips, a dissolute young aristocrat who had stolen his [Phillips’] father’s money and gambled it away. Tyndale was hiding out in Antwerp, under the quasi–diplomatic protection of the English merchant community. Phillips, who was as charming as he was disreputable, befriended Tyndale and invited him out for dinner. As they left the English merchant house together, Phillips beckoned to a couple of thugs loitering in a doorway. They seized Tyndale. It was the last free moment of his life. Tyndale was charged with heresy in August 1536 and burnt at the stake a few weeks later.

England was not the only country to murder Bible translators. In Antwerp, the city where Tyndale thought he was safe, Jacob van Liesveldt produced a Dutch Bible. Like so many 16th-century translations, his act was political as well as religious. His Bible was illustrated with woodcuts – in the fifth edition he depicted Satan in the guise of a Catholic monk, with goat’s feet and a rosary. It was a step too far. Van Liesveldt was arrested, charged with heresy and put to death.
A murderous age

The 16th century was by far the most murderous age for Bible translators. But Bible translations have always generated strong emotions, and continue to do so even today. In 1960 the United States Air Force Reserve warned recruits against using the recently published Revised Standard Version because, they claimed, 30 people on its translation committee had been “affiliated with communist fronts”. TS Eliot, meanwhile, railed against the 1961 New English Bible, writing that it “astonishes in its combination of the vulgar, the trivial, and the pedantic”.

And Bible translators are still being murdered. Not necessarily for the act of translating the Bible, but because rendering the Bible into local dialects is one of the things Christian missionaries do. In 1993 Edmund Fabian was murdered in Papua New Guinea, killed by a local man who had been helping him translate the Bible. In March 2016, four Bible translators working for an American evangelical organisation were killed by militants in an undisclosed location in the Middle East.

Bible translations, then, may appear to be a harmless activity. History shows it is anything but.

Harry Freedman is author of The Murderous History of Bible Translations (Bloomsbury, 2016)

This article was first published on HistoryExtra in July 2016
 

JLG

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For many centuries in England if your religious views differed from that of the king or queen you could be put to death. Catholics had to flee Britain and were able to publish an English language Bible called the Douay Rheims in France, but risked torture or death when they tried to distribute the Bible to the people in England. There's a chapel at the Tower of London, the chapel name escapes me, but you will see the names of both Catholic and Protestant martyrs. The truth is that a great many Catholics translated Biblical text into the common languages of the people, even though for most of the history of Christianity the majority of people were illiterate. After Latin surpassed Greek as the common language of the people, the Latin Vulgate under the direction of Saint Jerome became by far the standard Bible. "Vulgate" comes from "vulgar" or "common," meaning the common language of the people. Eventually Latin morphed into various languages such as Italian, Spanish, and French, and then came more translations by Catholics. There were Catholic translations of Biblical text in French, Bohemian, Danish, Polish, Hungarian, and Norwegian as well. In England long before Wycliffe and Tyndale, there were many translations of Biblical text by Catholics. To mention just a few of them, Venerable Bede, a Catholic monk, is perhaps the best known for his translation in the 700s. King Alfred the Great had not finished his translation of Psalms before he died, that would have been in the 800s. Now a lot of Biblical texts by Catholics have been destroyed, remember Protestants in England seized Catholic monasteries and gave the land to wealthy Protestants and much that was Catholic was sold off or destroyed. But some do exist, you can find some of Alfred’s translations in a manuscript dated as around 1050. These are in the English of the Saxons: The Illustrated Psalms of Alfred the Great: The Old English Paris Psalter When the Normans took over the English changed, the paraphrase of Orm is dated around 1150 and is an example of a Catholic translation into Middle English. The Catholic Church has strongly defended the Bible, and took action over the centuries to prevent those who would add or subtract from the Word of God. Eventually a Catholic named Gutenberg introduced the printing press, and, of course, the first book he printed was the Bible. You and I owe a debt to all of those Catholic monks who laboriously copied and translated Biblical texts and preserved the Word of God for us. A monastery might just have one Bible and so a monk would have to memorize large portions of the Bible before he could go out traveling to spread the Gospel.