“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20, NASB).
1) When It Was a Crime to Read the Bible (Joe R. Price)
2) Eyewitness Testimony (Frank Himmel)
3) Bible Quiz
4) News & Notes
When It Was a Crime to Read the Bible
Joe R. Price
By the start of the third decade of the 16th century, William Tyndale had already been on the run for five years. The king of England, Henry VIII, had declared him a felon. Fleeing Roman Catholic authorities in London (never to return to England), he went first to Cologne, France, and then Worms, Germany. What crime had this “evil” man committed? Of what rebellious act of treason was he guilty? He dared to translate and then print the New Testament in the English language!
In England in the 1520’s (indeed, throughout Europe during the Middle Ages), unless you were literate in Hebrew, Greek or Latin, reading the Bible for yourself was impossible. You had to rely upon what the Roman Catholic clergy said the Bible contained. You would not have been able to study the Bible for yourself to discern the truth for yourself – much less be free to practice what you learned therein. Rome ruled with an iron hand.
The Catholic Church did not want nor permit a wide transmission of the Bible and its contents. When Tyndale’s NT was published in Worms, 6,000 copies were shipped back to England. Medieval historian William Manchester reports, “To the bishop of London this was an intolerable, metastasizing heresy. He bought up all that were for sale and publicly burned them at St. Paul’s Cross. But the archbishop of Canterbury was dissatisfied; his spies told him that many remained in private hands. Protestant peers with country houses were loaning them out, like public libraries. Assembling his bishops, the archbishop declared that tracking them down was essential – each was placing souls in jeopardy – and so, on his instructions, dioceses organized posses, searching the homes of known literates, and offered rewards to informers – sending out the alarm to keep Christ’s revealed word from those who worshiped him” (A World Lit Only By Fire, 204-205).
Tyndale was eventually arrested and imprisoned for sixteen months in the castle of Vilvoorde, near Brussels. In 1536, after being tried and convicted for heresy he was publicly executed, being tied to a stake, strangled to death, and then his corpse burned.
As we consider Tyndale’s struggle and sacrifice to provide the common Englishman with readable, discernible scriptures, we are made to thank God for the daily ease and convenience with which we can open the Bible and study it for ourselves. We are made to cherish the privilege that is ours to pour over the divine text, understand it, reflect upon it, think over it so as to bring our hearts and lives into harmony with it, as well as also teach it to others (Eph. 5:17; 2 Tim. 2:15; 2 Pet. 3:18; 2 Tim. 2:2).
If you have been neglecting to read, learn and live God’s word, please remember the good fortune you have: education and access – the abundant opportunity to read and know God’s word. To not drink deeply from its well is to squander a precious blessing (cf. Jas. 4:17).
The next time you pick up your Bible and read it, remember the sacrifices of countless others who have made that simple act possible. But above all, remember the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave His life on the cross and was then resurrected from the dead so that you know the truth, abide in His word and thus be freed from your sin (Jno. 8:31-36; 1:1-3, 14-18).
– Via The Beacon, August 18, 2019
Every fact of history is established in the same way. An event occurs. Those who observe it leave some sort of testimony of the event: a drawing or photograph, a marker, a monument, a written record, etc. People in subsequent generations view that testimony and therefore believe the event occurred.
That is why we believe in Jesus. His life and teachings were documented by witnesses; primarily, the apostles. Jesus told them, “. . . and you shall be My witnesses, both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
The apostles were witnesses of what they saw: Jesus’ good works and miracles (Acts 10:38-39). They were witnesses of what they heard (Acts 22:15). They were witnesses of Jesus’ resurrection (Acts 2:32; 3:15; 5:32), the event that He pointed to time and again as the ultimate proof of who He was. (None of the apostles claimed to have seen Jesus actually emerge from the tomb, but they ate and drank with Him after He arose [Acts 10:41].) They were even witnesses of things that Jesus revealed after His ascension back to heaven (Acts 26:16).
There is no reason to question the credibility of the apostles’ testimony. They were in a position to see what they recorded. Their testimony did not bring fame or fortune; to the contrary, they were treated “as the scum of the world, the dregs of all things” (1 Corinthians 4:13).
People today speak of “witnessing” in a loose sense of telling what they believe. When the apostles witnessed, they were telling what they had seen and heard.
Peter wrote, “For we did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For when He received honor and glory from God the Father, such an utterance as this was made to Him by the Majestic Glory, ‘This is My beloved Son with whom I am well-pleased’— and we ourselves heard this utterance made from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain” (2 Peter 1:16-18).
John added, “What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life—and the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us—what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ” (1 John 1:1-3).
— Via Pathlights, October 13, 2019
1. Who was Moses’ servant?
2. Who was Ruth’s sister-in-law?
3. On what day did God create the fish and the birds?
4. What was the bronze serpent called?
5. Who was the first child born?
6. Who is known for his rash vow?
7. What name was assigned to Daniel?
8. To where was the ship heading that Jonah had boarded?
9. Who is spoken of as being “mighty in the Scriptures”?
10. Whom does the Bible speak of as “abounding with deeds of kindness and
11. Who was a seller of purple fabrics?
12. In what city did Eutychus fall from a window?
13, Prior to Italy, where had Paul been imprisoned for a little more than 2 years?
14. What was Barnabas’ real name?
Answers: 1) Exodus 24:13 2) Ruth 1:4 3) Genesis 1:20-23 4) 2 Kings 18:4 5) Genesis 4:1-2 6) Judges 11:30-31 7) Daniel 1:7 8) Jonah 1:3 9) Acts 18:24 10) Acts 9:36 11) Acts 16:14 12) Acts 20:6-9 13) Acts 25:4; Acts 24:27 14) Acts 4:36
News & Notes
Our sympathies go out to the family and friends of Mary Ruth Corley Allen (Tori McCarthy’s grandmother) who passed away Friday evening. She was 88 and survived by many — including 13 grandchildren, 33 great grandchildren, and 10 great-great grandchildren.
Myrna Jordan continues to slowly heal from her shingles.
Also for prayer: Shirley Davis, Melotine Davis, A.J. & Pat Joyner, Bud Montero, the Medlocks, Jan Bartlett, Joyce Rittenhouse, Jim Lively, Rick Cuthbertson, Rex & Frankie Hadley, and Brandon Mullis.
The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation
1) Hear the gospel, for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30-31).
2) Believe in the deity of Christ (John 8:24; John 3:18).
3) Repent of sins (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).
4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 8:36-38).
5) Be baptized in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:3-4; Gal. 3:26-27; 1 Pet. 3:21).
6) Continue in the faith, living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA 31501
Sunday services: 9:00 a.m. (Bible class); 10 a.m. & 5 p.m. (worship)
Wednesday: 7 p.m. (Bible class)
evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912) 281-9917
https://thegospelobserver.wordpress.com (Gospel Observer website with pictures in WordPress)
http://thomastedwards.com/go (Older version of Gospel Observer website without pictures, but back to March 1990)
http://ThomasTEdwards.com/audioser.html (audio sermons)