I share with you an article from my files,
written by Joe R. Price. I wonder if history
will repeat itself because of our neglect?
Here is the article:By the start of the third decade of the 16th century,William Tyndale had already been on the run for fiveyears. The king of England, Henry VIII, had declaredhim a felon. Fleeing Roman Catholic authorities inLondon (never to return to England), he went first toCologne, France, and then Worms, Germany. Whatcrime had this "evil" man committed? Of whatrebellious act of treason was he guilty? He dared totranslate and then print the New Testament in theEnglish language! In England in the 1520's (indeed,throughout Europe during the middle ages), unlessyou were literate in Hebrew, Greek or Latin, readingt he Bible for yourself was impossible. You had torely upon what the Roman Catholic clergy saidthe Bible contained. You would not have been ableto study the Bible for yourself to discern the truthfor yourself - much less be free to practice whatyou learned therein. Rome ruled with an iron hand.The Catholic Church did not want nor permit awide 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 werefor sale and publicly burned them at St. Paul'sCross. But the archbishop of Canterbury wasdissatisfied; his spies told him that manyremained in private hands. Protestant peers withcountry houses were loaning them out, like publiclibraries. Assembling his bishops, the archbishopdeclared that tracking them down was essential -each was placing souls in jeopardy - and so, onhis instructions, dioceses organized posses,searching the homes of known literates, and offeredrewards to informers - sending out the alarm to keepChrist's revealed word from those who worshipedhim." (A World Lit Only By Fire, 204-205) Tyndalewas eventually arrested and imprisoned for sixteenmonths in the castle of Vilvorde, near Brussels. In1536, after being tried and convicted for heresy hewas publicly executed, being tied to a stake,strangled to death, and then his corpse burned.As we consider Tyndale's struggle and sacrifice toprovide the common Englishman with readable,discernable scriptures, we are made to thank Godfor the daily ease and convenience with which wecan open the Bible and study it for ourselves. Weare made to cherish the privilege that is ours topour over the divine text, understand it, reflectionupon it, think over it so as to bring our heartsand lives into harmony with it, as well as alsoteach it to others (Eph. 5:17; 2 Tim. 2:15; 2 Pet.3:18; 2 Tim. 2:2). If you have been neglecting toread, learn and live God's word, please rememberthe good fortune you have: education and access- the abundant opportunity to read and knowGod's word. To not drink deeply from its well isto 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 whohave made that simple act possible. But above all,remember the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Hislife on the cross and was then resurrected from thedead so that you know the truth, abide in His wordand thus be freed from your sin(Jno. 8:31-36; 1:1-3, 14-18).