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Posts tagged ‘New Testament’

More than just a man with authority of speaking

28 When Jesus finished his message, the crowds were astounded at how he taught. 29 He was instructing them authoritatively, not as their scribes. { translation}

Throughout the Messianic writings we come to hear how Jesus attracted people and how he let them think about the things they could see and hear.

The gospel writer Matthew wants the readers of his writings to know who he had met and why he became clinched so much to this man who he believed to be the sent one from God and the expected King.

The point of Matthew’s narrative is that we realize who Jesus is. He’s the king. He restores heaven’s reign over the earth. That is the gospel — the good news of the kingdom of heaven, with Jesus as heaven-appointed ruler. The culmination of Matthew’s Gospel is the announcement that Jesus has received all authority — in heaven and on earth (28:18-20). {Hearing the king (Matthew 7:28-29)}

It is by those given Messianic Writings people should come to know who Christ Jesus is. Nearly 2000 years later we must say still too many who call themselves Christian have not come to see who the Christ Jeshua really is.

Some of them may already have seen that Jesus is the anointed ruler and the long-awaited king from David’s line. But the majority of Christians still have not understood that Jesus is the sent one from God who restores the promised blessing of God’s reign to the nations (1:1).

More people should come to recognise that Jesus is the son of God who undoes the captivity of earthly powers (1:17). He is the one who received authority from God to be the divine ruler living among his people (1:23), the ruler who seems to be no one from nowhere (2:23). As the king (2:2) he’s the ruler who shepherds God’s people (2:6). From the writings people should come to know that Jesus is Jacob’s Star (2:10), the new exodus (2:15).   notices that is just the first two chapters of Matthew! {Hearing the king (Matthew 7:28-29)}

Every phrase, every paragraph, every story, every theme in Matthew’s Gospel reveals who Jesus is. Like the crowds who listened to his Sermon on the Mount, be astounded as his royal authority dawns on you. {Hearing the king (Matthew 7:28-29)}

In his article Hearing the king (Matthew 7:28-29) he gives an overview of what others say:

Craig Blomberg, Matthew, New American Commentary (Nashville: B & H, 1992), 134–135:

Strikingly, Jesus quotes Scripture in his sermon only to reinterpret it, he cites no human authorities or tradition, and he speaks with directness and confidence that he himself is bringing God’s message for a new era in human history. Such preaching reflects either the height of presumption and heresy or the fact that he was a true spokesman for God, whom we dare not ignore.

R. T. France, The Gospel of Matthew, New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2007), 298–299:

To set the authority of his teaching in contrast with that of the scribes is a bold claim, since the scribes were the authorized teachers of the law who in virtue of their training and office had a right to expect the people to accept their legal rulings. … Whereas scribal rulings were based on the tradition of earlier interpreters of the law, Jesus has in 5:17–48 set himself up as an authority over against that interpretive tradition, on the basis not of a formal training or authorization but of his own confident, “I tell you.” … When to that remarkable claim is added Jesus’ assumption that he himself is the proper object of people’s allegiance and the arbiter of their destiny (5:11–12; 7:21–23, 24, 26), the crowd’s astonishment is hardly out of place. W. D. Davies’ comment … “The Sermon on the Mount compels us, in the first place, to ask who he is who utters these words.”

John R. W. Stott, The Message of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7): Christian Counter-Culture, The Bible Speaks Today (Downers Grove, IL: IVP, 1985), 216:

In the Sermon on the Mount there are five direct references to God’s kingdom. They imply—though with varying degrees of clarity—that he himself had inaugurated it, and that he had authority to admit people into it and to bestow on them its blessings.

Today Jesus is not here any more, but the apostles took care we can read Jeshua’s words

Richard A. Burridge, Four Gospels, One Jesus? A Symbolic Reading (London: SPCK, 2005), 21:

The gospels invite readers to enter their world, to listen to Jesus’ words, to watch his great deeds, to appreciate their understanding of him, and to ask ourselves the same questions as the people in the text: ‘who is this man?’ (Mk. 4:41)

StGeorgeMonasteryToday lots more people than in Jeshua’s time can hear the words of that incredible special man. Lots more people should come to hear those words about how man has to relate to their Divine Maker. The son of the Divine Maker God explained  his heavenly Father‘s Words and showed us how man can and/or has to respond to the Kingdom message.

Jesus called Israel to become the kingdom built on God — the solid Rock who endures forever, not the shifting sands of human kingdoms that last only for a season. How foolish to spend our lives promoting human powers when all our efforts will be swept away. Instead, spend your life for God’s reign through Messiah Jesus: the only thing that endures. {A rock worth building on (Matthew 7:24-27)}

Jesus is the focus of God’s eternal plan to re-establish His reign over the earth. Our hope should be in Jesus, the son of God, so quit playing politics with earthly powers that will fall. Build all your efforts on the only rock that will last:

the ruler God has appointed, the only one who can save human society.

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Preceding articles

The Nazarene master teacher learning people how they should behave

Matthew 7:1-11 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Neighbor Love Continued 7: Matthew 7:1-5 Judgment and neighbor love

Matthew 7:12 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Summary on the Torah’s Fulfillment

Matthew 7:13-14 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The True Disciple #1 The Narrow Gate and the way to destruction

Matthew 7:15-20 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The True Disciple #2 False prophets and fruitage

Matthew 7:13-23 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The True Disciple #3 Matthew 7:21-23 The ones Jesus never knew

Matthew 7:13-27 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The True Disciple #4 Matthew 7:24-27 – Conclusion

Matthew 7:13-23 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The True Disciple #5 Matthew 7:28-29 – The Crowd’s Reaction

Authority from the One God to one mediator between God and men

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Additional reading

  1. Entrance of a king to question our position #2 Who do we want to see and to be
  2. Hearing words to accept
  3. Priest, scribes and others with authority
  4. Gain Christ, trusting Jehovah
  5. Witnesses of Christ and of his gospel
  6. The Mountain: Radical Obedience

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Further reading

  1. By what authority?
  2. “The authority of Jesus” by Thomas Schreiner
  3. MS Week #3: Jesus’ Authority
  4. The Authority of Jesus
  5. Jesus’ Authority
  6. the unique authority of Jesus
  7. The Sermon on the Mount: Examining the Psychological and Sociological Implications
  8. Why Be Optimistic About the Future of the Gospel?
  9. Are You Sure You Want to do This?
  10. The Kingdom Of God: Luke’s Gospel
  11. The Kingdom Needs You!
  12. ​Extremism: Does Lord Jesus Really Expect Us To Go This Far?

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Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #11 Muslim Idiom Translations

In the previous chapters you could see that 2011 marking the 400th anniversary of the first printing of the King James Bible was taken as a good opportunity by some editors to lance several various versions of Bible translations. 2014/15 bringing more news-reports of Muslim-extremist attacks and more missionary work in Islamic countries made some translators and publishers also chose for the Arabic title for God in their editions, though several christians where not pleased with such insertion.

Though several preaching groups found it time to reach out to non-religious people and to those who felt attracted by the Islam. Also coming to preach to Muslims, several preachers like us, think it better also to use names and terms common to those to whom we preach.

Wycliffe Bible Translators, Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL) and Mission Frontiers have translated the New Testament in a way they claim Muslims can understand.

Many Christians are calling it a perversion.

While this effort first came to light a few years ago, it has again come into the news with tracts starting to appear that are “Muslim friendly”.

Some examples:

  • Wycliffe/SIL produced Stories of the Prophets, a work that uses “Lord” instead of “Father” and “Messiah” instead of “Son.”
  • Frontiers (a Swiss-based publishing company) worked with a SIL consultant to produce True Meaning of the Gospel, an Arabic book that removes “Son” in reference to Jesus.
  • Frontiers also produced a Turkish translation of Matthew, distributed by SIL that uses “guardian” for “Father” and “representative” or “proxy” for “Son.”
  • SIL consulted on the Bengali Injil Sharif, advising that “Son” be translated as “God’s Uniquely Intimate Beloved Chosen One.”

Frontiers and SIL have also produced Meaning of the Gospel of Christ, an Arabic translation that removes “Father” in reference to God and replaces it with “Allah,” and removes or redefines “Son.”

Stories of the Prophets

An independent panel, organized by the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA), wrote in one of its suggestions that it recognized

“that there is significant potential for misunderstanding of the words for ‘father‘ and ‘son‘ when applied to God, and that in languages shaped by Islamic cultures, the potential is especially acute and the misunderstandings likely to prove especially harmful to the reader’s comprehension of the gospel.” {5 Reasons “Muslim Friendly” Bible Translations are Counterproductive}

The panel recommended that translators consider the addition of qualifying words and/or phrases (explanatory adjectives, relative clauses, prepositional phrases, or similar modifiers) to the directly-translated words for “father” and “son,” in order to avoid misunderstanding.

“For example, as the biblical context allows, the word for ‘father‘ might be rendered with the equivalent of ‘heavenlyFather‘ when referring to God, and the word for ‘son‘ might be rendered with the equivalent of ‘divine Son,’ ‘eternal Son,’ or ‘heavenly Son’ when referring to Jesus,” {5 Reasons “Muslim Friendly” Bible Translations are Counterproductive}

the panel suggested.

The panel also recommended that translators use paratextual material

“to clarify and avoid misunderstanding in these cases.”

Wycliffe Bible Translators came under heavy criticism more than a year ago when Biblical Missiology created an online petition alleging that the translation group had eliminated familial terms describing God and Jesus in certain Arabic and Bengali translations of the Bible so as not to offend Muslim readers.

Biblical Missiology wrote

“Muslim friendly” Bible translations, technically termed “Muslim Idiom Translations” (MITs), are well-meaning attempts to produce the Bible in a way that is easily accepted and understood by Muslims. These translations use Islamic terminology, graphic elements and fonts, and Qur’anic phrases to make the book look, feel, and read like an Islamic book. Some MITs use the same distinctive frame around the text and numbered rosettes between the verses that Qur’an editions do, and some even replace literal translations of “Father” and “Son” with alternative terms like “guardian” and “prince”. {5 Reasons “Muslim Friendly” Bible Translations are Counterproductive}

"Muslim Friendly” Bible Translations, technically termed “Muslim Idiom Translations” (MITs), are by many considered to be counterproductive and deceiving

“Muslim Friendly” Bible Translations, technically termed “Muslim Idiom Translations” (MITs), are by many considered to be counterproductive and deceiving

Muslim Idiom Translation (MIT) refers to an increasingly common “approach” to so-called Scripture translation for Muslim audiences. Its usage among professing evangelicals involved in missions to Muslims continues to increase in spite of the fact that some of its most distinguishing features are at odds with historic, biblical orthodoxy. Although MIT has been around for close to three decades, there is great need for a critical look at this phenomenon.

For the missionary organisation MITs by appearing at first glance to be Muslim books, because they use cover artwork that is similar to Qur’anic art, introductions and headers that include Qur’anic phrases, with the use of distinctly Qur’anic names for prophets and other biblical characters, and Islamic theological phrases, are for them deceiving books. They write

While these traits might be intended to help Muslims accept and understand the Bible better, what they actually do is make Muslims think they are reading a Muslim book. But if they initially accept this book on the basis of it being Islamic, they do so under false premises. {5 Reasons “Muslim Friendly” Bible Translations are Counterproductive}

For them this is not consistent with 2 Corinthians 4:2

“But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God.”

and react

Deception is not only wrong, but also counterproductive, because when it is discovered, it makes Muslims more resistant to the gospel. {5 Reasons “Muslim Friendly” Bible Translations are Counterproductive}

We must be aware that perhaps only uneducated and unknowledgeable Muslims would be ultimately fooled into thinking that an MIT is actually a Muslim book. Educated and well-informed Muslims would recognise that those Bible translations and Christian works which use the names of the Holy Scriptures characters with the names Muslims are used to, shall be able to recognise the similarities of those different holy Scriptures. We do not think they will

be rightly enraged at such a deceptive tactic, and would surely raise awareness about it to their fellow Muslims. {5 Reasons “Muslim Friendly” Bible Translations are Counterproductive}

Not all MITs remove or replace “Father” and “Son” with alternate terms, though some do, instead of giving a clear explanation for that son-ship and comparing it to the same situation many Muslims consider themselves sons and daughters of Abraham and therefore calling him their patriarch.

Pierre Rashad Houssney, MENA Regional Director for Horizons International, a Lebanese-American who grew up in the context of cross-cultural ministry among Muslims and international students, does find it wrong that Bibles are created with Arabic names and does find those new bible translations

imitating the books of other religious traditions,

and even worse, finds them

compromising on such a central theological issue as the Father and Son. {5 Reasons “Muslim Friendly” Bible Translations are Counterproductive}

English: The word Allah, in Arabic. alif hamza...

English: The word Allah, in Arabic. alif hamzat waṣl (همزة وصل) lām lām shadda (شدة‎) alif khanjariyya (ألف خنجرية‎‎) hā (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In several of those MITs instead of “Lord” or “God” is printed “Allah” (God in Arabic and in many other languages).  Though Allah is in our country commonly used for indicating the Most High God, by several native English speaking Christians it is a form they only know for the Islam, not knowing that in many Catholic and some protestant bible-translations this is also a common used title instead of placing ‘Lord‘, especially in Arabic language bibles commonly Allah is being used.

Some English people may think those translations with he word Allah are modifying the Word of God for their political agenda, but they are just using a general title we and many others are used to in our daily language.

According to Now the End Begins:

First, Wycliffe and SIL have produced Stories of the Prophets, an Arabic Bible that uses an Arabic equivalent of “Lord” instead of “Father” and “Messiah” instead of “Son.” Second, Frontiers and SIL have produced Meaning of the Gospel of Christ , an Arabic translation which removes “Father” in reference to God and replaces it with “Allah,” and removes or redefines “Son.” {New Bible Translation Eliminates “Father, Son, Holy Spirit and Messiah” Because It Insults Muslims}

Stories of the ProphetsThose Christian missionaries, Bible translators and leaders who are very worried and are trying to stop the publications of this Modified Bibles should know better. It surprises us that bible translators would be against the word “Allah” because they should know what it means, and that it is just the Arabic form of ‘God’ and is a better word than ‘Lord’.

As such when there is written about the Name of God in the New Testament, they should know it can as well be translated as Matthew 28:19 reading:

“Cleanse them by water in the name of Allah, his Messiah and his Holy Spirit”

instead of “baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” {New Bible Translation Eliminates “Father, Son, Holy Spirit and Messiah” Because It Insults Muslims}

for where we can find written

Matthew 28:19 The Scriptures 1998+  (19)  “Therefore, go and make taught ones of all the nations, immersing them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Set-apart Spirit,

In this place they point out there naturally can be discussion about placing ‘Allah’, but at all other places where other replace the Name of God with “Lord” or with the title ‘God’ those people have no reason at all to complain, because “Allah” or “God” is always better and staying much more clear than the bad replacement of God’s Name by the title ‘Lord’, by which many readers can not see about whom is been spoken, about God or about God His son Jesus.

With using the word Allah everybody can see clear about whom is been spoken and Muslims have less reason to be offended and can show to those Christians who take Jesus as their god what the bible really says and show Who God really is. This way more Christians can come to believe in the same God Jews, real Christians and Muslims believe, namely the God of Adam, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Jesus and his disciples, the God of Israel, Allah/God the Adonai Elohim Whose Holy and divine Name is Jehovah.

Brian David rightly reacts to the readers of End Time Prophecy:

I don’t see the problem most Christians don’t read the Bible anyway and those few who do, have no idea what it is saying because they do not understand the language. If you do not look up every word, first in the Strong’s, then 1828 Webster’s and some law dictionary’s; you will have no clue as to what is being said within the scriptures.

For example, the word God in the Hebrew and Greek; mean judge, magistrate or ruler, these are the people that most Christians worship and fear.

God
H430
אֱלֹהִים
‘ĕlôhı̂ym
el-o-heem’
Plural of H433; gods in the ordinary sense; but specifically used (in the plural thus, especially with the article) of the supreme God; occasionally applied by way of deference to magistrates; and sometimes as a superlative: – angels, X exceeding, God (gods) (-dess, -ly), X (very) great, judges, X mighty.
2601 times

G2316
θεός
theos
theh’-os
Of uncertain affinity; a deity, especially (with G3588) the supreme Divinity; figuratively a magistrate; by Hebraism very: – X exceeding, God, god [-ly, -ward].
1343 times

Now here is where it gets good.

2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 3Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling awayG646 first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 4Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

G646
ἀποστασία
apostasia
ap-os-tas-ee’-ah
Feminine of the same as G647; defection from truth (properly the state), (apostasy): – falling away, forsake.

G647
ἀποστάσιον
apostasion
ap-os-tas’-ee-on
Neuter of a (presumed) adjective from a derivative of G868; properly something separative, that is, (specifically) divorce: – (writing of) divorcement.

Defection
DEFECTION, noun
1. Want or failure of duty; particularly, a falling away; apostasy; the act of abandoning a person or cause to which one is bound by allegiance or duty, or to which one has attached himself. Our defection from God is proof of our depravity. The cause of the king was rendered desperate by the defection of the nobles.
2. Revolt; used of nations or states.

In 2 Thessalonians 2:3 we see that the son of perdition will not be revealed until there is a falling away first which literally means a divorce from the state by abandoning our person which is a mask or a legal fiction that is an organization (Corporation). The act of abandoning a person or a legal fiction that is used by the state through surnames. Every had your person summoned to court like a demon.

Person
PERSON, noun per’sn. [Latin persona; said to be compounded of per, through or by, and sonus, sound; a Latin word signifying primarily a mask used by actors on the state.]

Surname
SUR’NAME, noun [Latin super and nomen.]
1. An additional name; a name or appellation added to the baptismal or christian name, and which becomes a family name. Surnames, with us, originally designated occupation, estate, place of residence, or some particular thing or event that related to the person. Thus William Rufus or red; Edmund Ironsides; Robert Smith, or the smith; William Turner.

The bilingual Hebrew–English edition of the Ne...

The bilingual Hebrew–English edition of the New JPS translation. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Because of many Christians not knowing the difference between a god, god, God or The God, often they consider when the Bible says “god” they take it to be about the Divine Creator God, though in their ordinary daily language when they speak about sport-figures or film-actors and television vedettes they also use the word ‘god’, though hopefully they would not consider those gods they are talking about to be The God. The same as they say “oh god” we do hope they do not use that expression with the idea of using The God His Name, because than they would defile God’s Name many times.

But they should know that ‘god’ is not a name but a title, the same as ‘allah’ is a title and being a word that is used in many languages to speak about a higher placed person or a god whilst ‘Allah’ is also used to denote the Most High God, Jehovah/Yehowah/Yahuwah/Jahuwah/Yahweh.

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  1. Stories of the Prophets pdf version
  2. Wycliffe Global alliance
  3. Another Gospel
  4. What is wrong with Biblical Missiology’s Critique of the Insider Movement?
  5. Wycliffe Bible Translators Accept Panel Report Over Controversial Muslim Context Translation

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Preceding articles:

Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #1 Pre King James Bible

Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #2 King James Bible versions

Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #3 Women and versions

Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #4 Steps to the women’s bibles

Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #5 Further steps to women’s bibles

Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #6 Revisions of revisions

Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #7 Jewish versions

Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #8 Selective Bibles and selective people

Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #9 Restored names and Sacred Name Bibles

Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #10 Journaling Bibles and illustrative women

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Additional reading

  1. Preaching to an unbelieving world
  2. The very very beginning 1 Creating Gods
  3. Titles of God beginning with the Aleph in Hebrew
  4. Between Alpha and Omega – The plan of creation
  5. Written and translated by different men over thousands of years
  6. Names, Titles, and Characters of Jesus Christ
  7. Accuracy, Word-for-Word Translation Preferred by most Bible Readers
  8. A learning process for each of us
  9. Word of God presented to people in more than 3200 languages

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Further reading

  1. Book Review | Translating Truth: The Case for Essentially Literal Bible Translation
  2. The King James Bible and the Restoration
  3. New Bible Translation Eliminates “Father, Son, Holy Spirit and Messiah” Because It Insults Muslims
  4. Ryrie’s Bibles and Manuscripts Auctioned off
  5. Troubled places
  6. Partnership possibilities to #endbiblepoverty @pciassembly @wycliffeuk
  7. A Useless Commentary
  8. Celebrating Completed Scriptures
  9. Bible in more languages than Hamlet and Harry Potter put together
  10. Internal Evidence
  11. 4 October ― 8 Mashíyyat
  12. Holy Scriptures
  13. The Baptist Confession of Faith: Of the Holy Scriptures
  14. The Baptist Catechism: What is the Word of God?
  15. The Baptist Catechism: 3° commandement:The third commandment requires the holy and reverent use of God’s names, titles, attributes, ordinances, word, and works.
  16. How did Jesus hand on the Faith?
  17. Catholic view of Muslims
  18. Name
  19. Sabbath Word: Porverbs 3
  20. Who is Elohim? Part 2.
  21. The Lord’s name is Holy !
  22. Lessons From The Name Of God In The Book Of Esther 
  23. Son of God
  24. You Won’t Find It Here
  25. Conviction or Opinion?
  26. On Bearing the Name of Christ in Vain
  27. Known By Name
  28. What’s In a Name?
  29. The Mystery of Praising The Name
  30. The Heart of God

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Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #3 Women and versions

Portrait of Catherine Aragon

Portrait of Catherine Aragon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the 16th century a Roman Catholic woman was making life very difficult for bible readers. The daughter of King Henry VIII and the Spanish princess Catherine of Aragon, born February 18, 1516, Greenwich, near London, got to be a pawn in England’s bitter rivalry with more powerful nations, being fruitlessly proposed in marriage to this or that potentate desired as an ally.

A studious and bright girl, named princess of Wales in 1525, Mary Tudor was educated by her mother and a governess of ducal rank. When her father did not get approval from Rome to divorce Catherine of Aragon, he left her in July 1531 to never see her again. In 1533 his marriage to Anne Boleyn took place and Cranmer declared Catherine’s marriage invalid. Catherine took refuge increasingly in her religion and her Spanish ladies-in-waiting.

Mary Tudor daughter of Kind Henry VIII. of Eng...

Mary Tudor daughter of Kind Henry VIII. of England and Katherine of Aragon, 16th century (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mary was allowed to see her mother only rarely, but all her sympathies were with her mother. When the Act of Uniformity of 1549 forbade the use of the mass, Mary continued to hear it and was warned. She replied that, in her conscience, ‘it is not worthy to have the name of law’.  She staged a brilliantly effective coup d’état based in East Anglia. She moved swiftly to restore not only traditional worship but also obedience to the pope (a much less popular cause), although legal problems delayed England’s reconciliation with Rome until November 1554. She also insisted on keeping the title of “kingdom” for the island of Ireland, which her father had unilaterally adopted in place of the former papal grant to English monarchs of “lordship” of Ireland.

Sample of Taverner’s Bible, Mark 1:1-5

In 1537 John Rodgers, working under the pseudonym “Thomas Matthew” for safety, produced a Bible translation on Tyndale’s previously published editions with the addition of his unpublished Old Testament material. The remainder used Coverdale’s translation. This Matthew’s Bible received the approval of Henry VIII. It got some minor revisions in 1539 published under the name Taverner’s Bible or The Most Sacred Bible, edited by Richard Taverner as a private venture of the two printers Grafton and Whitchurch, which was threatened by a rival edition published in 1539 in folio (Herbert #45) by “John Byddell for Thomas Barthlet” .

Geneva Bible 1560 edition

Old heresy laws were restored (1555) and now the Catholics persecuted the protestants fiercely. In those times education among women became fashionable, partly because of Catherine’s influence, and her donations of large sums of money to several colleges. This also made women to read the bible, which the then Mary I had forbidden. Therefore those who wanted to have the Word of God printed had to go to the continent to reproduce the Bible. Coverdale and John Knox (the Scottish Reformer) led a colony of Protestant exiles. Under the influence of John Calvin, they published the New Testament in 1557.

The 1st woman tempting Adam made that the 16th century men brought them to put on garments, printing that they “made themselves breeches”, which caused this bible translation also to be called the “Breeches Bible“. William Whittingham supervised the translation, now known as the Geneva Bible, which was written in collaboration with Miles/Myles Coverdale. Men did the smuggling over sea and the women took care that the holy book was well hidden in the house.

The study aids, and explanatory ‘tables’, i.e. indexes of names and topics, in addition to the extensive marginal notes made that lay people who could read were able to do bible studies at home. Good point of this translation was also that the translator showed the words they added to make the text readable. In Roman typeface verse divisions were used to facilitate quotation, whilst words not present in the original, yet required to complete the sense in English were printed in italics.

After the Geneva Bible could be imported without hindrance it still took until 1576 for an english printed edition.

That Geneva bible also founds its way to the New World were the women at home also could find an authoritative translation genuinely based on the Hebrew and Greek originals.

After that the authorized edition of the Bible in English, authorized by King Henry VIII of England the Great Bible was reinstated in the churches. It was called the Great Bible because of its large size, but is known also by several other names: the Cromwell Bible, since Thomas Cromwell directed its publication; Whitchurch’s Bible after its first English printer; the Chained Bible, since it was chained to prevent removal from the church. It has also been termed less accurately Cranmer’s Bible, since Thomas Cranmer was not responsible for the translation, but his preface first appeared in the second edition. This first Protestant archbishop of Canterbury (1533–56), adviser to the English kings Henry VIII and Edward VI, was denounced by the Catholic queen Mary I for promoting Protestantism and convicted of heresy to be burned at the stake.

Title page of the Great Bible (1539).

His action to put the English Bible in parish churches, drew up the Book of Common Prayer, which borrowed greatly from Martin Luther‘s Litany and Myles Coverdale‘s New Testament and composed a litany that remains and was taken up again. To avoid people stealing the bible it was chained to the church reading stand, hence it’s nickname Chained Bible.

In 1547 Cranmer was responsible for the publication of a Book of Homilies designed to meet the notorious grievance that the unreformed clergy did not preach enough and in which the reformed doctrines of the Church of England in greater depth and detail were presented than in the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion. In it the exhortations direct people to read scripture daily and to lead a life of prayer and faith in Jesus Christ. Next to those exhortations can be found lengthy scholarly treatises intended to inform church leaders in theology, church history, the fall of the Byzantine Empire and the heresies of the Roman Catholic Church. Previously in sermons not so many references to holy scripture were given and in the Eucharist or Eucharistic Christian Liturgy of the Catholic church was not much place for bible readings. In the two books of homilies eye is also given to the texts of the Church Fathers and other primary sources. Women were not yet in the picture.

In a certain way women often arranged the household, the cooking but also the upbringing of the children, including bringing them some thoughts about God and God’s Law. In those families the Geneva Bible gained instantaneous and lasting popularity over against its rival, the Great Bible. Its technical innovations contributed not a little to its becoming for a long time the family Bible of England, which, next to Tyndale, exercised the greatest influence upon the King James Version.

Matthew Parker, undated engraving. (Photos.com/Jupiterimages)

Males having dominance, several bishops found that  the objectionable partisan flavour of the Geneva’s marginal annotations demanded a new revision. By about 1563–64 Archbishop Matthew Parker of Canterbury [ex chaplain to Anne Boleyn, master of Corpus Christi (1544), vice-chancellor (1545 and 1549), dean of Lincoln (1552)] had determined upon its execution and the work was apportioned among many scholars, most of them bishops, from which the popular name ‘Bishops’ Bible‘ (1568) was derived. Parker sustained a distinctly Anglican position between extreme Protestantism and Roman Catholicism and sought to find the proper doctrinal and historical basis for the Church of England, and to this end he accumulated a library with many Anglo-Saxon and medieval manuscripts (which can be seen in Corpus Christi College, Cambridge).

Though not formally dedicated to Queen Elizabeth, the Bishops’ Bible includes a portrait of the queen on its title page. The 1569 quarto edition shows Elizabeth accompanied by female personifications of Justice, Mercy, Fortitude, and Prudence.

The high-church party of the Church of England associated Calvinism with Presbyterianism, which sought to replace government of the church by bishops (Episcopalian) with government by lay elders. Wanting to go back more to the original Hebrew texts several bishops translated a book but no overseer took time to do some editing, making that the translation practice varies greatly from book to book and that in certain books the tetragrammaton יהוה YHWH is represented by “the LORD”, and the Hebrew “Elohim” is represented by “God”. But in the Psalms the practice is the opposite way around. The books that Parker himself worked on are fairly sparingly edited from the text of the Great Bible, while those undertaken by Edmund Grindal of London, whose Puritan sympathies brought him into serious conflict with Queen Elizabeth I, emerged much closer to the Geneva text. From him it was hoped that he might drive a wedge between the moderate Puritans and the new party of radical reform. Probably through the influence of Nicholas Ridley, who had been master of Pembroke Hall, Grindal was selected as one of the Protestant disputants during the visitation of 1549. He had a talent for this work and was often given similar tasks. {Wikipedia} He fell foul of Elizabeth in regard to “prophesyings,” or meetings of clergy for mutual edification and study, since he wished to regulate and continue them, whereas she wished to prevent their meeting.

Priest hole on second floor of Boscobel House, Shropshire

At the time of Queen Elizabeth I families wanting to bring up their children in the Catholic faith made it possible for priests to visit them in secret by hiring them in as so called childwatchers or au-pairs or as housekeeper, and by building a priest hole, little crevices or interstices, by false panelling, false fireplace or incorporated into water closets, in their house, so that the presence of a priest could be concealed when searches were made of the building. Jesuit lay brother Nicholas Owen spent much of his life building priest holes to protect the lives of persecuted priests. Women played a very important role in avoiding the “pursuivants” (priest-hunters) finding the hidden priests as well in hiding any book that could give an impression Catholic teaching was given in the house. Outdoors Catholic symbols where placed so that other Catholics could find meeting places. Women took on the role of hostess. They also could check the families of which their children came befriended with, to make sure the family could not become in danger of being exposed. for such things market and public places where good to hear all sorts of women-talk and gossip.

In 1572 the Bishops’ Bible was extensively revised and a more “ecclesiastical” language was chosen. The text was brought more into line with that found in the Geneva Bible; and in the Old Testament, the Psalms from the Great Bible were printed alongside those in the new translation, which had proved impossible to sing. From 1577 the new psalm translation was dropped altogether; while further incremental changes were made to the text of the New Testament in subsequent editions. The last edition of the complete Bible was issued in 1602, but the New Testament was reissued until at least 1617.
William Fulke published several parallel editions up to 1633 with the New Testament of the Bishops’ Bible alongside the Rheims New Testament, specifically to controvert the latter’s polemical annotations.

Also this Bible translation failed to displace the Geneva Bible as a domestic Bible to be read at home, but that was not its intended purpose. The intention was for it to be used in church as what would today be termed a “pulpit Bible”.

Douai bible – Old Testament (1609)

English Roman Catholic scholars connected with the University of Douai in what was then in the Spanish Netherlands but now part of France, worked from the Latin Vulgate to present the New Testament, printed in Rheims in 1582. A group of former Oxford men, among them the initiator William Cardinal Allen, and principal translator Gregory Martin, and Thomas Worthington, who provided the Old Testament in two volumes, in 1609 and 1610, just before the King James version. Gregory Martin his version, in Bishop Richard Challoner’s third revised edition (1752), was the standard Bible for English Roman Catholics until the 20th century, and his phraseology influenced the Anglican translators of the Authorized, or King James, Version (1611). Although retaining the title Douay–Rheims Bible, the revision undertaken by bishop Richard Challoner; the New Testament in three editions 1749, 1750, and 1752; the Old Testament (minus the Vulgate deuterocanonical), in 1750 Challoner revision was a new version, which was also looked at by the makers of the King James version, which saw the light in 1611.

Mary I got her nickname Bloody Mary for all the killings of protestants and Bible readers. The burnings discredited the church she loved, sowed a harvest of hatred, and dogged the catholic cause for centuries to come. Mary, against her wish and intentions, did more than anyone else to make England a protestant nation.

Having put an end to the printing of Bibles in England for several years 53 years after her death it was a bible translation which would be used by several denominations from the Protestant as well as the Catholic group.

That 1611 bible translation has had a profound impact not only on most English translations that have followed it, but also on English literature as a whole. The 47 translators used the widest range of source texts to create what was to become the “Authorized Version” in England and being the most widely used of the Early Modern English Bible translations. Its use has continued in some traditions up to the present.

Too many people who say the King James Bible is the only right bible translation all people should follow, do forget that there have been many reprints with lots of differences, not only of printing faults or mistakes but also with several changes of words and phrases.

Already in the first year there was a print mistake, creating a he and she bible. This came from the final clause of chapter 3, verse 15 of Ruth:

“and he went into the city.”

Both printings contained errors. Some errors in subsequent editions have become famous: The so-called Wicked Bible (1631) derives from the omission of “not” in chapter 20 verse 14 of Exodus,

“Thou shalt commit adultery,”

for which the printers were fined £300; the “Vinegar Bible” (1717) stems from a misprinting of “vineyard” in the heading of Luke, chapter 20.

Because of the translators lack of Hebrew language knowledge,  certain words where wrongly translated or wrongly presented as figures or persons instead of characteristics, which still up to today, has several people having the wrong idea or concepts of certain discussed points in the Bible (e.g. sheolhell, Satanadversary). Also for the New Testament or Greek Writings the great early Greek codices were not yet known or available, and Hellenistic papyri, which were to shed light on the common Greek dialect, had not yet been discovered.

Portions of Old Testament books of undisputed authority found among the Oxyrhynchus Papyri: Amos 2 – Oxy 846 – University of Pennsylvania; E 3074

The Greek Magical Papyri (Latin Papyri Graecae Magicae, abbreviated PGM), dated from the 2nd century BCE to the 5th century CE were only discovered in the 18th century and later. (The collected texts were published for the first time in two volumes in 1928 and 1931.) It also was only in the late 19th and early 20th century that archaeologists like Bernard Pyne Grenfell and Arthur Surridge Hunt found the Oxyrhynchus manuscripts in Egypt, so that thousands of Greek and Latin documents, letters and literary works could seriously be researched.

Late Second Temple Period and after Late Antiquity texts including Aramaic, as in Bodleian Heb.d83, Greek, as a subset of the Greek Magical Papyri catalogued by Karl Preisendanz and others were discovered primarily during the heyday of Near Eastern archaeology in the late 19th Century, and subsequent interpretation and cataloguing, primarily took place during the early 20th Century.

In 1769 the authorised King James Version was again revised, but still not with enough knowledge of the original Scriptures, and adapted to the standards of the mid-18th Century by Hebraist and fellow and vice-principal of Hertford College Benjamin Blayney for the Oxford University Press. Most of those prints were destroyed by fire in the Bible warehouse, Paternoster Row, London. This version became the base for the newer versions. In 1885 a Revised Version was made which became the predecessor of a rival for the old King James Version, the Revised Standard Version of 1952 (New Testament in 1948)

In the 18th and 19th century more scholars and bible students started looking at what archaeologists had found and listened also to language scholars who knew much more about Hebrew and Old Greek than those of the 16th and 17th century England.

With the discovery of more ancient sources, Modern English Bible translations have proliferated in the Modern English age to a degree never seen before.

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Preceding articles:

Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #1 Pre King James Bible

Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #2 King James Bible versions

Next: Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #4 Steps to the Women’s Bibles

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Additional reading

  1. Codex Sinaiticus available for perusal on the Web
  2. Rare original King James Bible discovered
  3. King James Bible Coming into being
  4. Looking at notes of Samuel Ward and previous Bible translation efforts in English
  5. Celebrating the Bible in English
  6. TheBible4Life KJV Jubileum
  7. What English Bible do you use?
  8. The Most Reliable English Bible
  9. 2001 Translation an American English Bible
  10. NWT and what other scholars have to say to its critics
  11. New American Bible Revised Edition
  12. The NIV and the Name of God
  13. Archeological Findings the name of God YHWHUse of /Gebruik van Jehovah or/of Yahweh in Bible Translations/Bijbel vertalingen
  14. Dedication and Preaching Effort 400 years after the first King James Version
  15. Hebrew, Aramaic and Bibletranslation
  16. Some Restored Name Versions
  17. Anchor Yale Bible
  18. iPod & Android Bibles

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Further reading

  1. The Tudor State
  2. A Princess is Born
  3. Anne Boleyn – Part I
  4. Anne Boleyn – Part II
  5. A Palace Fit For A Prince
  6. “Elizabeth I” by Margaret George
  7. September 1, 1532 – Anne Boleyn Created Marquess of Pembroke
  8. Henry & Anne – Devoted Lovers
  9. Anne Boleyn & The King’s Proposal
  10. Anne Boleyn, Hunter or Hunted?
  11. Anne Boleyn Speaks
  12. Wife, Spinster or Nun…?
  13. The Most Happy 👑 Anne & I – Part 2
  14. Lady Anne Will Be My Queen
  15. The Execution Of Anne Boleyn 1536
  16. Back to the Boleyns 
  17. A Thought For The Wives
  18. The Chapel Royal of St Peter ad Vincula
  19. Short Documentary: The Top 15 Most Evil Women in History
  20. Tudors: The History of England from Henry VIII to Elizabeth I by Peter Ackroyd
  21. A new perspective: ‘She-Wolves’ Lady Jane Grey, Mary I and Elizabeth I
  22. Edward VI and Mary I
  23. The ‘Silent’ Tudor
  24. The Tragic Life of ‘Bloody’ Mary Tudor
  25. ‘Bloody Mary’ or just Mary I? | W.U Hstry
  26. The Myth of Bloody Mary
  27. Happy 500th Birthday Bloody Mary. Bloody Mary, Bloodied Mary, Muddy Mary.
  28. The Queen’s Fool by Phillipa Gregory 
  29. I sentence you to death by acquittal?
  30. 14th November 1501: Prince Arthur Tudor marries Katherine of Aragon.
  31. On this day in 1518 – Princess Mary and the Dauphin of France were betrothed
  32. November 26, 1533 – Henry FitzRoy Marries Mary Howard
  33. On this day in 1553 – Queen Mary I was coronated
  34. May 25, 1553 – A Triple Wedding
  35. February 1, 1554 – Mary I Speech at Guildhall Opposing Wyatt’s Rebellion
  36. On this day in 1555 – Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Cranmer stood trial
  37. February 28, 1556 – Burial of Stephen Gardiner at Winchester Cathedral
  38. November 17, 1558 – Death of Mary I
  39. They died on the same day …
  40. 29th April 1559. Elizabethan Settlement.
  41. On this day in 1571 – Bishop John Jewel died
  42. Three Lives of Hampton Court
  43. On Pictures in Books
  44. Of well-connected Archbishops
  45. The Nine Days of the Nine Day Queen
  46. Discussion Questions – ‘The Queen’s Fool’ by Philippa Gregory
  47. July 6, 1553: Edward VI Dies, Northumberland Tries to Implement His ‘Device for the Succession’
  48. The Ability to Love God is a Gift of God – The Collect of Thomas Cranmer for the Sixth Sunday after Trinity Sunday
  49. A Colchester mystery
  50. How did people hide and share their religion in the Tudor times?
  51. Introduction to “Show me your glory” and a one year Bible reading plan
  52. There was a Word
  53. What is YHWH? What is the tetragrammaton?
  54. The Seal of Solomon’s Tetragrammaton
  55. The Seal of Solomon and the Four-Lettered Name of God
  56. Tetragrammaton Meditation
  57. The Name of Yehovah
  58. Trinity or Tetragrammaton?
  59. The Lord, the Lord …translating the tetragrammaton
  60. God’s name and Hovah-logic 2 (by Nehemia Gordon)
  61. 13th November 1539. Power Yoked with Religion.
  62. The Breeches Bible
  63. The Psalms by Loutherbourg
  64. Tyndale Executed for Heresy on This Date
  65. Scholar finds earliest known draft of King James Bible wrapped in a stained piece of waste vellum
  66. Oldest King James Bible Draft Discovered
  67. Earliest Known Draft of 1611 King James Bible Is Found
  68. First edition of King James Bible from 1611 found in church cupboard
  69. Sneak Preview: Blessed Are the Phrasemakers…
  70. Ye King Iames Bible
  71. AV1611: England’s Greatest Achievement
  72. 1617 King James Bible
  73. The King James Bible 1
  74. The King James Bible 2
  75. The King James Bible and the Restoration
  76. The Wicked Bible
  77. Why King James Bible?
  78. The King James Bible is the Truth!
  79. King James Only?
  80. Drafting the King James Bible
  81. The King James Removed Verses?
  82. Handwritten King James Bible Proves the Bible Not Inspired
  83. Handwritten Draft Of King James Bible Discovered: Reveals No ‘Divine Powers’
  84. Did Shakespeare Write Psalm 46 in the King James Bible?
  85. The King James Bible vs. Shakespeare
  86. The Indestructible Book: King James Bible 1611
  87. #Scripture #Only #KJV #Protestant #Meme
  88. Thees, Thous, and Wot Nots
  89. Everyday Phrases We Use That Came From The King James Bible
  90. Which is the best English Bible?
  91. I am King James Bible Only
  92. Does The King James Bible Reveal The Identity Of The Antichrist?
  93. Christopher Hill’s Bible (Part 4): The Radical English Bible
  94. About Bible Translations
  95. Many Modern Translations of the Bible are challenging the Deity of Christ!
  96. The King James Bible with Alexander Scourby
  97. The King James AV 1611 Bible vs the New International Version
  98. Wherefore pleaseth archaic English?
  99. Greek Bibles Are Not The Standard
  100. Who Still gets the Print Newspaper… and Reads it?
  101. Putting Words in My Mouth: Review of The Cultural Legacy of the King James Bible at Durham Book Festival
  102. Our Whole Heart: Language and the Book of Common Prayer
  103. Evening Prayer 27.7.16, William Reed Huntington, Liturgist & Ecumenist, 1909
  104. The Ability to Love God is a Gift of God – The Collect of Thomas Cranmer for the Sixth Sunday after Trinity Sunday
  105. The Invitation to Table Fellowship
  106. A collect for our times
  107. The School for Prayer
  108. From the Pulpit (or centre aisle!) 03-01-16
  109. New Age Deism: Part Two
  110. The Bible: Kept Pure in All Ages
  111. How Hollywood Copies the Bible
  112. 10 Misinterpreted Phrases We Use Incorrectly On A Daily Basis
  113. Five Eternal Truths
  114. #Ecumenism is #Hypocresy and a #Demonic teaching.
  115. #Ecumenism:>  #Spiritual #Whoredom (Documentary) – YouTube
  116. An Insurance Policy with God
  117. Do Not Fear
  118. Isaiah 41:10
  119. Homosexuality: A Biblical Refutation (Queen James Bible Debunked)
  120. #Vatican #Catholic #Hypocrisy #Arrogance and #False #Teaching : #Threatened with #Hell if I don’t become a Catholic. · The #Catholic so called church · Disqus
  121. Bible Bashing
  122. A General Introduction
  123. The New Testament in the Book of Mormon: A Primer
  124. The Passion for Learning In the Church of Christ
  125. Textual Criticism Pt. 1
  126. Textual Criticism 3
  127. What is the difference between Hell and the Lake of Fire?
  128. A Biblical Examination of Hell
  129. Don’t go to hell!!
  130. The Attack on the Bible
  131. Christian Traveling Men
  132. Do Not trust in man!!
  133. My Love/Hate Relationship
  134. On my Bookshelf
  135. The Effectual Bible Student #12
  136. Issues in Christianity Today #9
  137. Imagine Being this Astonished Professor
  138. A Burning Heart
  139. God bless you and keep you
  140. Be Doers of the Word

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Sample of Taverner's Bible, Mark 1:1-5

Sample of Taverner’s Bible, Mark 1:1-5 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #1 Pre King James Bible

The Greek translation of the Old Testament made it accessible in the Hellenistic period (c. 300 bcec. 300 ce) and provided a language for the New Testament and for the Christian liturgy and theology of the first three centuries. The Bible in Latin shaped the thought and life of Western people for a thousand years. People had no bible in their own vernacular.

Throughout history vocally people recounted the Hebrew myths of creation which have superseded the racial mythologies of Latin, Germanic, Slavonic, and all other Western peoples.

Here and there scribes wrote notes in their own language or provided a word for word translation between the lines of the Latin text.

Liber Generationis, the opening page of the Gospel of St. Matthew in the Lindisfarne Gospels, (Photo credit: British Library)

Already in the 10th century an Old English translation of the Gospels was made in the Lindisfarne Gospels, a manuscript illuminated in the late 7th or 8th century in the Hiberno-Saxon style with a word-for-word gloss inserted between the lines of the Latin text by the scrybe Aldred, Provost of Chester-le-Street. The book was probably made for Eadfrith, the bishop of Lindisfarne from 698 to 721. Attributed to the Northumbrian school, the Lindisfarne Gospels show the fusion of Irish, classical, and Byzantine elements of manuscript illumination and may be considered to be the oldest extant translation of the Gospels into the English language.

The Tower of Babel, from an illustrated manuscript (11th century) containing some Latin excerpts from the Hexateuch. Ælfric was responsible for the preface to Genesis as well as some of its translations. Another copy of the text, without lavish illustrations but including a translation of the Book of Judges, is found in Oxford, Bodleian Library, Laud Misc. 509.

Produced in approximately 990 the Wessex Gospels (also known as the West-Saxon Gospels) are a full translation of the four gospels into a West Saxon dialect of Old English. In 1842 still copies were printed by Richard & John Taylor as the Da Halgan Godspel on Englisc – the Anglo Saxon Version of the Holy gospels. The Cambridge University press brought a version with the Latin text and Lindisfarne Gospels included in 1871-1879.

The Anglo-Saxon prose writer, considered the greatest of his time, Benedictine Abbot Ælfric translated much of the Old Testament into Old English. He was the author of a Latin grammar, hence his nickname Grammaticus, he also wrote Lives of the Saints, Heptateuch (a vernacular language version of the first seven books of the Bible), as well as letters and various treatises.

The book of Genesis up to the story of Abraham and Isaac, along with selections from other books of the first six books of the Hebrew Bible, the Hexateuch, under the directon of Æthelweard were translated in the 11th century, by Ælfric into the vernacular, that is, into Old English.

A page from the Ormulum demonstrating the editing performed over time by Orm (Parkes 1983, pp. 115–16), as well as the insertions of new readings by “Hand B”.

Like its Old English precursor from Ælfric, and Abbot of Eynsham a version in Middle English was reproduced in the 12th century by an Augustinian monk named Orm (or Ormin) at the behest of his brother Brother Walter. It consisted of just under 19,000 lines of early Middle English verse. ‘The Ormulum or Orrmulum)
The motivation was to provide an accessible English text for the benefit of the less educated, which might include some clergy who found it difficult to understand the Latin of the Vulgate, and the parishioners who in most cases would not understand spoken Latin at all (Treharne 2000, p. 273).

We do know that mostly the pastors also gave themselves a paraphrased Gospel reading before going over to their exhortation, because the laity did not understand Latin and there had to be some relation of the sermon to the ‘bible reading’.

At the end of the 13th century a Psalter saw the light in English, which would be a base for Wycliffe version of the English Bible. The theological scholar and advocate of the English reform movement within the Roman Church, Nicholas Of Hereford, who later recanted his unorthodox views and participated in the repression of other reformers, became influenced by Wycliffe, founder of an evangelical Christian group called Lollards. He was entrusted to make a translation of the Old Testament, of which the the major part was completed before a synod in London and his subsequent departure for Rome in 1382.

Long thought to be the work of Wycliffe himself, the Wycliffite translations are now generally believed to be the work of several hands. Nicholas of Hereford is known to have translated a part of the text; John Purvey and perhaps John Trevisa are names that have been mentioned as possible authors.

When the first complete translation of the Bible into English emerged, it became the object of violent controversy because it was inspired by the heretical teachings of John Wycliffe. Intended for the common man, it became the instrument of opposition to ecclesiastical authority.

Archbishop Arundel (1353–1414) initiated against the Lollards (followers of John Wycliffe) a campaign that resulted in the burning of several of them. He summoned a synod of clergy to Oxford in 1408 a synod of clergy summoned to Oxford for discussion of the forbidding of the translation and use of Scripture in the vernacular. The proscription was rigorously enforced, but remained ineffectual.

Oldcastleburning.jpg

John Oldcastle being burnt for insurrection and Lollard heresy.

The distinguished soldier and martyred leader of the LollardsJohn Oldcastle who gained the friendship of King Henry IV’s son Henry, prince of Wales, was in 1413 indicted by a convocation, presided over by Archbishop Thomas Arundel of Canterbury, for maintaining both Lollard preachers and their opinions. Though he had served as a justice of the peace, and was High Sheriff of Herefordshire in 1406–07 and even had an amicable relationship with the prince of Wales, now Henry V, who regarded Sir John as “one of his most trustworthy soldiers”, which earned him special consideration, he failed to honour the king’s appeals to submit and was brought to trial the same year. Oldcastle declared his readiness to submit to the king “all his fortune in this world” but was firm in his religious beliefs and was hanged over a fire that consumed the gallows, on December 14.

In the course of the 15th century the Wycliffite Bible or Wycliffe’s Bible, which had appeared over a period from approximately 1382 to 1395, achieved wide popularity as is evidenced by the nearly 200 manuscripts extant, most of them copied between 1420 and 1450. The first versions where still following the word order in the Latin text which made them difficult to read. Later versions made more concessions to the native grammar of English so that it was easier for laypersons to comprehend.

In 1526 Peter Schoeffer, who had entered the printing business as the partner of Gutenberg’s creditor, Johann Fust, whose daughter he later married, in the German city of Worms came to print the work of an educated english man from Oxford and Cambridge, who was an impressive scholar, fluent in eight languages, and was ordained as a Christian priest in around 1521. That English scholar, William Tyndale, had previously translated a tract by the humanist who was the greatest scholar of the northern Renaissance Desiderius Erasmus, from Rotterdam, whose writings argued for personal faith: a direct relationship between the individual and God, not one mediated and controlled by the Church hierarchy. Erasmus helped lay the groundwork for the historical-critical study of the past, especially in his studies of the Greek New Testament and the Church Fathers. He was the the first editor of the New Testament, and also an important figure in patristics and classical literature.

For William Tyndale it had become clear that people had more to listen to God His Word than to the words of a church-organisation which was telling people things which were not according to the Words of God. Naturally it was very easy for a church to tell people anything that supposedly would be written in the bible, though they knew it was no Biblical teaching, but by presenting it as such, they could keep the people in control and in their hand.

Four centuries later still many preachers just take verses out of contexts and keep repeating them at the service without ever reading the whole chapter or at least the paragraph, where more clarity could be found. In this way still many churches proclaim un-biblical teachings though people are often not aware of it and continue to stay in that denomination often giving it enough money, being asked to do so by their pastors, not to come into hell (for them a place for eternal torture) .

At the time of Tyndale Christians continued to be governed from Rome by the Pope offering church services in Latin throughout the Christian world, and translation of the Latin Bible into the vernacular, in other words the local language anyone could understand, was actively discouraged and even worse in many countries forbidden.

In England under the 1408 Constitutions of Oxford, it was strictly forbidden to translate the Bible into the native tongue, so that those governing could be sure no uneducated people could come to see what was really written in the bible.

Cardinal Wolsey, Lord Chancellor and Sir Thomas More vigorously enforced this ban in an attempt to prevent the rise of English ‘Lutheranism’.

The only authorised version of the Bible was St Jerome’s Latin translation, known as the ‘Vulgate’, made in the fourth century and understood only by highly-educated people.

Aided by money from Sir Humphrey and others, Tyndale in May 1524, set sail for Germany where he hoped his secret work could be continued in greater safety. There he could work without fear basing his translation on a New Testament in Greek that had recently been complied by Erasmus from several manuscripts older and more authoritative than the Latin Vulgate. By re-translating into English a closer version to the original texts could be created for the English speaking community.

Printing began in Cologne in the summer of 1525, but word of the project soon reached the Dean of Frankfurt. He not only arranged a ban on printing in Cologne but also alerted Cardinal Wolsey to Tyndale’s activities. Tyndale fled with his assistant, William Roy, to Worms, where a pocket-sized edition was the first of two to be completed. By April 1526, Tyndale’s New Testament, pronounced heretical in England, so his Bibles were smuggled into the country in bales of cloth, to being read behind closed doors in England.

Though it did not include all of the books we enjoy today his version was used later on as a base for the versions the Church of England used.

The Bible, translated by William Tyndale and Myles Coverdale, 1535 edition.

In 1529 the Yorkshireman and Augustinian friar who was ordained a priest (1514) at Norwich and later became bishop of Exeter, Myles Coverdale, helped William Tyndale translate the Pentateuch in Hamburg and then apparently settled in Antwerp, where he translated the Bible. It was there that he in 1535 compiled and published the first complete (Old Testament and New Testament) Modern English translation of the Bible (cf. Wycliffe’s Bible in manuscript) printed by Merten de Keyser (Martin Lempereur) who also had who printed the first complete French Bible translation, in Antwerp. This Coverdale Bible, although allowed to circulate in England, lacked official approval because of its so called heretical tendentiousness and its inadequacy as a translation. A new edition, “overseen and corrected,” was published in England by James Nycholson in Southwark in 1537. Another edition of the same year bore the announcement, “set forth with the king’s most gracious license.” In 1538 a revised edition of Coverdale’s New Testament printed with the Latin Vulgate in parallel columns issued in England was so full of errors that Coverdale promptly arranged for a rival corrected version to appear in Paris. Accordingly, Thomas Cromwell the King’s vice-gerent, or deputy, in spiritual affairs, engaged Coverdale to work in England on a new version, using a revised edition of Tyndale’s work known as Matthew’s Bible. Coverdale’s renewed efforts resulted in the publication in 1539 of the widely accepted Great Bible. The later editions (folio and quarto) published in 1539 were the first complete Bibles printed in England. The 1539 folio edition carried the royal licence and was therefore the first officially approved Bible translation in English. In edited 1540 Coverdale also edited Cranmer’s Bible.

72 years later an other Royal licensed bible would deliver such an important Bible translation it would become reprinted for centuries, becoming a still preferred version by many.

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Preceding in Dutch: Broeders en Zusters in Christus door de eeuwen heen #11 Vredelievende waarheidzoekers

Next: Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #2 the King James Bible versions

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Additional reading

  1. Biblical literature
  2. The Anglo-Saxon Version of the Holy Gospels at archive.org
  3. The Holy Gospels in Anglo-Saxon, Northumbrian, and Old Mercian Versions at archive.org
  4. Celebrating the Bible in English
  5. The Bible4Life ­- a Multimedia Presentation
  6. Wycliffe Associates supporting underground Bible translators
  7. Seminar on Bible Translation in Prague
  8. HalleluYah Scriptures
  9. Americans really thinking the Messiah Christ had an English name
  10. Christian clergyman defiling book which did not belong to him
  11. Codex Sinaiticus
  12. Codex Sinaiticus available for perusal on the Web
  13. The Anjou Bible Project
  14. The NIV and the Name of God
  15. Why believing the Bible
  16. Human & Biblical teachings
  17. Bible & us

 

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Further reading

  1. Where Words Come From
  2. Saint Jerome
  3. Jerome and the Vulgate
  4. Could Bezae be a response to the Vulgate?
  5. God’s Word- The Vulgate?
  6. S. Hieronymus
  7. #WhyBible
  8. Many endured Hell to bring us the Bible in English….
  9. The Middle Ages part 2
  10. Medieval bling
  11. The Protestant Deformation
  12. Rumblings of Reformation: John Wycliffe and the Supremecy of the Word of God
  13. 1385 Wycliffe: Gen. Cap 1:1-2
  14. 1385 Wycliffe: Gen. Cap 1:28-30
  15. 1385 Wycliffe: Gen. Cap 2:6-15
  16. William Tyndale – 6 October 2015
  17. William Tyndale: Rebel of the Vernacular Scriptures
  18. William Tyndale 1
  19. William Tyndale 2
  20. Online gallery Sacred texts Tyndale New Testament
  21. Tindall alias Hitchins Family of North Nibley
  22. Williams Tyndale: The Experiential Outworking of Sola Scriptura
  23. William Tyndale On the Law
  24. Or a Cab Driver
  25. Translating Tyndale’s Dedication
  26. William Tyndale & Charles Spurgeon On Sacred Words And Deeds
  27. Sermon: A Man Who Gave His Life that You Might Have an English Bible
  28. Desiderius Erasmus
  29. The Remarkable Erasmus
  30. Thoughts on Anglicanism
  31. The Reformation
  32. A little tale of mediaeval sleeping….
  33. Skimming, Scanning, and Illiteracy
  34. helpmate
  35. Puritan History
  36. When It Was Unthinkable that the State Would Affirm God
  37. R.C. Sproul on Understanding Bible Translations
  38. How to Deepen the Spiritual Life of A Congregation
  39. Thinking time
  40. English Historical Fiction Authors: The Christians Are Coming! (The islands of Iona and Lindisfarne)
  41. Archaeologists Locate Lindisfarne monastery
  42. A Monk’s Chronicle: 22 August 2016 — A Bridge to Somewhere
  43. #WordlessWednesday #Lindisfarne Priory & Castle #Photography
  44. Reign of Terror
  45. Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne – A Vision For Today
  46. Lindisfarne – A Holy Island
  47. Northumberland Coastal Way
  48.  Lindisfarne Island
  49. Why I Love Lindisfarne, and Why You Should Go Right Now
  50. Lindisfarne and Leeds
  51. That’s Not Old English! (how to act like a total tool…and enjoy doing it!)
  52. Converging Worlds: Cultural Exchanges in Literature and the Written Word (Conference, 20th June)
  53. English: The Living Language
  54. A Brief History of the English Language, pt. 12
  55. The Finale – A Brief History of the English Language
  56. On the Origins of the word ‘Read’
  57. dwindle
  58. wel-þungen
  59. hālig-mōnaþ
  60. hærfest-mōnaþ
  61. Va-etchanan 5776
  62. Stomp the Yard
  63. Scripture Celebration
  64. Languages and Translation
  65. Meaning of TH House Names
  66. Incredible! 182 Years Later, SE Asian Group Receives the Gospel in their Language from Wycliffe
  67. Bible Translation in the Jungle
  68. Hack On IT
  69. May 21st
  70. Double Edged Sword
  71. What price a Bible?
  72. How Much Does A Bible Really Cost?
  73. Handing knowledge down the years
  74. Today in Christian History: June 10
  75. 139 You who believe in the Name of the Son of God. 1 John 5:13
  76. The Conflict Over Different Bible Versions/Part 1
  77. The Conflict Over Different Bible Versions/Part 6
  78. Is the King James Version of the Bible the Only Bible Christians Should Trust and Read/Part 2

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With child and righteousness greater than the law

The last few weeks in many denominations they looked at a time of remembrance of the coming on earth of the Messiah. At the end of the month many Christians use the birthday of the goddess of light and creation, to celebrate the birth of Christ (who was born in 4 bCE October 17) This birth is the beginning of the New World whereof the evangelist John is talking about when he looks at that new period like at the beginning of everything new, or the Bereshith (Bereshit or Bereishit), the Genesis. In the Genesis book by Moses you may find God Speaking and by speaking or uttering His Word, everything came into being. In the same way spoke God and the child came into being.

“In [the] beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god.” (NWT) (John 1:1)

English: The story of the Eden Garden. The tem...

The story of the Eden Garden. The temptation of Adam & Eve by the devil. Pedestal of the statue of Madonna with Child, western portal (of the Virgin), of Notre-Dame de Paris, France (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Word, which was spoken before everything existed had also spoken in the Garden of Eden. That was a time long before Abraham. As such God His Word came unto the 1° Adam and promised to provide a solution for his misstep. Adam and Eve came to hear the first promise for their descendants. Later the Word of God would come to other offspring, who at their turn also told the world to look out for that Saviour or Messiah.

Not the evangelist John his work was placed first in the Books of the New Covenant. Matthew got the honour to open the New Testament. His account of the birth of Jesus in Matthew 1:18-25 has one primary concern: to establish the identity and mission of Jesus from the very beginning of his story. For the evangelist Matthew, who came to know the Nazarene Jeshua early in his public life, this special teacher no doubt is the Messiah or Christ (see Matthew 1:18), the agent of God who will establish God’s kingdom and save his people from their sins (see Matthew 1:21).

Lots of people do want to find a very special person and a very special story. Because they can not find that in the Bible they started creating several stories to make their evening of remembrance much greater.

"Annunciation", fresco (ca. 1371) by...

“Annunciation”, fresco (ca. 1371) by Jacopo di Cione (ca.1325-after 1390)(?), interior of the façade of the basilica of San Marco in Florence, Italy. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The evangelist Matthew brings a very human story involving a young couple: Joseph and Myriam or Miriam, by most English speaking people known as Mary (others know her as Maria, or Blessed Virgin Mary). Mary gets a message which may have been very strange for her and any other human being. The messenger of God, an angel pronounces that she has found great favour with God. We do find a simple village girl through whom God decides to work His plan of redemption.

“In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee,” (Luke 1:26 NIV)

“The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favoured! The Lord is with you.” Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be.” (Luke 1:28-29 NIV)

“And Mary said unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?” (Luke 1:34 ASV)

From the evangelist and apostle Matthew we come to know she got to know the workman Joseph and also in Luke is written:

“to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary.” (Luke 1:27 NIV)

“The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favoured! The Lord is with you.”” (Luke 1:28 NIV)

“18 This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.” (Matthew 1:18-19 NIV)

Matthew grounds his lofty message about Jesus’ identity and mission as the Christ in the earthiness and complexities of human life. It doesn’t get much earthier than a pregnancy out of wedlock; put that together with the fact that the young couple had not yet had sex and you have the makings of a real potboiler. This young girl could be killed for what she got herself into. Regardless of the cost to her societally, she is willing to submit to God’s will for her life. For her the wrath of the Law and the weight of the village’s condemnation have no value opposite the message she got from a celestial being. Though she did not get stoned because most rabbis required a lesser penalty, including divorce and public shaming. The public shaming may have come over the fiancée of labourer Joseph who was still willing to take her as her bride.

Matthew portrays Joseph as a righteous man who confronted a significant dilemma. Him at first in love with this young Essene girl, had to face a very devote Jew who seemed to have been unfaithful to him. Most people usually understand the description of Joseph as “righteous” to mean that he was a good man, a kind man. But Joseph’s “righteousness” in this context has a specific meaning: it refers to Joseph’s thorough adherence to the law, the Torah. Joseph was also a devout, practising Jew. His decision to divorce Mary was the right one according to the law.

Matthew tells us that while Joseph had decided to sever his relationship with Mary, in accordance with the law and the custom of his time, he had decided to do this so “quietly,” evidently to reduce Mary’s public disgrace. Joseph had found a way to be faithful to the requirements of the law, but to do so in a respectful and sensitive manner. Joseph struck a remarkable balance between righteousness and compassion.

In the Torah were given many examples of how strange God’s ways might be for man. More than once appeared celestial beings to man to turn their coarse. This disappointed workman also came to hear an angel of God in a dream. Believing in the truth of his dream he abandoned adherence to the law by accepting the angel’s exhortation to take Mary as his wife. In this extraordinary situation, Joseph’s righteousness transcended the letter of the law. For Joseph, being righteous no longer meant blind, literal adherence to the Torah; the instruction from the angel trumped the law. The imminent arrival of Jesus somehow transformed the righteousness expected of Joseph. This is a theme that Jesus would articulate again and again later in this Gospel: there is a righteousness greater than the law.

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Preceding articles:

Story of Jesus’ birth begins long before the New Testament

Nazarene Commentary Luke 1:26-38 – Gabriel’s Appearance to Mary

Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:15-20 – Shepherds Find the Infant Christ

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Literature of interest:

  1. With God All Things Are Possible
  2. Message from the family tree in the Tanakh
  3. Why do we need a ransom?
  4. A promise given in the Garden of Eden
  5. The Seed Of The Woman Bruised
  6. Written to recognise the Promissed One
  7. OT prophesies and the NT fulfilment of them
  8. Prophets making excuses
  9. Belief of the things that God has promised
  10. About a man who changed history of humankind
  11. Which man is mentioned most often in the Bible? Jesus, Moses, Abraham or David?
  12. Together tasting a great promise
  13. Patriarch Abraham, Muslims, Christians and the son of God
  14. The Immeasurable Grace bestowed on humanity
  15. Virgin Mary’s girdle
  16. The Gabriel Revelation Real or forgery
  17. Who was Jesus?
  18. Jesus and his God
  19. The Christ, the anointed of God
  20. Around pre-existence of Christ
  21. A season of gifts
  22. Christmas, Saturnalia and the birth of Jesus
  23. Wishing lanterns and Christmas
  24. Jesus begotten Son of God #1 Christmas and Christians
  25. Jesus begotten Son of God #2 Christmas and pagan rites
  26. Jesus begotten Son of God #3 Messiah or Anointed one
  27. Jesus begotten Son of God #4 Promised Prophet and Saviour
  28. Jesus begotten Son of God #5 Apostle, High Priest and King
  29. Jesus begotten Son of God #6 Anointed Son of God, Adam and Abraham
  30. Jesus begotten Son of God #7 A matter of the Future
  31. Jesus begotten Son of God #8 Found Divinely Created not Incarnated
  32. Jesus begotten Son of God #9 Two millennia ago conceived or begotten
  33. Jesus begotten Son of God #13 Pre-existence excluding virginal birth of the Only One Transposed
  34. Jesus begotten Son of God #14 Beloved Preminent Son and Mediator originating in Mary
  35. Jesus begotten Son of God #15 Son of God Originating in Mary
  36. Jesus begotten Son of God #17 Adam, Eve, Mary and Christianity’s central figure
  37. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #6 Words to feed and communicate
  38. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #14 Prayer #12 The other name
  39. God has visited His people
  40. Jesus spitting image of his father
  41. A man with an outstanding personality
  42. Lord or Yahuwah, Yeshua or Yahushua
  43. Ember and light the ransomed of Jehovah
  44. The Beginning of the life of Jesus Christ
  45. What Jesus did: First things first
  46. Servant of his Father
  47. Anointing of Christ as Prophetic Rehearsal of the Burial rites
  48. A Messiah to die
  49. Impaled until death overtook him
  50. Cursed is the one hung on a tree
  51. Atonement and the race been bought
  52. Jesus three days in hell
  53. What Jesus Did – Misleading around the Messiah and the final assessment
  54. Christ having glory
  55. Words in the world
  56. Ignorance of Today’s Youth (and Adults)
  57. God or a god

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  • Be Thankful: 5 Things God Has Given Us We Should Thank Him For (authorbrianlknack.wordpress.com)
    Be Thankful God Gave Us Life  –  Not only did he breathe the breath of life into us that we might become a living soul but he has given us New Life in the New Covenant through the blood of His son Jesus! God put us here for a purpose and that purpose is to live for Him and experience the joy of His presence every day. For those who have accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior of our lives God has also given to us the gift of Eternal Life in Him!
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    Because God loved us so much, He didn’t want us to continue to drift away from Him in our selfish, self-centered existence. He loved us so much that He gave us the gift of His Son, Jesus, to be the way back to Him. That gift is the best, most amazing, most expensive, most valuable gift ever given, and it was given to us. He loved us enough to give us Jesus.
  • Focus On God (christianmotivations.weebly.com)
    the Bible teaches us that the flesh (since we are all born in sin through the fall of Adam and Eve) is enmity against God.
  • The Tense of Life – Future Perfect (cerkas.wordpress.com)
    In truth, time is but a fabrication and rationalization of our minds in an attempt to avoid confusion and chaos.  Simply, time helps us comprehend our existence within the limits of our knowledge.
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    The true beauty of Christianity, however, is that by being born again via Baptism, we are cleansed from sin’s blemish on our soul and are blessed to have the opportunity to live this earthly life in God’s Light, striving to become like Him, understanding that at times, we will falter and sin.  And in the wisdom of our Creator, He provided a mechanism for us to redeem ourselves of sins via repentance, along with his Grace via forgiveness.
  • Why does God make a way for us to return to paradise? (christianitymatters.com)
    Because we are mostly focused on the negative, we think a lot about why things are bad and messed up in this world but we spend little time thinking about why God makes a way for us to return to paradise.
  • Found By Grace (ponderingtheheartofjesus.com)
    When people can’t talk about difficulties together, they tend to avoid just like Adam and Eve did in the Garden of Eden when they realized they had sinned against God.
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    Have you trusted in the mediator Jesus as your Savior from the wages of sin? God is pursuing you and inviting you to be reconciled to Him right now, this Christmas.
  • Oh, Christmas Tree! (atimetoshare.wordpress.com)
    We are introduced to two trees in the Genesis account of creation – the Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.  The first inhabitants were given the Tree of life for food.  The other one they ate from in hopes of becoming as wise as God.
  • History of Christmas Trees part 1 (joannerambling.wordpress.com)
    In 1584, the historian Balthasar Russow wrote about a tradition, in Riga, of a decorated fir tree in the market square where the young men “went with a flock of maidens and women, first sang and danced there and then set the tree aflame”. There’s a record of a small tree in Breman, Germany from 1570. It is described as a tree decorated with “apples, nuts, dates, pretzels and paper flowers”. It was displayed in a ‘guild-house’ (the meeting place for a society of business men in the city).
  • Come Together (dbethandrews.wordpress.com)
    There are a lot of people in recent days talking about what divides us as a nation and how to bring some sort of reconciliation between people. We have all seen the protests and the anger and hurt. We have seen grief and sadness and bitterness and distrust – and all our protesting and postulating and town-hall meetings only seem to make the chasm wider. In this season of Christmas, this time when there should be “peace on earth” (Luke 2:14) and we should “love one another” (John 13:34) we see everything but. How did we become such an angry society? What is the root of our discord? And how do we reclaim the peace we’ve lost?
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    God gave Jesus as His gift to humanity to reconcile the creation with the Creator. To bring us peace. And when we are restored to God, when we have peace with God, we can then be restored in our human relationships and have peace with one another. But not until we first receive the gift of Jesus into our lives.
    +
    Peace that Never Ends
    God offers peace in our “dark night of the soul,” bringing His light to the night that surrounds us.
    +
    One day, and I think not so very far away, Jesus Christ will return, and bring with Him the fulfillment of God’s promise of peace. He will come, not as the baby in the manger, but as the victorious King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  He will come with power and authority.  He will bring an end to evil and wickedness.  He will bring punishment to those who love evil and hatred and corruption – to all who rejected Him in this life.
  • The Bible and Mythology (ezracommentary.wordpress.com)
    Myths are stories that people make up to explain various aspects of life and to express worldview, how we see and interpret the world. There are myths about the world and the creation of the sea. There are myths to explain where man and woman came from. Some myths are about the islands and how they came to be populated. There are myths that try to explain good and evil. Other myths have to do with how man and woman are to relate to one another and to each other’s families. There are myths about children and the consequences of disobedience. There are myths about the afterlife, what happens to a person and where he goes when he dies.

    So myths are stories which attempt to explain life and its meaning. They often share wisdom as to how we should live and relate to others and to the world around us. Myths are meant for teaching so that the wisdom can be transmitted from one generation to another.

Different approach in organisation of services #1

Based in a Catholic country

The Belgian Bible Students and the Belgian Free Christadelphians both started a new year like the Catholic Church in Belgium and the schools, universities and clubs started a new year.

For the Catholic Church and for us there is the promise to the young girl Miriam (Mary/Maria) which let us look at the beginning of a new era, the time of salvation at hand. We, in contrast with our brethren and sisters from the Central Fellowship, like the CBM and CIL Christadelphians, start already now with reading about the Glad Tidings and the beginnings of the New Testament. The members of the Belgian Free Christadelphians in their ecclesiae follow the Bible Reading Plan by Robert Roberts and start only on the 1st of January with Genesis 1 & 2 plus Matthew 1 & 2.

Because there are so many Catholics in this country we like to show them from their readings, their religious year readings, what the Bible really says. Because every year they choose an other Gospel author as their main writer which they will follow, we also do take that writer his writings to put in the spotlight. It is a matter of coming closer to them and to have a better play on the ball with their readings and their traditions.

Different traditions

About those traditions, the Bible Students and several Amended Christadelphians may have a different feeling, because some Central Christadelphians join the pagan Christian festival and celebrate Christmas and Boxing Day. For us the real birth of Christ,on the 17th of October 4BCE is an other good reason to start in September/October with the new ‘church year’. But we do have to abstain from the pagan based holidays, like Christmas and the Catholic and some Protestants their Easter. The Easter we do have to celebrate and which the Free Christadelphians in Belgium also keep to is the remembrance day installed by Jesus Christ before he was going to die, on the 14th of Nisan.
Like the Belgian Catholics we may find that there is a time of advent in the Autumn, a preparation time to receive and celebrate the Good News of the one who brought us the Kingdom of God. Last year we looked at Luke and this year we shall therefore have a closer look to the Book of Matthew, the 1st book of the New Testament. There are more allusions to the Old Testament in this Gospel than in the others. It was clearly written for Jewish Christians, the purpose being to prove that Jesus was the Messiah foretold in the Old Testament and therefore it is also a very good book to introduce to those who do not know Jesus or to those who have a wrong view of this Nazarene man.

This year the Free Christadelphians in Belgium, like us, looked back at the awful year they had, and showed their good spirit to stand up again and to go forwards through the breakers which dash against our coast. The ecclesia Brussel-Leuven also found it wise to give an idea how the Christadelphian movement came into being and how it developed.

In the Gospel of Matthew is written how the Lord Jesus himself announced the work of Harvest of the Gospel Age.

“Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’”” (Matthew 13:30 NIV)

Adolf Daens, Flemish Jesuit priest from Aalst who is especially known for his socio-political involvement after he joined the diocesan clergy. He created the Daensist movement from which originated in 1893 the Christene Volkspartij inspired by Leo XIII's encyclical Rerum Novarum.

Adolf Daens (1839–1907) Flemish priest from Aalst. Daens was a Jesuit from 1859 to 1871 but is especially known for his socio-political involvement after he joined the diocesan clergy. He created the Daensist movement from which originated in 1893 the Christene Volkspartij inspired by Leo XIII’s encyclical Rerum Novarum. The Christene Volkspartij forced the radicalisation and democratisation of the Catholic party.

Sowing the seeds in the 19° century

Dr. John Thomas (1805–1871) founder of the Christadelphian movement, a Restorationist religion with doctrines similar in part to some 16th-century Antitrinitarian Rationalist Socinians and the 16th-century Swiss-German pacifist Anabaptists. - Dr. John Thomas (1805-1871) grondlegger van de Christadelphian beweging, een herstellers van religie groepering met doctrines vergelijkbaar voor een deel met een aantal 16e-eeuwse Antitrinitarische Rationalistische Socinianen en de 16e-eeuwse Duits-Zwitserse pacifistische wederdopers of Anabaptisten.

Dr. John Thomas (1805–1871) founder of the Christadelphian movement, a Restorationist religion with doctrines similar in part to some 16th-century Antitrinitarian Rationalist Socinians and the 16th-century Swiss-German pacifist Anabaptists.

Brother John Thomas in the 19° century tried to sow the seeds. He found many listening ears. One of them was Brother Charles Taze Russell who visited Antwerp and Brussels in 1891. Already at that time the fresh new country seemed to struggle with the Gospel Faith. The Roman Catholic Church was a very strong bastion with her hand in the political system and favouring the rich instead of helping the poor, priest Adolf and his brother Pieter Daens, or Pie Donsj for those from Aalst, an exception.

Brother Charles met there a Christendom that was ignorant of biblical truth. The fear of the clergy and of the fire of hell, doctrine that has no foundation in the Scripture, kept people away from opening the Bible.  But the Catholic Church had taken care that the people would not come to see the truth, by forbidding them to read the Bible. Mass was done in Latin and the readings as such, in that language, did not say so much to the people, who had not studied enough to get to know Latin and Greek.

The Bible translations in Dutch, French or German were forbidden and blacklisted.

Walloon grocery and mining

Because there was so much French spoken Russell did find it a good idea to have a modest Swiss forestry worker named Adolphe Weber to proclaim “the good news of great joy” in the French speaking countries of Europe. Adolphe Weber began the translation in French of books of the “present truth” and published in Swiss, French and Belgian daily newspapers advertisements referring to the first volume of the studies in the Scriptures and some booklets.

Location in the municipality of Charleroi

Jumet is a section of the Belgian town of Charleroi within the Walloon region in the province of Hainaut. It was a commune of its own before the merger of the communes in 1977. – Location in the municipality of Charleroi

In 1901, a grocer named Jean-Baptiste Tilmant (father) working in Jumet-Gohissart, city located near Charleroi, answered one of these advertisements and asked for some literature. As a result, a small group of bible students started meetings at his house in 1902 and used material from Russell.

Urged by his desire to know more about the truth, Jean-Baptiste Tilmant wrote to the Swiss brother asking to receive more information. As an answer to his demand, Brother Weber came to Charleroi during his missionary tour, to strengthen the faith of this small group.
In 1903, the periodical “lighthouse of Zion Tower” was published in French for the first time. The light of truth began to
shine so brightly in this mining area. Indeed, each Sunday morning, a small group of Biblestudentsastheywerecalledat the time, were going “in the fields” to sow the seeds of truth contained in this eight pages periodical; they waited for instance at the exit of churches. That is how the two first editions of “Zion’s Watch Tower” were largely distributed.

Borderareas

The Borinage is an area in the Walloon province of Hainaut in Belgium

The small group of Jumet Gohissart pushed away the limits of its territory to the south in the French part of the country. Some time later, the truth of God’s Kingdom also expended among the Flemish population.

In the month of august 1904, ten years before the First World War, these brave messengers of the Good News went to Denain in France, to offer booklets to people getting out from a Baptist temple. In Belgium and France the non-trinitarian Baptists mostly were not openly known, because of the fear of persecution.
The results of their activity was that two years later, a congregation started near Denain in Haveluy.
Jean Baptiste Tilmant and his friends continued to bravely preach the biblical truth and other groups appeared to face this big growth, a deposit of books was opened at brother’s Tilmant house in Jumet Gohisart and in 1906 a bible student community was founded in Denain.
The “Lighthouse” of August 1904, page 64, mentions for the first time the name and books from “Dawn”; (It has to be Volume I of the Studies in the Scriptures); subscriptions to the “Lighthouse” and request for free booklets and papers.
In 1906 the leaflets “Do you Know?” and the “Wage of sin” two other booklets and Volume 1 were to be published in Dutch and delivered in Brussels.
In 1908 Heinrich Brinkhoff published the first edition of The Watchtower in Dutch: De Wachttoren

Throwing pearls to pigs

Around 1910, François Caré who had known the truth in France went to Liège to a protestant friend named Edouard Verdière. He could not help it speaking with him about the truth. He wanted to help him leaving the false religion. His friend was so opposed to the message of brother Caré that at the end he finished by telling him
“ I don’t want to argue with you any longer , I don’t want to throw pearls to pigs “
After these words, he went to bed , these words bothered Mr Verdière all night long. The next morning, he asked brother Caré to tell him what he meant. He told him that he will no longer speak about the truth to him because he did not appreciate the “pearls” he was offering him. After this explanation, his friend became more conciliating so that after his return to France brother Caré started to send him regularly periodicals. He also dispatched a few volumes of Studies in the Scriptures. It did not last long before Edouard Verdière accepted the Truth and even began to speak in public. In another district of Belgium, light began to break through the darkness.

From Catholicism to Protestantism to coming in the Truth

The Rosary (from Latin rosarium, meaning “Crown of Roses” or “garland of roses” , in its most commonly known format as the Dominican rosary, is a form of prayer used especially in the Catholic Church or a string of prayer beads used to count the component prayers

In the coalmine where he worked, Edouard Verdière had a colleague named Léonard Smets searching the truth. He was a sincere catholic; he diligently attended religious services with his family. He used to pray with a rosary. This man from Flemish origin lived in Heure-le Romain near Vivegnis (Liège). In 1900, a protestant offered him a Bible saying, “I have the Book of God”. Another day, at the confessional, Léonard Smets confessed to the priest that he was reading the Holy Scriptures. The priest said that if he still wanted to receive absolution for his sins he had to give back his Bible. From that day on, Léonard did not attend the service any-more. He thought,

“If they are sincere, they will come to meet me, because they have to come and catch back the lost sheep”.
However, the priest never came to see him. Léonard Smets began to attend the protestant temple.
File:Collegiale-Thann-p1010106.jpg

A confessional is a small, enclosed booth used for the Sacrament of Penance, often called confession, or Reconciliation. It is the usual venue for the sacrament in the Roman Catholic Church. – Traditional confessional in Saint-Thiébaut Church, Thann, France

Even on his working place, in the coalmine, Smets was reading the New Testament. One day, Vedière noticed it. He was curious to know which his religion was; he began to sing a protestant hymn. “I was protestant”, answered brother Verdière “but I have something better for you.” He offered him a copy of the “watchtower of Zion” and witnessed with all his strength of the truth. It happened in 1912. Léonard Smets did not keep this truth for himself; he shared it with a Flemish colleague named Joseph Poelmans, father of seven children. He was disillusioned by the teachings of  Catholicism and chose Protestantism. However when he read the periodical that Smets gave him, he recognised the accent of truth.

Later, the three coalminers Verdière, Smets and Poelmans questioned the protestant minister of religion of Herstal (Liège) about the doctrine of immortality, trinity and Hell. Instead of helping them, the pastor was very angry and threw them out. They realised he was not better than the catholic priest, so they decided to meet and to study the Scripture with the help of the books they received from France.
In 1908 5000 “watch Towers” were distributed in Belgium.
In 1911 Brother Russell could only stop for a few minutes in Liège where dear brethren Pétré and some others were waiting to greet him on the train: sister Miss Peerkings (an English sister living in Liège where she learned about the Truth) served as an translator. With the same train, Brother Russell arrived in Charleroi where he took the road to arrive in Denain in the evening.
Joseph Franklin Rutherford (1869–1942), also known as "Judge" Rutherford, president of the incorporated Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, who played a primary role in the organization and doctrinal development of Jehovah's Witnesses. - Joseph Franklin Rutherford (1869-1942), ook wel bekend als "Rechter" Rutherford, voorzitter van het Wachttorengenootschap, die een primaire rol in de organisatie en leerstellige ontwikkeling van Jehovah's Getuigen had.

Joseph Franklin Rutherford (1869–1942), also known as “Judge” Rutherford, president of the incorporated Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, who played a primary role in the organization and doctrinal development of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

In 1912, there were seven municipalities: Haine-Saint-Paul, Flémalle-Haute, Engis, Amay, Ampsin, Liège and JumetGohissart. Each of these groups was organizing monthly meetings and was welcoming Brother Weber from the Swiss office for periodical visits.

At Pentecost on June 26th and 27th 1912 there was a a general meeting or their first general assembly in Jumet Gohissart.

Brother Rutherford was in Jumet on Monday 22nd September for a private meeting.

The group also grew strongly in the most northern part of France and in 1913 more than 1,000 people attended a lecture by Joseph Franklin Rutherford when he visited Denain. On August 31, 1913 70 Belgian supporters visited a conference in Paris where Russell was present.

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To be continued: Different approach in organisation of services #2

Dutch version / Nederlandse versie: Andere aanpak in de organisatie van de diensten # 1

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Please do find out more about the Christadelphians:

  1. Not all christians are followers of a Greco-Roman culture
  2. Two new encyclopaedic articles
  3. Who are the Christadelphians
  4. What are Brothers in Christ
  5. Discipleship way of life on the narrow way to everlasting life
  6. Christadelphian people
  7. Christadelphians or Messianic Christians or Messianic Jews
  8. About the Belgian Free Christadelphians
  9. What Christadelphians teach
  10. Small churches of the few Christadelphians
  11. Priority to form a loving brotherhood
  12. 19° Century London Christadelphians
  13. Breathing and growing with no heir
  14. Commitment to Christian unity
  15.  Parts of the body of Christ
  16. What part of the Body am I?
  17. The Church, Body of Christ and remnant Israel synonymous
  18. United people under Christ
  19. Fellowship
  20. The Ecclesia
  21. The Ecclesia in the churchsystem
  22. The ecclesia or Christadelphian church
  23. Our relationship with God, Jesus and each other
  24. Our ecclesia or Christadelphian-church
  25. Intentions of an Ecclesia
  26. An ecclesia in your neighbourhood
  27. Communion and day of worship
  28. Christadelphians today
  29. Small churches of the few Christadelphians
  30. Who Celebrates Easter as Religious Holiday
  31. Eostre, Easter, White god, chocolate eggs, Easter bunnies and metaphorical resurrection
  32. Harvest in Belgium
  33. Biblestudents & T.C.Russell
  34. About the Belgian Biblestudents
  35. What the Belgian Biblestudents believe
  • 37 “Theses” Nailed to the Front Door of the First Baptist, Evangelical, Protestant Church (blackchristiannews.com)
    Some may think that it is prestigiousto be invited to meet with the Pope and to go and actually meet with the Pope. But it is not. In fact, it is foolishness and dangerous. And it flies in the face of what we have learned from church history about the thousands of people whose bloodwas shed because they opposed false Catholic teachings. We believe that this is a Satanic attempt to soften up the true church of Christ so that the Pope can, in the future, gain influence over Baptists, Evangelicals, and Protestants, and get them toparticipate in doing things that are contrary to Christ and the Bible.Many scholars believe that the “Great Whore” of Revelation is the Catholic Church situated in Vatican City in Rome. According to Christian apologist Dave Hunt, “There is only one city on the earth which, in both historical and contemporary perspectives, passes every test John gives, including its identification as Mystery Babylon. That city is Rome, and more specifically, Vatican City…The first thing we are told about the woman is that she is a ‘whore’… Against only one other city in history could a charge of fornication be leveled. That city is Rome, and more specifically Vatican City.”
  • Event Transcript: Religion in Latin America (pewforum.org)
    Latin America is home to more than 425 million Catholics – nearly 40% of the world’s total Catholic population – and the Roman Catholic Church now has a Latin American pope for the first time in its history. Yet identification with Catholicism has declined throughout the region, according to a major new Pew Research Center survey that examines religious affiliations, beliefs and practices in 18 Latin American countries and one U.S. territory (Puerto Rico).Historical data suggest that for most of the 20th century, from 1900 through the 1960s, at least 90% of Latin America’s population was Catholic. Today, the Pew Research survey shows, 69% of adults across the region identify as Catholic. In nearly every country surveyed, the Catholic Church has experienced net losses from religious switching, as many Latin Americans have joined evangelical Protestant churches or rejected organized religion altogether.
  • Vatican lifts ban on married priests for Eastern Catholic churches in U.S., Canada, Australia… (catholicculture.org)
    The Vatican has lifted a longstandingbanonthe ordination of married men to the priesthood in the Eastern Catholic churches.The tradition and discipline of the Eastern churches allowsforthe ordination of married men to the priesthood. (Bishopsmust be unmarried, however, and once ordained, a priest cannot marry.) The Vatican has repeatedly approved this tradition, while insistingonthe importance of priestly celibacy in the Latin rite.However, in the late 19th century, with the arrival of many Byzantine Catholic immigrants in Canada, Latin-rite prelates complained thatthe presence of married Catholic priests could create a “grave scandal.” The Vatican eventually ruled that the Eastern churches could not ordain married men in the countries where their communities forma minority of the Catholic population. The rule has historically applied primarily to Canada, the US, and Australia.With a decree approved by Pope Francis, and signed on June 14 by Cardinal Leonard Sandri, the Congregation for the Eastern Churches has now rescinded that ban. Catholic bishops of the Eastern churches serving in eparchies (dioceses) in the West are explicitly authorized to ordain married men.
  • Catholic ‘cannibalism’ (cruxnow.com)
    One evening a couple of years ago, I saw a bloodstained Eucharistic host.It was displayed in a home in Worcester, Massachusetts, about a five-minute drive down the street from my house. The host was the sixth Eucharistic phenomena associated with the late Audrey Santo — a young woman who was left mute and motionless after an accident in 1987.Up until her death in 2007, “Little Audrey,” as she was called, became the focal point for intense devotion as a “victim soul” who offered up her own sufferings for the salvation of others. Her case also attracted intense criticism, particularly given the claims about supernatural happenings in her presence.
  • Priests as Husbands and Fathers? (nytimes.com)
    This week, Pope Francis announced plans to visit the United States in 2015. The trip will be watched for signs of how U.S. bishops are adapting to the shift in tone coming from the Vatican. Not only has Pope Francis called for an open discussion on the Catholic Church’s views on gays and divorce, he’s also talked about priestly celibacy — a policy that a growing number of Catholics are pushing to change. If clerical marriage became more common, how would the Catholic Church change?
  • Victims of historic child sex abuse speak out, after Catholic Church refuses to accept “liability” for the crimes of their priests (secularnewsdaily.com)
    The Catholic Church is refusing to accept “liability” for long-term sex abuse that went on at the Mirfield Junior Seminary, despite paying out £120,000 to eleven victims of child sex abuse.
  • Cleric urges girls, women to shun abortion (dailypost.ng)
    Olanrewaju, who is also a former Parish Priest of Saints Joachim and Anne Catholic Church,Ijegun, Lagos, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).He spoke at the end of a rally on `’Walk for Life” organised by the churchtosensitise public on the dangers of abortion to human life.Olanrewaju said: “abortion, in any form, is an irreparable harm done to the innocent.“Any female, who procures a completed abortion, incurs excommunication by the commission of the offence as provided by Canon Law of the Catholic Church.

    “Human life must be respected and recognised by the civil society and the state from the moment of conception as an embryo until death, “ he told NAN.

    The cleric also urged relevant authorities to provide appropriate sanctions for “every deliberate termination of human life”.

  • Florida High School Implements ShoreTel Mobility on iPads (shoretel.com)
    Archbishop Edward A. McCarthy High is a Roman Catholic college preparatory school of the Archdiocese of Miami, Florida. Located in nearby Southwest Ranches, with a student enrollment over 1,500, the high school is among the top private schools in the U.S. On the cutting edge of technology, McCarthy High School has a one-to-one iPad program to enhance the student learning environment.  Within the school’s progressive tech-savvy learning environment has been the ability to quickly reach teachers, anywhere anytime. Classrooms were not equipped with desk phones and the estimates to install them and wire the buildings were cost prohibitive. Also, the existing phone system and infrastructure were due for upgrades.
  • The Third Way ~ curated by Tom Cutts (UTS’83) (utsalumni.org)

    The Third Way: Homosexuality and the Catholic Church. A 40-minute documentary film focusing on the Catholic Church’s teachings regarding Homosexuality.

    “Original Sin for all of us, for every human being on this planet, has disoriented our desires. We often find ourselves hungry for things that do not satisfy the ache.”

Bible guide

Taking the Bible as a lead

In Jesus days people came together in the synagogue but also in their homes to study the rolls of the holy writers. For them it was clear that God had given these people the power and facilities to write down Gods Word. For the followers of Christ it was clear that they had to take the stories about Christ Jesus and the writing of his apostles also into account. The books of the Old time received a brother in the writings of the new time, after Jesus his resurrection. The Old and New Testament became the two pillars of educational material to build up faith and to keep to the Commandments of God.

Enthusiast followers of Jesus took the time to come to study these writings, which we know now as the Bible. They felt united in holding that the sacred Scriptures, Old and New Testaments, are inspired and are the final authority for authentic truth. They did not doubt the countenance of these writings and knew that if they prayed to God they also would receive guidance to follow and to comprehend them. They followed the rules of the Scriptures and wanted to establish their beliefs and faith in beliefs that harmonize all scriptures on each subject. The apostles had warned them to be careful not be carried away by worldly thoughts and that they should not make non-scriptural words to an article of faith.

In the early times of this time account, some had seen that Jesus was wholly flesh while on earth. While Jesus was miraculously begotten by God through the Holy Spirit in the womb of Mary, they accepted that the Bible implies that she did not remain a virgin thereafter and many of the early Christians had met the other children by Joseph after the birth of Jesus. One of Jesus brothers had followed and believed in him. The people around Jesus could witness him. They had witnessed or heard about the many miracles, and about the most curious event, namely that this holy man had been raised from death. But there were also many who had nothing seen and by the growing years had nobody in their circles who had met people who had known Jesus in real life. They had to believe without seeing.

Jesus is considered by scholars such as Weber ...

Preaching Jesus

Studying the Bible those people interested in the Word of God were fully convinced that this Nazarene Jew by his death had brought them salvation. They knew that man is mortal by nature, and that immortality became available now, but only by meeting conditions of obedience. They held, as we hold today, that the human soul is not a distinct entity, but is the result of the union of the body and the breath, or spark, of life, and that death is the dissolution of these two elements. Jesus had died, been put in the grave, but after his resurrection had gone up to his Father to which he always stayed humble. Jesus always had pointed out to his Father as the One who did everything and to whom we had to give honour. Therefore they did not accept the position of co-eternity or co-equality between the Father and the Son. But they were pleased that since his resurrection Jesus had received the divine nature and could be the mediator between them and God.

Believing that Adam and Eve were created perfect, the believers position is that the sin of disobedience in the Garden of Eden resulted in all their posterity being born under the blight of sin, imperfection, and death. Because death is the dissolution of body and breath, every Bible Student should be aware that the soul that sins dies goes out of existence, and that we cannot escape death and the return to dust and ash. But in Christ Jesus they found the promised Messiah who was going to return. It is he who shall then start the resurrection process which begins in the future kingdom of Messiah. He had given his body as a ransom at the cross of Calvary. This peace offering is efficacious for all who have ever died. It promises resuscitation for all humanity in Christ’s 1000-year kingdom, along with the opportunity to obtain and maintain perfect human life for eternity. The ransom also provides for the rehabilitation of planet earth to perfect Edenic conditions.

From Pentecost onwards many thousands started to look forward to the return of Christ or Second Advent. At his first advent, Jesus had begun calling out from mankind a special class to be his church, or bride. To these he promised a part in heaven with himself and the Father, and a kingdom role of reigning over mankind with himself for blessing all the families of the earth. Those who accept this invitation make a complete consecration or commitment to do the will of God as they see it revealed and at the cost of a surrender of the right to a life on earth. This consecration is witnessed by a baptism (complete water immersion,). The expectation that Jesus Christ would return to finish the work that he began two thousand years ago became an important part of their faith. They followed the advice Jesus and his apostles had given, to study the Word of God and to come regularly together, also to remember the Breaking of the Bread as a sign of the New Covenant.

To organize such meetings they had to find places where they could meet, certainly after they were not welcome any more in the synagogues. In the different villages and small communities small groups were formed. By giving many ‘house parties’ the ‘house churches‘ were formed. Each group selected its leaders (elders and deacons) by a total vote of their consecrated members, and cooperated with other congregations as determined by that local group. But such meetings or gatherings brought also expenses. To cover them they paid entirely by freewill voluntary offerings with no collections of mandated costs.

Also today we as Bible Students want to keep to the ordinances given by God and by Jesus and our ministries are kept according the Biblical ways and serves on a non-paid and voluntary basis.

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JW Current Apostate Status and Final Temple Judgment - Web Witnessing Record; The Bethel Apostasy is Prophecy

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If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me - Psalm 139: 9,10

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the musings of a Franciscan friar...

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